One to Grow On

December 28, 2010

Celtic Camping: I Can’t Recommend It

Filed under: children, food, Great Britain, Ireland, weather — midway2go @ 11:22 am

Two weeks in Ireland, a week each in Oban and the Isle of Skye in Scotland, followed by three sensible nights in an Inverness hostel and a visit to the Pilbeam family, themselves veteran world travellers (www.web.mac.com/familytrippers/Site/Blog/Blog.html) and fabulous hosts who live just outside Edinburgh.  Can I recommend camping in damp countries whose high temperatures in August nudge 67?     Heavens, no.  We nearly froze.  Camping with two children is nothing like experiencing the pubs of Ireland (the only place in that green land where it never rains) or the castle B&B’s of Scotland.  Still… 

We scared ourselves silly (okay, I scared myself) hiking the Cliffs of Moher.    At the National Heritage Living Museum (or some such thing) in Ireland Rory learned his name means “Red King,” and for days he would only come when so called.  We had hours of fun poking numb fingers into tidal pools where the Cuillins ease into the sea.   We were shocked by the violence and passion of “The Troubles” bubbling right on the surface  in Derry (and I was shocked to find I had booked us into a B&B just a few door down from a police station which had been bombed the previous week.  Oops).   Anne Pilbeam’s chocolate mousse cups are legend in our house, and Ian’s tales of Sammy the Seal turned out to be true (he looked like a giant aquatic dog).    We walked the moors of Culloden on the anniversary of the day Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Glenfinnian to reclaim his father’s throne.   At the Scottish National Museum (one of the best we saw anywhere, by the way) we couldn’t tear ourselves away from the emigration stories.   An interactive display asked you to imagine you were leaving home, maybe forever, and we found that quite easy to do…  And we tell and retell every story Mr. Noel told us while we camped at the charming Alie River Hostel in Doolin.   So, cold?  Yep.  Heaps of lasting memories?   Well, the Red King hasn’t forgotten yet, and the requests for Irish Stew just keep coming.

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