This post is intended to summarise my first camping experience from July 1-4 where we covered Newtonmore, Kingussie, Aviemore and Grantown on Spey in the Scottish Highlands while also sharing some key things that I took home from it.
- I love Glasgow Central station. I wasn't the biggest fan of the city when I first visited but it's definitely growing on me. And the station is just beautiful and there's something about it that makes me very happy internally.
- The Highlands are breathtakingly, effortlessly, and stunningly beautiful.
- The Highlands are full of
shitsheep. And sheep shit all over the place.
- Sheep and lamb have very few interests. Their lives are perfect- eat, sleep, poop (a lot), repeat. They don't give a shit about you (although shit is all they seem to be doing all day long) and are almost always mildly annoyed when you try to distract them from all the chewing and pooping and drinking milk while wagging their little lamb tails that they have to do. I just realised that my spirit animal is a Highland sheep.
In the pic above, I was wondering if I could befriend this lamb who quite clearly could not be more disinterested in me. The only reaction I got from it was that it stopped chewing the minute I got too close. Look at the relief on it's face when I decided to leave it alone.
"Fucking hoomans! Meeeeehhhhh!"
- These Highland ponies have better manes than Mane Girish:
- Pitching a tent is easier than you'd imagine but unpacking is harder that you'd expect.
- I finally get why people rave about Old Monk. I must be the first Indian to taste it for the first time in the UK. And how cool is the new packaging? That old dude's glass face has the "I'll be watching you while you poop" expression. Classic.
- Hence forth, it is possible to get my hands on some Aam Papad, my favourite childhood snack. I got to taste it for the first time after a long gap of 16 years when Lady and Sir Campsalot brought it back from Calcutta this month. Turns out that even the yellow packaging is the same. This is what is left of it and I have saved it for "a rainy day" (and we have lots of those in Scotland bahaha).
Tents are not soundproof. Not in the least. And we are not quiet people. Nuh-uh. On our first night camping, a dude from a neighbouring tent asked us to please shut up. I was upset at first because I wasn't used to people asking me to shut up that politely (Oh, the British!) but apparently it's very normal in hostels and other shared accommodations. Thankfully he packed up and left in the morning before I woke up because he was wild-camping with his brother or I would have done exactly... nothing. The point of this story is that one should always remember that one is never alone at a campsite.
Sleeping in a tent, especially in a sleeping bag "for two" with my furnace of a husband is awesome. Some of the best sleep I ever had.
Waking up to natural light is weird when you're way up in the North during the Summer because the Sun rises at 4 a.m. That said, waking up to natural light is awesome.
I can survive the outdoors. I can survive shared bathrooms. I can survive without the internet.
The Husband will not DIE of DEATH or of BOREDOME if he doesn't have access to the internet as long as he's distracted with hiking and natural beauty.
The Husband's metabolism is pretty fucked up. After hiking and walking for 4 days, his waist size reduced and now he needs a belt to hold his pants in place. At the same time, he gains weight by simply looking at his food. If he's lucky, the weight gaining happens only if he sniffs at it. I'm not sure if it's a good thing that he can gain and lose weight this easily.
The Husband has some serious hidden photographic talents. You'd think that someone who doesn't enjoy being photographed wouldn't be interested in taking them. Do check out his genius in his Instagram account.
Genius comes at a price. Once he get's into his photography mode, he clicks up to 10 pictures of the same thing to get the one that is "just right". The good news is that I can turn a couple of his pics into gifs like this one:
But the bad news is that sometimes, the gifs turn me into a character from a horror movie:
And not just any horror movie, but the ones that usually involve scary kids and weird looking dolls. I should totally try my hand at posing as a weird looking doll for a horror movie.
- I suck at disc-golf. I'm relieved that there isn't a video of my first throw. I swear to God, the disc flew in the EXACT opposite direction of what I aimed for. I mean, for hands that do crazy shit like this, disc golf is definitely out of the question:
- Rolling down a hill the way Phoebe runs is the closest thing to an orgasm. You should try it. (Click on image to watch video)
I finally found a Stout that I like. It's called Black Gold by the Cairngorms Brewery. I was never a beer or stout person. My logic was that if I had to go ahead and consume all those calories by drinking an entire bottle of beer that had the same effect as one shot of vodka, I might as well be eating a boozy dessert. I never understood why or how people liked sour beverages until I went on a brewery tour.
Brewery tours are awesome. I want to do more of those. At our tour at the Cairngorms Brewery, we were addressed by a 78 year old hunk of a man whose looks combined with his wit and humour had me in total man-crush-mode. I pray that The Husband gets to live a full and happy life like that man and also looks that cool by the time he's 78.
Mini 5 litre kegs of beer are way cheaper than you'd think. They're a HUGE bargain especially in comparison to the individual bottles that The Husband sometimes stocks up on. And the best thing is that they deliver mini kegs to homes and charge exactly the same price.
There's nothing more peaceful to me than sitting by a water body and watching the ripples and currents. I could completely forget about my surroundings and not worry about the time or my commitments. We spent a considerable amount of time on the banks of Loch Gynack and it was quite possibly the highlight of our trip. It was easy, fun and relaxing.
And yes, the mini keg accompanied us on our hike (yay for dedication to drinking!) and this is The Husband looking longingly at his beloved keg of stout. I can't remember the last time he looked at me that way.
I need long socks with my hiking shoes as my ankle length socks don't necessarily protect my ankles from the scraping that happens courtesy of strong hiking shoes. We had to stop at a store to get band-aids for my ankles. Those bruises are still pretty fucked. Not fun.
Walking through Highland trails is TREMENDOUS exercise and a lot of fun. Towards the end of our trail, we saw a sign that said that the Creag Bheag Summit was only a quarter mile away from where we were standing so we decided to do it. It was only halfway through the climb that we realised that we were idiots for thinking that this was going to be easy. The distance may have been just a quarter of a mile but the climb was steep and tiresome. We were so not in shape for that.
- Once a loser, always a loser. The story of a loser:
Towards the end of our trail, we reached this gate which I thought was not open.
So as the self-proclaimed leader of our group, I took upon the responsibility of showing everyone how it's done. The Husband meticulously recorded me in my natural state of STUPID.
Once I climbed and jumped to the other side, someone pointed out that I was tiny enough to have actually squeezed through the gate. I proved them right albeit lacking much grace.
Once that exercise was completed, my dear friends and husband informed me that the gate was open all along.
Repeat after me, once a loser...
- The secret to having a good hair day is to not wash your hair for four days.
Now for a scary fact. The Husband has a list. During this trip, Sir Campsalot noticed some of my peculiarities and wondered out loud why none of them ever made it to the blog. I explained that the blog is where I humiliate The Husband so I try to keep my peculiarities to the minimum. But that's when The Husband showed us a list that he's been maintaining for some time now. A list of my peculiarities that he may or may not write about some day. I've been trembling like a leaf ever since.
I will do this again. I promise myself that I'll go camping again. It's addictive.
And finally, how many of you noticed that this was in fact, a middle-finger heart?
That was to prevent my gag reflex that usually accompanies our cheesiness.
On that note, middle-finger hearts to you all for reading till the end. No really, lots and lots of love and good-will to you. And may you have a lovely weekend :)