Baden-Powell Council BSA
at the
2014 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

Day 4 - July 18th - Western Highlands

Our third overnight was at the Spean Bridge Community Centre - "Thanks" to the folks of Spean Bridge!

We had originally planned to take a cable car up Aonach Mor in the Nevis Range. Unfortunately, the high winds forced the cable cars to close. The cloud-covered mountain is the highest in Britain, Ben Nevis.

Glencoe, the "Vale of Tears", was the site of the famous 1692 massacre of MacDonalds by the forces of King William. The MacDonald chief delayed until the last minute to take an Oath of Allegiance to the King, and when he showed up in Fort William to take the oath he discovered that he could not do so there. By the time he took the oath at Inverary, the deadline had passed. The Earl of Stair sent a force of lowland Scots  (mostly members of the Campbell clan) to be housed by the MacDonalds in Glencoe. At a prearranged signal, the soldiers attacked their hosts, killing many and forcing many to flee into the winter harshness of the Glen.  

Glencoe remains -  spooky, but beautiful. 

The Glencoe visitor centre has a film and exhibits on the history and geology of the Glen.

We had lunch in Fort William, whose pedestrianized High Street is filled with touristy shops. 

A piper plays for tourists (and tips) on the Fort William quay.

Our group preparing to board the Jacobite Steam Train, which stood in for the Hogwart's Express in the Harry Potter films.

Scouts had a chance to stand on the locomotive footplate with the drivers, before the train left on its two-hour trip to Mallaig on the coast.

Along the way, the train passes through mountain glens and past lochs.

Legend had it that a horse and cart was buried in the concrete of this viaduct, the highest on the route from Fort William to Mallaig. A few years ago ground-penetrating radar was used on the viaduct, and returned images of exactly that - a horse and cart buried in the concrete. Sometimes truth is as strange as fiction.

A fine dinner of fish and chips on the quayside at Mallaig

A curious local resident swims up to greet us at the ferry dock.

Fans of Harry Potter will remember Ron and Harry flying a Ford Anglia ahead of the Hogwarts Express, here at the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Glenfinnan from the Viaduct - a spectacular view of the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland to raise the Highland Clans in 1745.

A Dutch tall ship moored in the Caledonian Canal at Fort William

From Fort William, we drove north along the shore of Loch Ness to our overnight stay in Inverness. We stopped along the way to look at the Loch and take a few photos.

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