Driver Diary Part Seven – An Unexpected Encounter

Our Driver shares his experience on board our tour to Loch Ness and his unexpected encounter with some beautiful Scottish Wildlife

It’s pretty dreary outside today with low cloud and rain – we might even see some late season snow as we go North.   But I don’t see that as a negative.  Sometimes Scotland can look even more dramatic and beautiful in these types of conditions.

I battle my way through the traffic to my hotel pick up in the west end of the city.  Clients love this – especially if the bus is quiet, it makes them feel that little bit more special.

We’re heading up to Glencoe but first make a stop at the Drovers Inn – a 300 year old establishment said to be haunted.  You can easily imagine it on a day like today.

It’s cold but once my guests get a hot chocolate in hand and a seat near the roaring fire, I’m not sure I’ll ever get them out.

I do on the promise of seeing the majestic Glencoe at it’s moody best.  You can almost imagine the terrible scenes of massacre that took place here in 1692.

As we approach the Glen, the cloud begins to lift and we can see the mighty Buichaille Etive Mor – a Munro that seems to rise vertically from the floor of the Glen.  We also see a Stag surveying his territory.  He looks magnificent set against the slightly snowy backdrop.

After a stretch of the legs and some frantic photography as the cloud reveals the Glen in all its glory (that was unexpected too), we head off to Spean Bridge for lunch.  This is a great wee town. I discover some new bits I’ve never seen before as I search for my inquisitive guests.

Back on the coach, I’ve had a musical request.  Fortunately it’s not my singing they are keen to hear but some traditional Scottish music.  My collection, if I do say so myself, makes a brilliant accompaniment to views of the Caledonian Canal.  I’ve soon got them swaying in the their seats.  It feels like this could turn into a karaoke!

The ruins of Urquhart Castle are the place to spot Nessie.  I absolutely love watching my guests concentrate hard on the water, hoping to be the next to spot the monster.  I’ve given up.  I’m sure he/she knows I’m here and won’t come out.  I don’t tell my guests I’m the jinx.

Encourage my guests to wrap up warm for the Jacobite Cruise.  It’s above freezing but the wind chill makes it feel very cold indeed. Doesn’t dampen the spirits though.  Everyone returns looking weather-beaten but happy.

We make 5, yes 5 unscheduled stops on the way through the Cairngorms National Park.  All wildlife related.  Three for Stags (a unexpected record) and two for less unusual sightings – Highland Cows and some rather chilly but beautiful Clydesdale horses.

It’s an uneventful trip back to Glasgow but it’s always great to hear the excited chatter of the guests as we pass the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle.

This is better than sitting in an office!

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