Monday 20 October 2014--Every year, it seems, I have to make the drive from either Plockton or Craigellachie to Edinburgh. It really
isn't all that far--the trip computers say it should take about three hours from the latter, and less than four from the former--but somehow
it always seems to take all day. Today we are only going as far as Anstruther, in the East Neuk of Fife. It's not much shorter than the
drive to Edinburgh, but we won't have much traffic to deal with. We're hoping to arrive early enough to make the four-mile walk to Crail,
along the Fife Coastal Path. Unfortunately, we rather overenjoyed ourselves at the Quaich Bar last night. Skipping breakfast and sleeping
in is not a good start.
Once away, we choose a route that takes us through Cairngorms National Park. It's a road I haven't traveled in a long time, and in fact it's a part of Scotland I've neglected, generally. I'd forgotten how empty much of it is, at least in terms of human population. The whitewashed tower of Corgarff Castle stands in stark contrast to the wild country surrounding it.
We stop for lunch in Braemar, which I've only ever passed by before. It's a popular resort town, and has had royal connections since Queen Victoria purchased the nearby Balmoral Estate. We take a short stroll around, but don't linger long.
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Saturday 20 October 2001--I called Elaine last night and told her I was bored with eastern Scotland and intended to head west. She suggested I go to Plockton.... Drove the narrow roads into Plockton and out, thinking to take a look at Kyle of Lochalsh. Kyle did not look so interesting. Back to Plockton. The first place I tried had nothing. Neither did the second, but the landlady offered to make a phone call for me. She sent me down to the house by the pier, which I'd seen on my first pass through and dismissed as likely too expensive. It's actually very reasonable. I'll stay two nights.
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Arrive in Anstruther at 4:00, much too late to take the intended walk. We go as far as Cellardyke, the easternmost part of town, once a separate village, and have a pint at the Haven. Dinner is at the Anstruther Fish Bar, back in the town center. I recall it as the best chippy I've ever eaten at; tonight it seems merely very good. My own judgment of such things is, I find, highly variable (which is why I don't really put much stock in things like whisky ratings and awards). Back at our small hotel, Ron retires early, and I catch up on my journals over a couple of pints in the hotel bar.