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Adventures of a short vet

Bridge over the sea

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 1 September 2010 | Views [313]

The following day started bright and early (a little too bright and early for some of the group) with a visit to Sligachen, the faerie river which is said to impart beauty and/or wisdom to any one dumb enough to submerge their face in it for 7 seconds. Which, of course, we all did. The guides were very good at peer pressure. After stopping in the town of Portree to pick up some lunch, we began our hike up the Old Man of Storr to have our lunch by a giant penis. That sounds appetizing! The tale was told of a giant who was tricked by three women into dancing past midnight on a Saturday into the Sabbath, after drunkenly taking his clothes off in “excitement” and then being smited into stone by God. And when he fell on his back one thing remained poking out…a great phallic stone. Trust guys to come up with that sort of story. It was a steep but relatively short hike (though not short enough for some of the group) and, despite the cold wind at the top of the mountain, rewarded us with amazing views of the surrounding glens and lochs.

After lunch we visited another set of rocks, this time shaped into something less pornographic: Kilt Rock, a set of cliff shaped, oddly enough, like the pleats on a kilt. There was also a waterfall and a random piper playing out in the middle of nowhere. But it definitely added to the atmosphere, unfortunately only tainted by the hundreds of tourists spilling out of tour buses. I cringed to be one of them as I usually prefer to do these sorts of things solo, waiting until the hordes are gone…and now I was part of the horde. Oh well, nothing like ready made friends for a good holiday though! And the group was turning out to be great fun and pretty good value when it came to spending time at the sites, as no-one seemed in a hurry to rush off. We spent quite some time in the Faerie Glen, a mystical site often used by druids and so forth for whatever druids get up to. We weren’t allowed to climb up the Faerie castle as the rocks were unstable and Craig refused to be responsible for anyone falling to their deaths. Although he didn’t seem to worry when I climbed up to the top of a pointy hill for a view of the stone circles below. I particularly liked the story attached to the stone spiral, where you are supposed to leave your negative qualities behind by mulling them over while entering the spiral, and then enhance your positive qualities by concentrating on them as you walk out.

That night we had dinner at the second pub, followed by an entertaining evening of live music and far too many shots. The bartenders were great value, and I think they were enjoying mixing the different types of shots as they were happy to give us a few free ones when they weren’t “up to standard”. With names like “Squashed Smurf” and “Dead Frog” we were glad the shots tasted a lot better than they sounded!

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