14 January 2012
Where have all the real men gone? We found them at the Scottish Highland Games that are going on this weekend in Winter Springs! An event we deemed worthy of missing a day’s work on the boat, we drove out to watch men in kilts play games and bagpipes, and of course to drink overpriced beer.
Anyone who has ever been to one of these festivals knows how much fun they are. We were so excited to first find out that it was free parking, and the short line to get in was even cooler. But soon enough we found the line... it was at the beer tent where we ran into Ron. As our new friend and history buff/tour guide, Ron spent the afternoon with us teaching us the Scottish history behind the games, foods and traditions.
Over the course of the afternoon we watched bagpipers, drummers, Scottish country dancing, border collie/sheep demonstrations, a game of hurling, and a few different athletic events.
|Pipes & Drums|
Clachneart is an event where big men carry big boulders (some twice my weight) around competing for the longest distance. In the event of sheaf toss more big men use a pitch fork to hurl a 16 pound burlap bag full of straw over a bar for points. While we were there the bar was at 30 feet straight up. The caber toss, which was my personal favorite, is an event in which huge men pick up a pole 19 feet long and 130 pounds (think of picking up a telephone pole), get a running start and heave the pole ahead of them. The judges rate the throw by its alignment and whether or not it flipped. Now this is what I call real men!
|The Caber Toss|
|The Caber Toss|
We listened to a couple of bands play, and toward the end of the day Ron treated us to a round of meat pies, a traditional fare that neither one of us had tried before. When the sun started going down along with the temperature we called it a day. When he suggested playing hookie from boat work and avoiding the truant officer to go spend the day being nickeled and dimed for food and beer, I wasn’t sure if it sounded like a good time. However we had an awesome time and missing boat work for the day was definitely worth it.