As I’ve said before, we are on a mission this summer to do as many exciting activities as possible on my, seemingly, very rare days off from work. So as I had two days off in a row, we decided to go camping of all things. Having grown up in Glasgow and being relatively adverse to outdoor activities of many kinds (to put in context, I can’t even ride a bike), this was my first experience of the sorts. On the other hand, my boyfriend grew up in Perth and likes to think of himself as a bit of an amateur Bear Grylls. I was very apprehensive, he was very excited. Neither of us were fully prepared.
The location of our expedition was to be Pitlochry- a very pretty, highly touristy small town in Perthshire. From Dundee we got the train to Perth (20 mins-ish), waited around a bit and then got the train from there to Pitlochry (30 mins-ish). Perfectly realistic for a day trip and perhaps what we should have stuck to. Lots of planning went into the trip and we looked the part, for sure. However, our arrival in Perth was greeted with pouring rain and the promise that it surely wouldn’t be that bad in Pitlochry. Except it was. Pitlochry is beautiful though and we did see the dam, the salmon ladder and all sorts of pretty views on our uphill hike in search of a spot to set up camp for the night.
Tired, grumpy and soaked through, we finally picked a spot, pitched our tent and promptly lay inside for shelter. It was about an hour before we were brave enough to venture out to, very ambitiously, collect any dry bits of wood possible in an attempt to start a fire- which we did, very successfully! So sausages that tasted like carbon, cold baked potatoes and beans in a wee tin bowl was our dinner before we braved the VERY cold night. I’m not going to lie, it got to about 9pm before we asked my mother to
text us the next train times and if there had been any more time to make it then we almost certainly would have abandoned all hope and been back in Dundee for the night. However, we stuck it out and I do feel proud of that fact. Though it was cold. So very, very cold. I had pretty much the worst night’s sleep of my life and we packed up by 6.30 this morning with the hope of walking back into town and finding a cafe to wait in for warmth (which of course didn’t happen until 9am). Honestly, the resulting cup of tea and roll and bacon is probably the most satisfying meal I’ve ever had. After that we had a walk about town, which, as I’ve said, is well worth a visit because it’s sooo pretty and there’s enough tourists about that taking pictures of random shops doesn’t make you a target for weird glances.
Things I have learned from our camping trip:
- If the weather forecast says there’s a chance of rain, it’s probably going to rain
- It may be the middle of summer, but it’s still Scotland
- Your Converse shoes definitely are not waterproof
- When you’re bored and grumpy, you will be much hungrier than you think you will be
- Owning a shop dedicated to solely selling christmas decorations is a legit contender for future post-grad career prospects
- There’s a lot of pretty countryside on our doorstep
Basically, camping was everything I ever thought it would be.