Motorhoming or camping is for those who want to seek solitude and the beauty of the natural world.
Our first campsite was Loch Ness Shores a franchise of The Camping and Caravanning Club. What newbie campers must know in advance is that campsites do not operate like your regular hotels, there are office timings (9 am to 6pm in most places, but do check) to be respected as well as quiet timings (11 pm onwards) to be strictly adhered to. Some places even have barriers to enter and are locked down at 11 pm or thereabouts. We being unaware of these rules arrived at 10 pm and were ticked off by Donald, the warden, for arriving late. An elderly gent he was right to do so having been at work form 5 a.m. In our defence the drive from Edinburgh to Loch Ness is so scenic and the fact that at 8 pm also the day is so bright that one easily loses track of time completely.
Any which ways, Donald showed us to our pitch.
A pitch is the word used to define your reserved space at the campsite. They can be either soft (grass) or hard, soft pitches are for tents and smaller campervans. The hard pitch is for the Motorhomes. A pitch will be provided with an electric point and a water tap, you hook-up your home on wheels to both these for the duration of your stay. The electric hook-up saves you the use of fuel and gas to heat up the interiors and the water tank of the motorhome can store up to a 100 litres of water. At the campsite you will also find well-appointed shower rooms and toilets, a space to wash utensils as well as paid washing machines and dryers. A café and provision shop also are quid-pro-quo. Other features are disposal points for grey water (kitchen and bath) and black water (chemical toilet.)
Once we had hooked up and felt less like chastised teenagers, we set out to explore Lochness shores, the only campsite we had booked beforehand from India. Tucked away in a corner of the banks of the loch, Scots for Lake, famous for the Loch Ness Monster here is where one can find a solitude that is soul reviving. The highlands frame the lake and the rippling, yet calm waters belie the threat of a Monster lurking in its dark depths, but then the legend of Nessie dates back to the 5th Century A.D. and is still a phenomenon that science has neither explained nor refuted completely. An anticipation of the promised beauty of the Isle of Skye was tinged with regret as we left Loch Ness two days later.
My first view of the morning at the Glenbrittle Campsite the next morning made me quickly forget any such regrets. Clean cold air laden with moisture and a hint of salt, the waves soundlessly crashing on the dark sandy shore and far on the horizon the pinkish blush of the sun hiding behind a thick blanket of pregnant clouds.
Sitting by the sea always makes me feel as if I’m at the edge of the world and when you get the opportunity to view this majesty meters away from you the moment you open your eyes, you might agree with me that the state achieved is total Nirvana.
Our next stopover was at the Glencoe Camping & Caravanning Club site. A 1963 song by John McDermontt the words Oh, cruel was the snow that sweeps Glencoe. And covers the grave o’ Donald makes one wonder at the bloody history of a place described also to be one of the most beautiful in the world.
As one crosses over from the picturesque town of Fort William to the verdant Glencoe, the views of the highlands flanking it are truly sublime, even a blink is too much time to take off them and while I soaked in the gorgeousness of it all, I felt only gratitude towards Nature for her selfless bounty.