The campsite at Lochcarron (The Wee Campsite) was a handily located place to be, with a very steep walk up to a viewpoint that gave us a great view across the loch and surrounding area. Our stay was uneventful and after the usual morning preparations we were back on the road and heading towards the Isle of Skye.
On the way we stopped by Eilean Donan Castle. A very nice little castle on a tiny island at the junction of 3 lochs, apparently one of the most photographed/filmed castles around. Something I didn't know until properly into our tour of it is that it was pretty much completely rebuilt in the early 1900s (1912-1932), before then it was a just a ruin after being destroyed during the Jacobite rebellion.
Then along came Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap who bought the island and originally intended to just maintain the ruins. When he returned from WW1 he found the guy he'd employed to clear the site rebuilding the castle based on dream 😂🤷🏻♂️
It's used now for hosting small events and the family still maintain a private living area like many of these buildings owned and run by charitable trusts, definitely worth a visit IMO, although Robert bemoaned going to see "another boring castle" 😂
Then it was a across the bridge and onto the Isle of Skye, unfortunately the weather had started to turn now and was very windy interspersed with heavy rain. Sadly covid stuff meant once again there weren't many indoor options available to us so set off for a drive up to the north most point on Skye, briefly glimpsing the Old Man of Storr through the rain and cloud.
At the top end the wind was crazy strong. We got out to take a short walk and see the collapsing ruins of yet another (boring) castle but at least this time the wind gave Robert something else to do. He discovered holding his hoodie open with his arms to catch the air pushed him along at quite the pace!
After lunch we went to see the faerie glen near Uig. Robert's nursery often tell us there's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes. I had the wrong clothes having neglected to bring any water proof footwear. Still the kids enjoyed walking and climbing around the landscape. The faerie glen doesn't actually have any stories or association with faeries as such, it's a hilly landscape in miniature which has attracted much attention and the name.
The day was starting to get on now and was getting darker with all the clouds overhead. Skye was a place where we also hadn't booked anywhere to stay the night. I had originally planned to stay at Dunvegan Castle but their camping requires a minimum 2 night stop. Figuring that we wanted to see the fairy pools in the morning we drove in that direction looking out for anywhere to stay along the way, as it happened we found a small forest carpark just up the road from the official faerie pools carpark with a couple of other vans already parked up. We were very lucky to find this place as the wind was blowing very strongly and I'm not sure I'd have wanted to put the roof up if we were out in the open. Thankfully the forest car park was well sheltered in the trees.
Over the next hour or so while I prepared and we ate our dinner a further 3-4 vans turned up along with 4-5 cars of people who were setting up tents.
I must admit to feeling some satisfaction watching those people erect their tents while sitting in our nice, cosy, solid campervan. That evening we all snuggled down and watched Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, a proper classic that everyone enjoyed.
When morning came the wind and rain had blown themselves away and we headed off to see the fairy pools. The river and pools were in fine flow after all the rain the previous day. It was a good 3-4 km to get out and back to the pools we saw and although you can we didn't take a swim in them (although the previous night I saw 3 people returning to their van wearing wetsuits so I assume they'd been in). The views of the whole area were lovely, although by this point in the trip you can probably imagine that we were getting a little landscaped out 😁
We were lucky that we'd stayed so close to the pools and been able to start of the walk so early in the day, by the time we returned the official car park was heaving. Speaking of the walk back up a hill Jane commented about little kids always seem to have so much energy and are always running around while we were plodding up the path. I mentioned that as a matter of scale that's why you don't see elephants running that much. Which was instantly taken as me comparing her to an elephant, whoops 😬
Fairy pools seen we were pretty much done with Skye (I'm sure there's loads more to see and do normally but the weather and covid had put a bit of a dampener on things) and to really mess up our plans our ferry crossing off Skye had been cancelled due to the weather which meant an extra hour or so of driving to our next stop in Glencoe. And then there was an accident on the A82 (which turns out to be one of the most dangerous roads in Scotland) which is the main road down the west of the highlands which meant we were stuck in an hour of traffic (or taking a 100 mile detour).
Finally we arrived to a sunny afternoon in Glencoe at Red Squirrel Campsite, which had the surprising policy of only accepting cash. After scouring the van we were 50p short so after setting up took a (long) walk into Glencoe village where we'd spotted a shop with an ATM on the way in.
Obviously this shop was closed 🤦🏻♂️ But it happened that this week Glencoe village hall was hosting Scotlands largest market of hand made Tibetan goods. A few hats later we had the extra 50p we needed and trekked back to the campsite, along the way Robert was teaching us about how to make up poems according to the system that Winnie the Pooh uses. You have to just let the words come as they feel like, even if you don't think they're right. Worked pretty well.