We found out last night from our waitress why we have been having trouble on this trip. The hotel we stayed at, the coffee bothy, the seafood restaurant, the crafts and things cafe and now the local gathering pub in Glencoe all have staffing problems. There just isn’t enough (willing) people to fill the available positions in the hospitality sector.
I’ll save you all the rant about my sceptical beliefs about actually lacking people to work the jobs when we have people happily claiming job seekers… and just say that the combination of Brexit and then a travel/immigration-limiting pandemic have meant there just aren’t the europeans here anymore to fill the vacancies.
We were incredibly well prepared this morning with zero breakfast foods, so decided to get another cooked breakfast at a local pub. I didn’t want to go back to the crafts and things cafe, because their breakfast doesn’t include half the things you need in a fried breakfast, so we tried the Gathering pub. Unfortunately we were met by a very apologetic server who said he couldn’t offer breakfast to non-residents (there was a hotel attached). We surmised that, again, this was due to a lack of staff to accommodate larger numbers of people. We still needed breakfast, so begrudgingly, we went back to the crafts and things cafe… the coffee was good though.
Picking a group of us up, we headed out for the day with packed lunches and optimistic hopes for the weather. It was going to be patchy rain and brilliant sun, which is exactly what we got. We were hunting for the valley and the cinematic shot from the 007 film Skyfall. I wanted to find the location where he’s posing with his DB5 looking down the valley to his family home in the distance. It’s a powerful shot and reminiscent of the older Bond movies where he is pictured with the car. I wish I had downloaded a photo of the location to my phone, because when we arrived in the Glen Etive valley, there was zero signal to check we were in the right place. Now I can check, I’m pretty happy how close we got just by memory, but it wasn’t quite right.
Carrying on, we headed for Loch Etive and the dead end of the road. There is nothing to see at the end, just a small gravel car park and a lot of rain. One soggy selfie later and most of the gang headed off to find a warm dry cafe – part of me wishes we had too…
We decided to wait out the burst of rain and then go for a walk down the loch. At least we would get out into a wild and remote location and see the wild flowers like orchids and whatever these pretty patches of pink ones are called. I even had a VERY friendly Chaffinch come up and get so close I was sure he was going to jump on my finger at one point.
That was when it all went wrong…
Kai decided to take off his shoes and go wading in the loch… because… why not. Because you can slice open the bottom of your feet on sharp things… that’s why not
We don’t have any photos of what happened next. Kai’s screams got me moving but then I saw the amount of blood in the water and knew it was bad. I put him over my shoulder to get him out the water and past the rocks to the tarmac drive. We paused here to put one shoe on and then he hopped for a while until I had my breath back. Then I had him on me piggy back style to the car. Here we cleaned him up as best we could and bandaged it up. Luckily, the weather put most people off coming out and we had pretty clear roads back to Glencoe where we stopped into the ambulance station to get cleaned up properly. They said he would need stitches so then we came to A&E in Fort William.
I’m now waiting in the car park while he is seen, catching up on my blogs. So at least one good thing came from the calamity.