Another scorching day in Scotland. We have a full breakfast before checking out of our hotel and making our way pack-horse-style to the car again. Escaping Glasgow proves to be not as hideous as I feared after the arrival. An hour into our journey we pause in Dumbarton to shop for perishables in Morrisons before descending further into the mountains. We travel the length of Loch Lomond before a picnic lunch.
In the afternoon, Emma takes the wheel and drives us through the spectacular Glen Coe – nowhere near as forboding in clear blue sky and sunshine as it would be haunting in the cold, grey and rain – to the Corran Ferry, and from there a winding and beautiful journey through oak forests on the way to the Ardnamurchan Peninsular and the small community of Ackarackle. I say community because the collection of shops and houses does not feel like a village in the usual sense. We have a cup of tea at the Blue Parrot Post Office, shop and tea room before travelling the last couple of miles to get the boat onto the island.
Alistair – the island manager of just eight months – meets us and several other couples also going across and loas us into the tiny motorboat launch for the 10 minute crossing. His assistant Paul drives the quadbike and trailor with all our stuff on board up to our little cottage in the woods.
An old crofters and/or shepherd’s hut with a porch extension on one side and a bathroom extension on the other, it has a simple painted, wood-pannelled interior with a small coal burning stove.
On our first night on our tranquil island we are visited by a pine martin, who spends some time in front of our lounge window, scoffing the peanuts we put out especially to tempt him out of the woods.