Oct 29, 2017

Leaving Skye through Loch Ness to Southern Inverness - and is Choc Caramel Slice an Aussie or Scottish invention?

Leaving the Glen we took a look at our list and the hours of daylight left - we already realized that we would be arriving at our Bed and Breakfast in the dark (which we didn't want to do - but on a Stojk trip this is one of our traveling 'rules' that we break nearly every. single. day.  Apparently we like driving in the dark without a clue of knowing where we are)  We did want to see Eilean Donan maybe in the light and hopefully get some pictures of the fields of deer and stag before sunset.  Our Bed and Breakfast was through Loch Ness.  Stopping had been crossed off much earlier in the planning stage.  (I know, the only American/Aussie combo to give it a miss.  But I had been and honestly not so impressed.  Horrors, I know.)  We had a mission - so with our list of things left on the Isle we might see as we drove by - we started off.  Plus we were hungry and needed to find a loo!

There are some advantages to many things being closed due to off season....
 There was a castle that Ris wanted to see. It was on our 'way' - but didn't open til April.  From the map it look as if we might get a nice clear view from across a small loch.
 We got a nice view.  However, the roads we took to get over there - I would not even call them one lane.  It was just enough for the sheep to walk down.
 The only reason we were sure they WERE roads was because we did see one or two other cars driving back there.  Several of our hosts made us feel better as they complained about the roads and driving their huge trucks down them.  At least it wasn't just us.
We did get a nice view, but it was a slow drive!  When everything is green and in bloom it must be stunning.

There had been no food and no loo since we had left our Bed and Breakfast that morning.  So we were glad to finally make it back to Portree for both.
Lunch was delicious.  I had brie, arugala (or do they call it rocket too?) and cranberry on a roll.  Broccoli soup.  We got sweets to take with us.  

It's not an American thing - the Millionaire Bars - Chocolate Caramel Slice to the Aussies.  Is it because we don't have Golden Syrup?  Well, we have golden syrup, because Anzacs.  But we also have vegemite.  Because we are weird.  I have not made these for years and truth be told I prefer
Choc Mint slice.  Anyway - we had a Choc Caramel Slice - if you know what they are - you can see it right up there!

 These are the famous Fairy Pools.  It is a fairly long walk, which we were up for.....but it was kind of crowded.  It also looks NOTHING like the pictures we had seen.  This one one area that needed to get to April to be worth the time investment.  Google it, you will see what I mean!
The next part of the drive off the Isle focused on wildlife - there were some silly selfies with them...but those are on our phone....and I will leave them there!  I LOVE Highland Coos.  Always Have.  Always Will.  When we were visiting Busch Gardens this summer they had some.  It is much more common to see them other places now.  When I was 20 and saw my first one in Scotland "live" - it was another 'magic' moment.

They just have a face you have to love!
In Scotland you need to be aware of the sheep and goats everywhere which can jump out on to the road.

We wanted to get a Feral Goat crossing sign, but there was never one in a safe spot to pull over.  Well....maybe there was, but it could have been a time or two we were traveling at a speed that was too fast to pull over safely??

In Indiana does ANYTHING cross the road that needs a sign other than deer?  Even with signs,  we have hit them.  (Well, 'we'  We have a nice 'Christmas Evening and leaving a poor fawn motherless story'.  Our own little Disney fairytale!)

Australia wins hands down with the sheer number of animals we have seen gracing the signs!  But my VERY favorite was the Old People crossing the road signs in Scotland.  Unfortunately speed paid a factor in not getting a picture of those either.  

We made it to Eilean Donan Castle (be still my heart, so beautiful) with daylight.  We hopped out of the car for just a few pictures.  It really is prettier at sunset, so we had been lucky to have timed our arrival the previous night to have been there for suneset.  It was totally luck - trips like this we get in the car and drive - hitting sites as we hit them.

 We willingly were bumped off our return flight from Iceland at the end of this trip in exchange for 3 round trip tickets to anywhere the airline flies again to be used within the year.  We are going to Ireland.  Italy was my first choice.  Ris wanted Spain.  But the days that they flew into those locations didn't work with our days.  I wanted to just go back and do Scotland and England.  But I lost (and I rarely lose....).  We are off to Ireland.  It is where my ancestors are from.  It better be fabulous - because this IS FAB.U.LOUS.

Heading off the Isle.  Prepared to pull over to take THE Stag picture.  

Because if you go to Scotland and don't get an obligatory picture of a Stag staring you down, did you REALLY go to Scotland?  Unless of course the first time you went to Scotland was in 1985 and the camera you owned was a 110mm camera that didn't zoom........

If you ever do an international road trip with the Stojks, be advised:  you will never, ever, be able do any sort of emergency loo break alongside the road - no matter how remote.  Because if we stop - it is some kind of law of nature that POOF out of NO WHERE a van full of international tourists (and never American nor English Speakers) will pull up right along beside us, stop, and pull out with cameras ready to see whatever it is that we are taking pictures of.

It is the oddest thing.  It happened here.  It was just us and deer.  And then WHAM.  Us, the deer and about 30 others cutting in front of us to take their pictures.  On the longest, emptiest road.  FULL of DEER.

The best time it happened was on our way back to Melbourne from the Great Ocean Road.  A trip we have done many times - but it had been a few years.  So we stopped to get our bearings.  I got out to record the sound of the bush, because there was nothing really to see, but it sounded great.  Next thing you know - Tourist Bus.  They must have thought we spotted a koala or something.  But they were all out with their iPads looking for whatever we had stopped for.

Thanks guys - you know we needed a lad and a lass - proof we came and conquered!

It is hard to see them  - but there were thousands of deer along the drive hidden in the snowy sides of the glens and mountains.

We drove through Loch Ness.  While the lake itself is as charming as any other regular lake in the area, unless you are monster hunting - it is on the touristy side.  We did stop for Fish n Chips - but even that was on the touristy side.  The town is charming. Had we been in the area longer we may have opted to stop and take a look in the shops.  It looked like more things may have been open since it is a more traveled tourist area.

Of course it was way past dark when we finally made it to the Bed and Breakfast.  Booking.com asks that you give your hosts an estimated arrival time.  I always feel like it is some kind of cruel game and the hostess in me wants to go in to a lengthy story of 'here are our intentions' - but end up with a sorry we have no clue kind of answer.  

When you travel and may only be in a place once in your whole life you want to squeeze as many seconds out of a day that you can.  So, yes, we tend to arrive pretty late to our B&Bs.  This one was a little off the beaten path, so arriving in light would have made it easier.  But it was oh so very charming!

There you have it - Day 4 which started on the Isle of Skye, included as much of a driving tour and walks as we could fit in and ending up in Binnilidh Mhor B&B in Glenmoriston.

If you have missed any of our adventures prior to this part of the trip (including Edinburgh, St Andrews, Sterling,  and the start of the Isle of Skye - click here)

No comments: