so tourists then

Yesterday John had to go to Fort William to pick up Maggie who had changed her mind about coming up to Skye.

Late morning, after the usual waiting period for everyone to mobilise, we went down the coast to Armadale to have a look at the castle and gardens. Turned out the price of entry was too much of a gamble – £14 before you even go through the garden gates. Call me cynical, but many tourist attractions seem set up to fleece families for large amounts of money in return for not very much entertainment or edification. If I’d been on my own, I may have had a look, but we’ve done our time handing over cash at museums and exhibitions when there wasn’t a lot of evidence that the kids wouldn’t much rather be doing something else.

On to the Armadale ferry terminal, which reminded me a lot of John O’Groats – wool shops and ice cream stalls set out like fly paper to attract the money of passing tourists.

After John and Donna had set off to Fort William to go and get Maggie, I had a notion that I’d like to get away from the tourist hordes and look at something more isolated and entirely non-commercial. So we transferred Mum to our car and headed down the coast towards Aird. Very single track and very narrow. I especially remember a bit through a wood where it was very important to steer straight. Generally struck by the fragility of motoring in this kind of environment. The tarmac ran out at the entrance to some common grazing land. The road did continue beyond the gate, but not in a way suitable for normal cars, and it said no entry to unauthorised vehicles anyway. The sign on the gate about a bull put everyone else off the idea of going through, but I pushed on for about a mile just to have a look. Checking the map today, that rough road continues for about three miles before ending up on the opposite coast. I’d have liked to continue, but I was conscious of having left everyone behind at the car park. On my way back I had an interesting encounter with what may have been a bull – large bovine thing anyway, bellowing and stamping in the middle of the road. One of those where you just have to tough it out and walk past nonchalantly. I guess the bovine thing was a metaphorical equivalent of a chav eyeing up your ipod.

Back to the cottage mid afternoon. A few beers, some TV and some planning for tomorrow. We should go on a boat trip at some point this week, but which one? There are so many on offer.

Big Brother, with the whole “best friends” thing, should make for an interesting eviction Friday. If the voting gets skewed by Richard’s unpopularity, I guess it’s possible that Pete might actually go – what with people this week voting for who they’d like to save rather than evict.