Friday, 24 June 2011
First, the cyclists - again carrying everything with them balancing paniers wherever a panier will balance! Again, not my idea of fun but it takes all sorts! Mind you - some bikes are definitely more appealling than others! Bed and Breakfast at the end of every day ....................? Much better idea!
** see pictures above
Friday, 17 June 2011
Having problems with the computer at the moment - can't get phone connection like we used to and now, can't even get on to Live Writer. Don't know why?
Next planned major stop-off point is The Lancaster Canal - we want to 'suss' it out with the view of taking the boat there next year.
Monday, 13 June 2011
We’ve had really poor reception for everything – phone, internet and radio! Something to do with being surrounded by mountains!
So, where are we and what have we been up to?
Dornock, Cromerty and Rosemarkie – all really nice little places on the East coast. The last two are on the southern shore of the Moray Firth famous for it’s dolphins. Unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins but, to be honest, we didn’t really invest enough time or effort.
Inverness – we went in to purchase a new camera. John has been practising with it ever since and assures me his photographic skills are improving!
Glen Affric – we did a bit of a detour to visit this beautiful glen and I am so glad that we did. We did several different walks through the lovely native woodlands. In the past we have not been impressed walking in pine forests as we have found them to be dark and lifeless. THIS forest, however, is absolutely breath-taking – Derek, you would love it. It’s light, full of bird song and there is such a variety of truly magnificent trees. The dippers in the burn were a bonus! It has done what it said ‘on the tin’! It has left an indelible mark on my memory and ‘fed my soul’. Unfortunately all my cares have not ‘flown off with the eagles’!!
Loch Garten/Cairngorms – we made our way back to this area and spent time watching (and John photographing with ‘our’ new camera) ospreys and red squirrels.
Today we have driven South to the Trossachs and are just north of Callender. We have a walk in mind to do near Loch Lomond first thing tomorrow and then we want to get back on the road with the intention of getting past Glasgow. We are well and truly on our way ‘home’.
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Today is the beginning of week 7 and we are, after 4 of them being somewhat inclement, surrendering to the wind and rain.
We might not always realise it but the weather has such an enormous effect on people’s lives – both work and leisure. It’s so instrumental in how we feel and what we do. At the moment it’s preventing us from walking where we want to walk. There’s no fun being out in the wet and cold especially when you only have an un-heated campervan to come back to! Obviously I was just not meant to go to Handa Island.
We drove around the Inverpolly Nature Reserve and the views over to the Summer Isles were spectacular.
Having reached Scourie we have decided to go no further North. We have seen amazing scenery and wildlife but think that if we go back over to the East coast it may be a little less wet!!!!!!!!!!!
This is for real – near Achiltibuie. Love it! Stac Pollaidh near Ullapool.
(I am typing this whilst at Dornoch on the East Coast and it’s HAMMERING down outside!!) Our journey South begins tomorrow!
Misfortune number 1:- Whilst walking to a special waterfall at Kirkaig I saw an eagle soaring overhead. To get a better view I laid back on a rock and ………… sat on our little camera! Needless to say between my big b*m and a hard rock, it didn’t fair well! The screen is bu**er*d!!
New camera needed then. I REALLY didn’t do it on purpose!
Misfortune number 2:- The “Wee Scottish Beastie” has awoken from it’s lair. YES! The Menacing Midge is back with vengeance! It’s been so nice without them.
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Since coming off Skye we have had some sunshine! Not today – today the wind and rain are back but the forecast is good and we are parked up over-looking a fabulous sandy bay where, last night, there were eight Black Throated divers swimming just off shore. These beautiful birds are the rarest of the divers – their plumage is amazing. (copied picture not photograph ………….)
The campsite we are on is not official and has no facilities. The owner charges £2.00 a night and gives this money to support the maintenance of the beach and the local school. We were told about it by a ‘man from the Midlands’ – more about him in a minute.
From Skye to here then:-
Eilean Donan Castle Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve Loch Maree
Now – the ‘man from the Midlands’. A sad story.
Don lost his wife 18 months ago – she was only 55. What amazing resilience some people have – he has not given up on going out and about in their motor home and pursuing his passion (and incredible talent) for photography and, for company, he takes his cats …….. all 5 of them!! They are Egyptian Mau and are absolutely beautiful, really friendly and quite happy touring around. Unbelievable!
Don invited us into his motor home to see some of his wildlife pictures – wow! Fabulous. Dangerous though because we are now considering up-grading our little camera.
Don with Draco
His custom built camper is so roomy, so comfortable and so well equipped. We ended up watching a DVD!
If we were starting all over again ……..