The next order of business is to get some cash, so we can pay our B&B. The guy who uses the cash machine after me doesn't look too happy though about my sneaking back to grab my receipt, which I had forgotten to pick up. I check the watch and it's 2pm, perfect for having some lunch before we have to be at the 3pm concert shuttle. At least it would have been perfect, if my travel companion had known the time when she packed her stuff. Expecting us to have enough time to return to our B&B, she didn't come prepared for the concert, while I thought we had agreed to get ready for it without returning. Exhausted brains don't communicate very well, it seems. In any case, we need to eat lunch, because we both start feeling dizzy.
Luckily, my friend had spotted an Indian place which turns out to be excellent, and I settle the bill while we're still eating. So, we're through in half an hour and head for the taxi stand at the train station. Now, this is one of those times when I'm actually glad that I own one of these annoying little mobile phone thingies, because I can just dial up Highland Taxis
. The operator tells me the wait is about twenty minutes at the time and we're so screwed. However - a sight for sore eyes - a taxi going by notices us and is available. While we're merrily on our way, I explain our problem to the driver, who waits for us as we rush upstairs, get outfitted for cold and rain, grab our stuff and rush back down. Because of the traffic he lets us out one street over, and we make it to the bus station with five minutes to spare.
As we join the bus queue, my friend notices that she has accidentally unpacked her bus ticket at the B&B. We decide to pass on panicking and simply head to the counter and ask if she can get on the bus with the printout of my online reservation. We're lucky again: no problem! We even find good seats in the front and are happy we finally made it! Now we're on the bus, nothing can prevent us from getting to the concert
. Until my friend yells: "My ticket! We have to get off right now!" As she rushes off the bus my brain actually manages to parse the information: her concert ticket is missing as well! So, I get off the bus and accost one of the stewards while my travel companion is busy being off someplace having a nervous breakdown.
No, he cannot tell me if she can get in without a ticket, probably not (OK, I admit that was a stupid question). Yes, we can get on a later bus and they will let us on, not a problem. I thank him and see to my friend, who is pretty crushed because she normally doesn't pull crap like that.
I missed Julie Fowlis
now anyway, so we decide to have a cup of tea at the bus station and take a time-out. After having relaxed a bit and laughing at the whole affair, we have a look at the concert schedule. My friend wants to see Wolfstone
and they're scheduled at 18:45, so we decide to walk back home - we know the way by now - pick up her ticket, have a little lie-down and take the shuttle at 6pm, since they are going every half hour anyway. Feeling a bit refreshed, we make it back just in time. The place looks deserted. About five minutes later we start wondering where on Earth everybody is, and I go to ask the next best guy in a yellow neon jacket. Turns out the last shuttle left at 4pm, and the next regular bus won't go until 8:15. Swell. This won't do at all, since Runrig
are due to be on at 8:45, and if they're on time we're screwed.
So, back to the train station it is, where a taxi is pulling up the very second we hit the taxi stand. I decide we'll cough up the 20 quid and off we go Drumnadrochitwards. Finally! We get into a traffic jam someplace between Drumnadrochit
and Lewiston, so we pay the driver to release him from his misery and walk the rest of the way, which isn't far. It is just as well we came equipped for hillwalking, because the drizzle has turned to rain and the place is already a mud bath.
We spend the last few songs of the Wolfstone set in the toilet queue, being slightly amused by the inadequate footwear of the ladies in front of us. Two young guys with Scotland flags on their backs decide to get into the spirit of the thing and slide through the mud headfirst. Everybody else they come too close to is less pleased, but they are being nice and don't give anybody any hugs. After our visit to the portaloos - with bona fide toilet paper! - we enter the venue, which is flat ground and has a rectangular layout with eateries on each side. First order of business for me is to hit the merchandise stand for the obligatory t-shirt. I - yes, me! - forgo the special edition whisky though, because it would never survive the cargo hold on the plane ride back anyway, and I'm not one to gulp down a quality Single Malt
in two weeks.
We decide to take a stroll through the venue to find a good spot, and we pick a space on the left where the big camera crane won't get into our line of sight, and where we will have both side screens and the stage itself in view. There are quite a number of people with folding chairs in that area, so the ground is less trampled and you can actually see some surviving grass. The backdrop towards our left is a hill whose top is engulfed in clouds, and on the right we can see the ground sloping up and some people gathering to watch from out there.