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Adventures of a short vet

Whisky & dancing

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 2 September 2010 | Views [278]

The following day there were quite a few bleary eyes on the bus, mine included, and we were glad to have been peer-pressured into catching the Malaig ferry across to the mainland, rather than taking the longer and apparently “vomit-inducing” road back. We kept our eyes peeled for porpoises, whales and turtles, but no such luck. Instead we entertained ourselves by acting out the classic Titanic scene, with a great shot from Craig – perhaps an alternative career should he get tired of schlepping tourists around?

Neil had tantalized us with tales of the white sands of Morar, and the beach was pretty impressive although we didn’t see any of the palm trees he’d talked about. Turned out they were cabbage trees – NOT the same thing! This was where things went horribly wrong. Note to self – do not play Frisbee and soccer at the same time. We were passing both objects around in a circle, and someone did joke that the game would end when someone got hit in the head. Guess who ended the game? That’s right, I tried to catch the Frisbee with my face. I was looking down as I juggled the soccer ball and failed to see the Frisbee headed for my head like a deadly missile. Luckily it only got me on the side of my face rather than knocking out a tooth, but it did crack my jaw joint on the other side, which was actually more painful than the point of contact. And this time not one “danger danger!” call from Neil! Luckily we were visiting a whisky distillery later that evening where I could numb the pain.

Unfortunately the drama on the beach meant that we missed the passing of the Harry Potter train over Glenfinnan (the Harry Potter bridge). We did get to see the smoke over the trees as it passed! How very exciting. But it was a great place to stop for some lunch by the loch where we lay in the sun by the lake, until Graham discovered 2 ticks on his leg and we jumped up feeling itchy all over. We decided to walk off lunch with a short jaunt in Glencoe. Neil dropped us off and took the bus to a spot further down the highway, and Craig led us along the walk, until he got confused at a bridge and had to ask some tourists for directions. Which would have concerned me had we not been near the highway. It was an amazingly sunny day without a cloud in the sky and I wished I had been brave enough to wear my shorts as I was soon sweating like a pig and looking longingly at the loch. Craig pointed out the Hidden Valley (once he’d reoriented himself) which is a walk I would love to do one day. Finally we saw a hat and camera poking out from behind a bush and came across Neil stalking us as we neared the bus, taking photos for the tour website. Like a Scottish version of wildlife photography.

We arrived in the town of Oban in time to dump our stuff at the hostel and head over to the Oban Whisky Distillery for a tour of the distillery during which we learnt all about how to make whisky as well as how to classify the different types of whisky. And I have to say that they have managed to convert me from a non-whisky drinker to whisky snob in a short 45 minute tour! I’ve even managed to discover a couple of whiskies that I actually enjoy – unfortunately they are never the cheap ones, hence the snobbery. After the tour we wandered the town looking for somewhere nice to eat on the waterfront, but ended up in an American-style diner, which was actually quite fun as we got to laugh at the terrible 80’s music videos serving as entertainment.

We ended the evening at a Ceilidh, traditional Scottish dancing which Neil had advertised on the bus by saying ,”You get to TOUCH people!” This actually concerned me more than exciting me, and I was a bit wary of going as I’ve never really been into dancing, let alone organized dances that actually have particular steps, but it turned out the be the most fun I’ve had dancing…ever! The young band playing pipes, guitar and accordions were brilliant, and the girl leading the dances would talk us through the steps before we got going. It was hilarious. And a helluva lot more tiring than I thought it would be – if I’d realized how much RUNNING we would be doing I never would have worn jeans. Now I know how the Scots stayed fit in between fighting battles! The last dance actually consisted of 2 people literally spinning down an aisle of people being flung from one person to the next via linked arms, and it seemed some of the guys’ main objective was to get the girls’ feet off the ground! I was glad that my partner was relatively co-ordinated as he saved me from flying off into the crowd on more than one occasion! It was heaps of fun and I would thoroughly recommend anyone visiting Scotland to try to find a Ceilidh and get into it.

Tags: ceilidh, oban, whisky

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