Our last full day in Scotland we woke to sunshine – yes you read correctly SUNSHINE! Eating breakfast at the campsite I watched as the level of the sun rose higher and higher over Ben Nevis, waiting until the campsite was no longer shadowed by the mighty peak and I could feel some warmth on my back for the first time ALL WEEK!
We decided to explore Glencoe a bit on our last full day. We had a lovely Highland lunch at the Glencoe Cafe sipping elderflower preseé in the sun and eating scones with cream, trying to decide what to do for the day. We decided to take a drive through the glen, rather than go for a walk since we were a little tight on time, as per usual. We had booked a tour at Dalwhinnie whiskey distillery later in the day.
Glen Coe is simply stunning. A winding highland road snakes from the town up into the hills, flanked by lookout zones crowded with cars (and tour buses) which make it troublesome and dangerous to pull over into one! We finally found a spot we could pull over so we could get out and explore some more.
We pulled over just next to this waterfall, admiring how beautiful and clear the water looked and once again regretting lack of swimsuits and time! We decided to jump the fence and clamber up to get a closer look.
Relaxing at the top of the waterfall, breathing the fresh highland air, letting the sun warm our skin and dipping our toes into the freezing mountain water wishing to dive in.
Well, be careful what you wish for…
Will handed my the key to the hire car, as he had decided he was going to jump from one side of the waterfall to the other, amidst my protestations. As I was reaching to put the (electronic) car key into the back pocket of my yoga pants it slipped, fell down onto the rocks, bounced and PLOP straight into the water at the top of the waterfall! Well you can imagine what I said – I am Australian after all and expletives come naturally. My instant reaction was to try and catch it before it fell into the water, so I automatically lunged after the key and in the process flung my phone in after it!! Now both the key AND my phone were in the water at the top of the waterfall, so naturally, I instantly launched in after them. I grabbed my phone quickly and passed to a quick-thinking Will who started trying to revive it.
Now in the water searching for the key, rather concerned that it has been dragged over the waterfall and that I may soon follow it! I couldn’t see it anywhere, and I was starting to panic that we would be stuck without transport or a way to call for help! I took a moment to breathe and calm down. In my moment of stillness the water calmed and thank god for crystal clear highland streams – because right at the bottom of the pool I could see the small black shape of the key!! Clinging to the rock and scuttling around to try and grab the key with my feet – too scared to let go in case I got dragged towards the falls. It was deceptively deep and I couldn’t reach – there was nothing for it, I would have to dive down! And down and down – it was really quite deceptively deep – grabbed the key and clung back onto the rock!
Crisis averted and adrenaline rushing, we both burst out into hysterical laughter. I am normally not a clumsy person and I have NEVER dropped my phone in water – what on earth had just happened.
Since my only set of dry clothes were now completely not, I decided I might as well take advantage and swim for a little bit longer in the fresh highland pool I had been yearning to dive into! Once my adrenaline had lowered I noticed the water wasn’t actually pulling too strongly and that it was very unlikely I would have gone over the falls. I frolicked in the icy water for as long as my body would tolerate before squelching back to the car, wondering what on earth I would wear to the whiskey distillery tour!
On our way back out of the Glen we were treated to a stereotypical Scottish scene, a piper piping Highland Cathedral in front of the Three Sisters of Glencoe. What a beautifully scenic cliché.