Skye? Isn't That Near Iceland?
When my wife suggested that we had a holiday on the Isle of Skye at first I thought she had gone mad. Everyone knows it's cold, wet, windy and almost impossible to get to! All my protests met a wall of stony silence so the two week holiday was on. We were going to 'Glamp', whatever that was. My spirits sank lower than the Titanic.
How Were we Going to Get There?
Travelling there was my first concern. I had visions of bobbing up and down on a little ferry whilst icy water cascaded over us. No. My wife said we could drive there, all the way.
What About Car Insurance?
I had visions of my car insurance company getting upset over my taking the car abroad. My wife thought this was hilarious. She told me Scotland isn't 'abroad' and my insurance would still cover me! I wasn't convinced; I only had a very cheap car insurance policy so I was sure I would be uninsured, and anyway would the insurer pay if we tried to cross to an island at low tide and got stuck?
I called my insurer. The help desk guy seemed puzzled and promised to call me back. Ten minutes later a supervisor from the insurance company rang me to confirm that, yes, my comprehensive policy would still cover me provided that Scotland did't unilaterally declare independence in the meanwhile. I could hear sniggering in the background.
With my car insurance status confirmed I lost my last excuse to duck out of this trip!
More insurance problems - fast food delivery insurance, this time!
The day before we left Son Number One rang. He's been working part time for a local pizza and general fastfood takeaway, delivering hot food on his scooter to the starving masses of Manchester. Problem was it seems he wasn't insured for food deliveries!
The first he knew was after his last delivery when a policeman flagged him down and asked him if he had courier insurance. What on earth is courier insurance? Was his reply. It turned out that it was essential cover for food delivery drivers but (a) by then he wasn't actually carrying any food and (b) he was obviously petrified at the possibility of losing his licence so he was let off with a warning to get insured right away. So, Indulgent Parent had to go online and buy him a food delivery insurance policy. Then I got him to go and fetch us all a pizza.
A Modern Invention - The Bridge
There is a road bridge between the mainland and Skye, via a little island called Eilean Bàn. It is about a mile and a half altogether. It seems it used to be the most expensive bridge to cross in Europe! Instead of being funded by the British Government it was erected by a Scottish company which was granted the right to charge tolls but no-one seemed to have checked on how expensive it would be. Locals were, hardly surprisingly, enraged! By 2004 though, after the Scottish Parliament had been set up, the bridge was bought by the Scottisg Government and tolls were abolished.
Thanks to that we were able to reach the Island of Skye without once getting our feet wet!
What On Earth Is Glamping?
Our neighbours went glamping once at Glastonbury. They hated it. It was cold, wet and muddy. Their neighbours seemed to be over fond of strange smelling cigarettes and dancing nude in the moonlight. I had no doubt it would be noisy, cold, uncomfortable, with primitive toilets shared with at least five insanitary families.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
And What is A 'Pod'?
We stayed in a 'pod'; it was made of wood, not canvas, and looked very stylish. There was a double bed plus a sofa bed. The kitchen had a cooker microwave and fridge; and there was milk, tea, biscuits and coffee waiting for us! This was more like it. The view across Loch harport was magnificent. There was even wifi! Granted it was not as fast as my ultrafast cable connection at home, but it was still perfectly usable.
But What is There To do?
Our new temporary home turned into a perfect base to tour Skye. We had a day's birdwatching over the loch; and we had a couple of boat trips looking out for seals and dolphins. This was not enough for she-who-must-be-obeyed though; she had wanted to come up close and personal with a whale! Honestly, that woman worries me sometimes.
We tried to make up for it on our fishing trip though; we caught absolutely nothing but actually saw a golden eagle!
My wife insisted on seeing her whale though. We booked a trip on a fast rib and finally she was treated to a spout from a fairly close whale before it gracefully arched it's back and slipped down into the depths. Unforgettable.
In The End, What Was It Really Like?
To cut a long story short it was easily the most relaxing holiday we have ever had. The scenery was beautiful, the people friendly, the whisky (the distillery was just down the road) was superb. Even the weather was reasonably kind to us. Despite all my misguivings we had a whale of a time (sorry for the awful joke).
How About Next Year?
Will we go back again next year? No way. Been there, done that. What I will do though is be a little more patient when my dear wife comes up with another brilliant idea!