Yesterday afternoon, we arrived in the town of Crackleberry, in the Scottish Highlands.
It's not actually called that, of course. The legal name is Crianlarich, which comes from the Gaelic for "low pass." It's pronounced "Cree-ann-larr-ick" (where the "larr" is pronounced as in "Larry"). It wasn't so much that we couldn't pronounce that as that we couldn't remember the name itself half the time. Somehow, one of us threw out "Crackleberry" as a substitute, and the name stuck.
Anyway, it is a very small town. Their last census counted 185 people, though that was in 2001, so surely the village has grown by, oh, 20% since then! And what a village it is! A tiny railway station with a tea shop, a little grocery-store-slash-post-office, a police station, and a bus stop. Yup: Welcome to Crackleberry!
But I haven't even gotten to the best part yet! The nightlife! Which we checked out in great detail! That picture above is the Ben More Lodge, which represents 50% of the options existing. In fact, it technically isn't even in Crackleberry, but just outside the village limits, a good five-minute walk away. Look at us, crossing borders already!
We started at the Ben More for a drink, admiring the paintings of famous Scots on the wall above the bar (William Wallace! Rob Roy! Mary QOS!), and then headed to the other option in town for dinner: The Rod and Reel pub. I'm not sure why I found that name so absolutely hilarious, but I did, particularly as - with a name like that - you'd think they'd have some fish on the menu. Surprisingly good chocolate cake, though, which I treated as my pre-hike fuel for the West Highland Way.
Which. Begins. Today. We've been looking forward to this hike for what feels like ages, and this morning, we'll finally be off on our merry way. We are, as they say, cracking on.
Seems à propos to do it from the quaint, adorable little village of Crackleberry.
Time to go.