Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Escape to the Highlands

I am seriously considering some time away. I cope best with the difficulties of life when I am free of the day-to-day. I think I just need the freedom to relax and process whatever it is that is sat heavy on my mind.

As children my brother and me would get so excited by family holidays. We were never that sort of family that disappeared on a jet plane to foreign shores. We always holidayed within the UK. As such I've seen a reasonable amount of my home lands but not nearly enough.
I have this vision of what it is I'm after. In my mind I see this tucked away little fishing village with a wonderful view out over the sea / lake / loch to greet me each morning as I drink coffee in the window seat. I would ideally be staying in a pub. Not a traditional hotel just a pub. An inn. Somewhere were I could sit in the corner and observe the regulars. Somewhere were I could feel like I am in familiar surroundings but a long way from home.

[caption id="attachment_166" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Plockton - the view over Loch Carron Plockton - the view over Loch Carron[/caption]

My favourite holidays as a boy were in Scotland and the location of choice for my father was the tiny fishing village of Plockton on the far west coast, just miles from the Isle of Skye.
I remember fondly my brother and I tearing across the causeway to the small island that sat about 500m off shore. An hour or so crabbing and hunting for "stuff" before we clambered back across the causeway to safety before the water came. It sounds very Enid Blyton and I suppose it really was.

The views out over the loch were just striking at all hours of the day and night. Better still the climate was quite unique. For a small highland village it is untouched by the typically harsh weather blowing in from the west. The village faces east and is well shielded by the mountains. Not only that it sits on the path of the Gulf Stream - a wonderfully warm ocean current. It really is a mini-paradise that is in stark contrast to the bleak landscapes that you travel through to get there.

As a boy Plockton inspired me. I want to recapture it. I want to escape to this place that freed my mind as a boy and contributed so much to fuelling my imagination and creativity.

The hotel that we stayed in was the local pub The Plockton Hotel. I remember it having just a couple of rooms for accomodation and I'm not sure if we didn't occupy them both! This was the late 1970s. I see that now it has several rooms with some quite incredible views. I must return to this place.
Even though I now have a disability I think I would cope. I love to travel alone and the remoteness of the highlands beyond Fort William doesn't phase me. Ridiculously I think the only thing that would trouble me is trying to get up the stairs at night after one or two Talisker !

I think we all of us probably have our spiritual homes defined during our youth. This beautifully tucked away village with its obvious panoramic charms and seemingly untouched features is mine. Providing it doesn't get cut off by harsh weather in October I think I may venture north.


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