Report on Knoydart Weekend (page 1 of 4)
Friday 26th to Sunday 29th May
Greetings from the long lost 3 on Knoydart – we’re still here eating venison burgers and chips etc. Well what a weekend! – fun, laughter and a new phrase enters the English language – “to do a Morley”!
It’s best that we start at the beginning:
The weather outlook was not promising as we boarded the luxury ferry at Mallaig especially for those on the non-heated outer accommodation deck – tickets were handed out, however there’s always one “Michael numpty”” who forgets where his is kept.
We disembarked safely at Inverie along with the cargo (or should that be, we disembarked the cargo?) – suitcases, rucksacks, prams, grass strimmers, guitars, banjos babies, etc. After a short walk to the bunkhouse and a scramble for the bottom bunks we all settled in – along with the couple in the “red hot lovers suite” – who were those 2?
Dinner and drinks followed in the Old Forge Inn (the remotest pub in the UK), then back to the bunkhouse for a bit of a blether and time to break up some furniture before heading to the land of nod in preparation for our day’s walking ahead.
Saturday morning was wet, wet, wet! However a number of our intrepid party made an early start for the hills – as they disappeared into the morning mist we were unsure if we would see John, Gavin and Michael again as their parting remark of “we’re just going outside and may be some time” had a familiar ring to it.
Irene, Robin and Mark headed off for a low level stroll (only 14 miles said Irene!) – they didn’t take the path for the “lost bridge”, instead they headed round the coast where they discovered “the never ending rain storm”, “the sea of serenity”, “the river that couldn’t be crossed” and the “forest track that led back to the pub” – no sightings of Bilbo Baggins were reported. Throughout the torrential rain they resisted the temptation to shelter/go joyriding in one of the many abandoned vehicles, complete with keys in ignition – no hot-wiring skills would have been required! Lunch was spent relaxing on an up-turned dingy at Airor – much more comfortable than the beds at the bunkhouse. On their return to the pub they were warmly greeted by 2 people (1 blonde, 1 not so) who looked vaguely familiar – who were those 2?
Alison, Kenny, Lydia, Carol-Ann, Michael, Caroline, Linda, Jacqui went to explore the streets?? (well one street of Knoydart) and then made their way via the enchanted forest, where evidence of some weird and wonderful rituals can be found, to start their walk to Loch an Dubh-Lochain Half way along the route a fast moving object could be seen moving directly towards them – it was Ian, who had lost Steven in the storm. Further along another object (not quite so fast) approached the now drenched walkers – low and behold Steven was found. A quick stop for lunch in the shelter of an old fish farm building and then off again to the bothy and the loch, where Kenny had a wee snooze on an upturned rowing boat. On the way back Kenny, refreshed from his afternoon nap, hurtled off to the top of a hill to examine a monument erected by 2nd Lord Lieutenant Brocket of Knoydart for his parents, wife and children. How nice we thought until we discovered the next day that he was a nazi sympathiser. Anyway back to the bunk house for a late lunch and a nice snooze for some.
Pat, Julie and Gillian spent the morning with Billy Connolly, books, wine and a nice warm fire (heaven).
On Saturday evening the survivors all headed “down the pub” – where an interesting evening was in store – read on, if you dare, for all the salacious details.
The pub was crammed with lots of locals, tourists and a mad stag party. The star of the show was “ the Ram” – the question is, how many Craggy girls got “rammied”? – you know who you are – check for the mark of the beast! Answers on a postcard please to the usual address. Julie became friends with a celebrity writer and is starring as Maggie in next week’s episode of the Broons in the Sunday Post.
The Squashy Bag Dance Band Ceilidh
Step-a-gailey on we go – NOT! Shirley succumbed to her own poor dancing technique and had to be stretchered off in the first five minutes! Luckily the local chef was on hand to share his crutches. The rest of the lucky ladies were whisked and twirled round the floor by big handsome men in kilts, who knew every step to every dance. Ian – don’t worry about those guys in kilts – it’s not what you’re wearing, it’s what you’ve got underneath that counts! (X marks the spot! - Ian may not have received the mark of the beast but he was reported to be sporting unusual head make-up – perhaps he had he taken part in a bizarre local ritual which takes body art to extremes)
After a bit of a lie in and breakfast the walkers headed out again to make the best of the sunny spells. Irene, Robin and Mark headed off again for a gentle stroll to Loch an Dubh. The weather was kind and the sun broke through. During the walk they were entertained with Robin’s “Rocks and Puddles lecture” – an interesting, informative, if somewhat extended educational talk on minor river systems and the formation of the earth from the year dot (Robin did re-visit this theme on a number of occasions and later he entertained other members of the group in the pub with a summarised lecture and his collection of musical stones). On the way back from the loch they encountered that vaguely familiar couple again – ( both had a spring in their step!) - who were those 2?
The Corbett – An ascent of Sgurr Coire Choinnichean was especially satisfying as it provides wonderful views of the whole Knoydart peninsula.
Michael, Carol-Ann, Alison, Kenny, Caroline, Linda and Jacqui started off through the enchanted forest where one of yesterdays hanging men had lost his head. This was found by Caroline and replaced back on top of his neck. At the end of the forest the sun was shining brightly and layers of clothing came off and bare skin was revealed to the sun’s rays. Four and a half minutes later as they started the steep climb towards the Corbett a drizzle of rain came on and jackets were donned. The hillside became steeper and steeper but eventually a plateau was reached and the ridge leading to the top of the hill could be seen. Just another extra steep climb and the hill would be conquered. However at this point the wind became really strong. Nearly at the top, one small climb and a narrow ridge to go, but by now the wind was extremely strong and crawling on hands and knees was required to maintain stability. Common sense prevailed (in some quicker than others) and the group decided to stop and drop down a bit to try and find a sheltered spot for lunch. A sheltered spot with a spectacular view was soon found and everyone cooried doon for a wee bite to eat. Alison was drenched with some flying tea and Kenny was hit in the face by a flying crisp (well they were plane crisps after all!!!). A quick descent off the hill and off to the pub where Gillian, Pat and Julie were found just finishing their lunch before heading off for a walk along the beach.
Sunday afternoon Jamboree - After the walks on Sunday most of the party retired to the pub where we were entertained by some local musicians and an accordion, banjo, mandolin and guitars. Not to be outdone we entered into the spirit of things and formed our own “Early Learning Centre Ceilidh Band” – all were keen to participate and show off their musical ability. Rhythm (of sorts) was provided on the tambourine, the maraca egg, the knuckle bells, the triangle, musical stones and the big shaky stick thing. The locals (who could actually play) appreciated our efforts and the ELC Ceilidh Band can now be booked for all social and anti-social events.
Pat’s Quiz – Late on Sunday night Mrs Taylor provided a quiz for all the children and just managed to keep them in order as claims of “cheat” “wrong” “you didn’t give us that last point” ensued.
The Jim-Jam party (even later on the Sunday night)– check out the amazing photos in the member’s area!
Congratulations to Special Agent “007 MacLeod” who led the successful raiding party. The mission was accomplished in some style when Michael’s pyjama bottoms were finally paired with a matching set. Lydia is now contemplating a career change – Kate Moss look out! Michael B is considering auditioning for the role of Mr Muscle. The rest of the party are in hiding.
Monday morning’s departure from Inverie was an entertaining spectacle – an overloaded ferry led to 3 club members being left on the quayside – a special thanks to those who offered to throw themselves overboard and wait behind with the castaways. It is rumoured that the castaways weren’t too concerned – they were seen heading straight for the pub for more drink & venison burgers! (their tale of departure involving the beach, a small boat, Irene having trouble with her legs and a cruise up Loch Nevis to Tarbet is another story altogether).
Steve and Elaina’s walks – report to follow – apparently it was the equivalent of 3 Munroe’s! (impressive, or what! - it can be done).
- 1 chair
- 1 bed rung
- 1 oven dish
- 1 glass
- 1 window
- 1 reputation (as an early riser??)
Just the usual Craggy weekend away then!
Well that’s us signing off for now – you can check our progress on our live webcam at www.leftonknoydart.com
Mark Kinnon, Irene Cahill and Jacqui Muir