This incredibly scenic tourist route through the mountains along goat tracks and roads only wide enough for Matchbox cars, concentrates the mind, especially as you round hairpin bends straight into the path of effing great coaches loaded with 65 huge Scottish – Americans searching for their roots. I can’t imagine any of them finding any roots on the backseat of a bus, but then I nearly found God on more than one occasion when the road was wide enough for a small hire car but not a car and a coach doing 100 kph straight at you.
It was soon after one of these near misses that I finally managed to find a place to pull over for a pee after what seemed like hours of hanging on and squirming in my seat. I climbed over a low stone wall (Scotland has enough stone walls to reach to the moon and back) into a field of really green soft grass. I was so busy enjoying the blessed relief and watching out for the next coach load that I didn’t notice I was quickly sinking into a bog. It wasn’t until I look down and couldn’t see anything below my knees that I suddenly had visions of being the baddy in the quicksand scene of an Indiana Jones movie. “O heck!” I cried. But when the choice is finishing a hard earned pee or rescuing your new Rockports and the bottoms of your favourite jeans from thick black sludge, I’m afraid I’m at the age where the pee won out. And was Al sympathetic? Be buggered, he was. “Why didn’t you go before we left?” I suppose that’ll teach me for having two Guinnesses for breakfast instead of the customary bacon, egg, sausage, tomato, black pudding, white pudding, fried bread, soda bread, fruit, cereal, fruit juice, chocolate cake and haggis and whiskey-laced coffee that B&Bs insist is a good, healthy, traditional Scottish breakfast.