While we’ve been with each on the road for nearly ten weeks a majority of our time has been spent doing things, seeing things or transitioning between things. We thought it might be nice to relax and chill out for a bit. Even if only for a few days, I was looking forward to wearing dirty cloths, playing outside on the grass, rediscovering the glory of a consistent nap time and preparing my own meals. Basically time to recharge our engines.
It was a few quick Google searches that lead us to Lochaber Lodges. Located seven clicks (still not sure if they use miles or kilometers in Scotland) outside of Fort Williams it felt appropriately like the middle of nowhere we were looking for.
Darrin splurged big time and upgraded our rental to a brand new black Mercedes Benz. As you may know we drive a tiny 2004 Kia Rio at home so this was a serious treat for everyone. But, let’s be honest, it was Daddy who couldn’t wait for the ultimate test drive through the Scottish countryside. We plugged in the GPS, locked down two safety-seats and chanted the words “keep the white line on the right, white line on the right.”
This was all fine and good until the white line went away. Depending on whom you ask the slick, single-track roads were either super fun (Ava and Darrin) or not fun at all (Elaina and Evan).
For me, sitting on the opposite side of the car while driving on the opposite side of the road was a challenge. Blend in tight twists and quick swerves while weaving through sheep fields, past bright yellow bushes of Heather and over a tiny cobblestone bridge I’m not entirely sure I’d feel comfortable walking across and the chaos was just too much.
By the sweet graces of God we arrived safely. We received a warm welcome wave as we slowly rolled down the gravel street off the "main road" onto the property. Frank and his best friend Suzie (the dog) are the official greeters and they do a wonderful job looking after the place. I am sure I looked pale as a ghost as I exited the vehicle, stage left.
It is a simple hideaway with a dozen or so cabins situated along a river. Each has a deck with picnic table facing the water. A team of three or four mountains in the distance set the backdrop; the one on the end is apparently the largest in Great Brittan.
The lodges themselves are small but well equipped featuring three tiny bedrooms and two bathrooms with stand-up showers. While clean, modern and smartly designed nothing (except the glass-cubed light fixture in the kitchen and the fake ambient glow fireplace) was overly fancy.
Aside from a few short excursions we played games, read books, watched movies, had tea parties and simply hung out.
Darrin had a chance to escape for an afternoon by himself to visit the Talisker Distillery. He picked up a beautifully aged 25 year old. (Whisky. A beautifully aged 25 year old, whisky. What were you thinking?)
We stopped in at the Inverlochy Castle on the way back to take a quick peek and have a cup of hot chocolate. I don't think uninvited visits are really welcome here, however, this is where my uncle and family will be staying after our meet up in London. We couldn't drive by without stopping to see it. As you can gather from the photos below, it is absolutely amazing. The "walled garden" was like wandering through a dream.