Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Wee Camping Trip In The Highlands Part 10: The Fishing Lesson

It was Wednesday and it started with rain. Rain and cold. Then snow, then sun and the day got better.

It started off tough because of motorhome issues. We were out of LP gas after our second night. No gas meant no heater, and no cooking. Even buying a bottle of LP gas was an adventure in itself. I went to several Petrol stations before I found one that had the same kind of gas bottle. We were supposed to have a full bottle of gas with the vehicle, and that was going to last a week at least. The company rep told us they would reimburse us if we had to buy a bottle…we did. The other issue was that somehow we had a giant water leak in the camper that was to the point that when you turned the water pump on, it just pumped all over the floor of the bathroom and that was about it.  Pam was starting to get frustrated and I was just hoping my handyman skills were going to be up to the job.
I was told that fixing the water leak was going to be pretty easy. All I had to do was lay down on the floor in the little bathroom and unscrew the bottom of the sink and re-attach the hose that must have popped off. All I needed was a Philips head screwdriver….well, let me tell you about finding a screwdriver in the highlands. As usual for things in the Perkins family, a problem turned into an opportunity... Perhaps the best part of the day was our conversation with the gentleman in the local hardware shop in the village.

We found the small building with a large sign that said "Hardware" and it was stuffed to the ceiling with merchandise, just like the good old days and while I examined the contents in detail, Pam was chatting up the clerk. This really cool guy was somewhere near our son's age but missing a lot of teeth. He had that great mishmash of an accent and Pam stopped him about every other sentence to have him repeat what he said. He started smiling and the accent got thicker.  Pam started trying mimic his burr and I started moving back into the corner of the store, so I would appear not to be with this American tourist. He noticed that I was really interested in the fishing gear, and started telling me about the ins and outs of fishing in the loch. Apparently, it was a lot trickier than I thought. Like Hawaii, the mountains continue under water, and there were parts of the loch that were much deeper than most of the ocean. There were also strong tides, so even for fishing from shore, you needed a rig that was more like what we would use for surf fishing. Pam wanted to buy some fishing lures for our son and somehow convinced the guy to go 'on camera' to explain how the rig was to be made and used. Pam promised him that our son and a few others would be the only people that would ever see the video. He was camera-terrified. But Pam has powerful means of persuasion, and a bit of arm twisting finally convinced him that he would not be internet famous. He straightened up on camera and was one of our favorite characters of the whole trip.

We learned about fishing in the loch, we hiked the quarry, went shopping in the co-op, and drove about 20 miles before ending up at a fancy campground in Ben Nevis near Fort William. Ben Nevis is the name of a mountain and one thing that is striking about the area, is that the mountains look like the shield volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii, and in fact they are. Most of the mountains have few trees and look like you just might be able to hike to the top…except the ones we saw were covered with snow. 

A big highlight of the day was going to what we thought would be a crappy little diner at the campground in Ben Nevis. Instead, we had one of the best meals of our trip so far.  These people know how to eat and they don’t seem to single out tourists to serve something that will pass for food…and the beer…it is a good thing I don’t live here, I’d have some new troubles to deal with!

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for Adventures! Always a Silver Lining to be had :)