Scotland The Brave
This absolutely gorgeous holiday cottage in the hills at Aigas is a technology free zone. No internet, no telephone, there is a TV thank goodness or Ross would want to move immediately. I am sitting at the front door or maybe back door as it is nowhere near the drive, listening to the bees and looking at the trees and waiting to see deer I hope. The cottage is a sweet cosy place on the top of the hill surrounded by trees and its own babbling brook. Very cold at night we have had the heaters on twice now. I go on a deer search every night but have seen none yet, there is still time.
We arrived here after a long drive from North Yorkshire we have crossed to the other side of the country and are almost to the top of Scotland. It was a good drive for most part, just a little tiring and a few to many roadworks at the end when I just wanted to be here. It was also the best day of summer so far and we were stuck in a car on a motorway. Heavy storms are forecast for tonight, Great.
19. July 2016 - 6. August 2016
We have now been here a few days and have had some great weather. We have visited Loch Ness. I was disappointed that the biggest and very interesting exhibition explained very clearly why there could be no monsters in the Loch. There are too few fish to feed anything of any size including the seals they get every now and then. As the waters in the loch are so discoloured with tannin from the peat the water is too dark to sustain much in the way of plant life therefore there is nothing for small aquatic creatures to eat (not very much) so very few of them and fewer larger fish to eat the little stuff etc. until we end up with about 20 tonnes of fish in the whole loch about enough for afternoon tea for any monster.
Loch Ness is very deep in the centre and looks very cold it is part of a string of Lochs that actually join the North Sea to the Irish sea and there are man-made parts to join it all up.
Regardless of the facts I spent the whole of the cruise on the look looking to prove the scientist wrong. I saw a flock of ducks, and some great monster looking waves (most common in Photo’s). The rest of the photos have been proved hoaxes. It was a beautiful sunshiny day on the loch and if I was a monster I would make my home there and get take away. We took photos of Urquhart Castle an old ruin but ran out of time to explore. Probably due to the long whiskey lunch we had to help with the Nessie hunting.
Our nearest town is very pretty Beauly we go to the Co-operative for our supplies as apart from pub’s when we are out and about there is nowhere close to eat. We will go out for our wedding anniversary but I will have to drive back, so not much alcohol will be consumed. Beauly has some classic English shops a great butcher and a shop selling paintings I have fallen in love with a ruined castle on a Loch. It seems to glow and is very calming as well as beautiful.
Another interesting outing was to the Singleton Distillery which had an extremely interesting tour. I even enjoyed the whiskey after and so we purchase a bottle and glass as a present to each other (not sure what I got, not being big on whiskey) The distillery makes its own barley mash and supplies that to 3 other distilleries in the group (Johnny Walker etc.) of the whiskey in the group Ross and I have tried 8 not a bad score.
Today we went to Plodda falls, so I decided to take my hiking boots out for a walk. (note to self: Walkers change into their boots at the destination because you cannot drive in them). We got there and I put my boots on again!! 400 m to the falls, that should be a good walk for my boots. We got to the falls and they were spectacular, must be all the rain they get around here. I decided to walk a bit further and Ross to returned to the car. I knew there was a short walk that took me back a different way so off my boots went. I was on a look out for red squirrels and deer any type will do. I followed the path marked green ignoring the white path. A better view of the falls presented itself and I followed the path down, down to the river. I was really enjoying myself and starting to understand the joys of walking alone in a cathedral like forest. The path carried on, no animals but some great scenery and lots of bird calls. Walking, walking yes you guessed it I had taken the wrong track and was on the long walk. About an hour later a tired, footsore, hot and thirsty Clare emerged from the forest. (It was only 2.5 kilometres). A good test for the boots they scored 10/10 the walker in them got 2/10.
Off to historic Tomich for a drink.Tomich was originally part of the estate of Lord Tweedmouth, who moved the village as it was in the way of his view. He bred dogs and bred a Tweed Water Spaniel and a wavy coated retriever (1868) that were the breeding stock for what are now known as the Golden Retriever, so if you own one this is where it originated. The estate is now a ruin, but the village is picturesque, the pub was nice too.
There was an open day next door so we went and had a look the house is fabulous and the gardens delightful we were shown up to the house by the owner Lucy Lister Kaye who, on finding out we were at the cottage, informed us she can see it from her bath. I do not know if that means we have to close the bathroom blinds or she does. Either way I think a very strong binocular would be needed. Lucy had of course spent a year in Sydney as a Nanny.
We also had a very informative nature walk which apart from telling us to see the deer which abound in our field we need to be up at 1:30 or 4:30 in the morning, I may not see any! They are breeding beavers and the Scottish wild cat all for introduction back into the wild. There were some interesting ideas on forest management which means managing the deer herds, they want to reintroduce the Lynx, which will eat the rabbits and move the deer along so the forest gets a rest until the next lot come.
Had an anniversary dinner at the Croc and met a man and his son who where "Doing the Munros" . Hills higher than 2000 feet. There are 250 of them in Great Britain and they climbed over half of them. N ot a feat I will take up, even with my hiking boots.
We have now travelled Glen Affric one of the more beautiful Glens and Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhain try saying that drunk or sober. This is the area Bonnie Prince Charlie hid after the battle of Culloden.