photo: Yannis Bournias

“We were now to bid farewel to the luxury of travelling, and to enter a country upon which perhaps no wheel has ever rolled. We could indeed have used our post-chaise one day longer, along the military road to Fort Augustus, but we could have hired no horses beyond Inverness, and we were not so sparing of ourselves, as to lead them, merely that we might have one day longer the indulgence of a carriage.
At Inverness therefore we procured three horses for ourselves and a servant, and one more for our baggage, which was no very heavy load. We found in the course of our journey the convenience of having disencumbered ourselves, by laying aside whatever we could spare; for it is not to be imagined without experience, how in climbing crags, and treading bogs, and winding through narrow and obstructed passages, a little bulk will hinder, and a little weight will burthen; or how often a man that has pleased himself at home with his own resolution, will, in the hour of darkness and fatigue, be content to leave behind him every thing but himself.”

Expert from Samuel Johnson’s A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Dr. Johnson (18 September 1709 – 13 December 1784), as he was known, was a famous English critic, poet, biographer and lexicographer.  He was a big man of great strength and rare intelligence.  In 1773 he travelled to Scotland with his friend and subsequent biographer, James Boswell; this book was the fruit of that journey. Boswell also kept a journal of the same trip, which was later published as The journal of a tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson. (NOMAS, Scotland p. 28)