Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Thank bejeebus I'm home is what I'd really like to say to you all. I got back on Sunday at around 4.30, and I swear, I almost jumped out of the minibus and kissed the ground. Mainly because it was tarmac and not mud, or gravel. Don't get me wrong, I mean, I love the outdoors and I loved the whole expedition, but really, there are only so many days you can spend without a shower. For three days it was dry shampoo and wet wipes. Yeah, wet wipes - tesco value ones. And you wouldn't believe the number of midge bites I have. I am literally covered head to toe in them. And when I went swimming today at the local pool, you wouldn't believe how much the ones on my ankles stung. Let me tell you now, that smidge midge repellent does not work. No matter how many times it refers to its 'dastardly yet family friendly formula' it is utter rubbish. Either that, or midges love me so much they will go through anything to get a taste of my blood. The first suggestion seems slightly less disturbing, so I think I'm going to go with it. Midge repellent doesn't work. So, how do you avoid the midges? Don't go camping anywhere near water. No, scratch that, don't go camping in the Scottish highlands. Midges are vicious and attack in swarms. If you see one, there are more on the way. Run I tell you, run. Actually, come to think of it, everything - apart from the lack of showers and indoor plumbing and the insane amount of midges - day two was pretty darn good. Just discount the parts were I fell over in a bog and the point at which I literally went knee deep into a pile of stinking mud. Oh yeah, and the part where we went searching for the illusive 'Prince Charlie's Cave' which isn't actually a cave, but a pile of boulders with holes in them. Yeah. Okay, so maybe I sound a little very cynical. It's probably because I am. Don't let that fool you though, like I've said already, I had a great time. And you wouldn't believe the views, or how quiet it is (you literally can't hear a single note of traffic) and how wide and spacious everything seems without the endless rows of enclosing houses you find in suburbia. If you're afraid of midges, don't go, like I said, they are vicious, but if you aren't then take every opportunity you can to get out there and go camping, or just take a walk away from the rat race. The highlands are insanely beautiful in their own bleak and wild way. They really are.