The parting words from our tour guide as we left the bus were,”You’re on a tour called The Country Roads of Scotland.  That means we are going to some remote places with limited hotels.  And you Americans won’t share a bathroom, so our choices are limited. And make sure your shower works and you know how to use it!”  I wasn’t sure whether to be amused or afraid when we entered our room.  Of course, the first place I head is to the bathroom . . . is it behind door number 1 or door number 2?

As I opened the door, I breathed a sigh of relief.  This isn’t so bad, right?  Sure, the bathroom is tight and there isn’t any place to set your cosmetics bag and there is a big sign warning that the hot water is very hot, but it is clean and there is a shower.  We have an hour before dinner, so Gene decides to take his shower first.  I sit down to journal and within two minutes I hear a scream and someone yelling, “@#&^ $*#&#&@@@ a duck!” Hmmm.  I sense an issue with the shower.  Four minutes later, the door opens and Gene bursts through wrapped in a towel and shaking his head.  “Problems?” I ask. (snicker) He explains that your choices are scalding hot or ice cold.  There isn’t any way to regulate the two. 

The next complication is that there isn’t an electrical outlet in the bathroom to plug my curling iron or blow dryer into.  I search in vain and finally unplug the television in the bedroom and plug in the curling iron.  Unfortunately, the cord isn’t long enough to stretch so that I can see in the mirror.  I eventually run the cord under the bathroom door, lean in and grab a section of hair, back out and blindly curl it, and lean back in to see how I’m doing.  This takes forever.

I decide to forego the shower until after dinner. I can tell you that the prime dinner conversation (with near strangers) was regarding everyone’s shower experience.  This becomes an ongoing conversation as we navigate through various rural hotels. Back in the room, as I wash my hands, I realize that there are two handles so you can wash them in scalding water, or cold water, but not warm water. And the hot water is very, very hot.  I stare at the shower and contemplate just how many days I can go without showering and still sit on a bus with the same people.  I finally decide on filling the sink with water and doing a sponge bath, but there aren’t any wash cloths, so I have to use the big towel.  Maybe the next hotel . . . ? Oh wait, we’re here for two nights!

The next hotel offers it’s own challenges, but I find myself peeking into the door and saying, “This isn’t so bad.”  Gene glances over my shoulder and says, “Do you think it looks good because our standards have been lowered?”  I decide to shower first since Gene was the shower tester at the last hotel.  “It works, I squeal,” and hear a laugh from the bedroom. It isn’t until later that I realize that if you sit on the toilet, your knees block the door and you get a great view of the sign saying, “Keep door closed so steam won’t set off the fire alarm.”  This really is irrelevant because the door is self-closing and you don’t have any other option, but it is nice to have reading material while on the toilet.  Maybe the next hotel and why do I find myself taking photos of bathrooms?

By now, we know that the first thing to check out is the bathroom.  This one is a bit more updated and huge, but the shower works and I’ve gotten resourceful at finding outlets and doing my hair in the blind.