Scotland is maddeningly frustrating. With good weather the mountains are superb as you see here. Good summer weather, however, also means midges. You have to experience it to understand the problem. At worst it is literally unbearable. Clouds of them will descend on you where your skin is bare, where they can get inside trousers and underneath jackets. It varies with each person how much they like you and how much you are able to suffer but everyone has a limit. They like me a great deal and I think I’m particularly sensitive to their irritation. On a camp site at Torridon, I was going mad while a neighbour said it wasn’t too bad.

Some people like the Scottish winter and the same applies in regard to wonderful scenery, and it’s when there are few midges. If you live in Scotland it would be fine time for a few days in a hostel or cottage. If you don’t, there are logistical problems such as hazardous roads and the need to commit to an extended time. You can’t drive a few hundred miles for a weekend trip.

I’d have a love affair with Scotland if she were more comfortable to live with. I want to see her at her best and for much of that time she’s very inhospitable. For me then, it has to be a distant and only occasional relationship.


Mountains Of Scotland: Horns Of Ben Alligin

Wednesday June 20, 2012