The final stretch, but we didn’t know it

The final stretch, but we didn’t know it

We had a few days before we needed to set off south to a house sit we had planned in Sheffield.  I had hoped to explore near the town of Shieldaig that we all loved so much, as always thinking of where we may want to put roots down one day.  Unfortunately the weather was really not kind on that west coast, but was looking promising nearer to Inverness, so we decided we’d  go that way instead and relegated the west coast to ‘places to revisit’ category.

On the way there we chased lots of waterfalls, one at Corrieshalloch Gorge which was incredibly impressive, but the parking conditions – it was busy and we had to take up a coach spot so I felt worried we’d get a ticket – meant that we didn’t hang around too long.  Further along the road we stopped to have lunch at Rogie falls and had a great walk out there too.  It was all rather busy, but enjoyable nonetheless.  We were a bit early for the salmon leaping, even though some of the information boards said we might see them.  We looked for a long time, but didn’t manage to catch a glimpse.

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At Rogie Falls

Once in the Inverness area we knew there were a couple of historical sites we’d like to visit and we made ourselves quite busy in our last days on the road.  Culloden, where the last battle between the English and Scottish was fought is well worth a visit.  Our knowledge of this time has got a little better over the past year, and there was plenty of information in the visitors centre to help set the scene of the battle.  After reading and learning about the battle you can go out onto the field and listen to an audio guide telling you all about it.  Quite a sobering place.1236240_10151863769374134_2042356414_n

Memorial cairn at Culloden

Fort George was set up after Culloden by the English as a place to help keep the Scots in line!  It’s still used as a military base and we saw plenty of soldiers training when we visited.  There are some Georgian displays with weapons and a ‘real history’ talk with someone dressed up as a soldier from the period.  Marcus is our military nut, but he’s more interested in modern times (ww1 onwards) so he was unimpressed by old guns and pikes Winking smile  We did like the museum of the Highlanders which documented their history and most importantly, had a place Marcus could dress up!

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Fort George – Marcus enjoyed it here immensely!

We’d done lots of whisky tasting and learning about how that was made a few months ago, but we knew there was also a small brewery in the area and thought that would be an interesting thing to see how it compared.  The Black Isle brewery is tiny and we struggled to find it really, but once there were given a lovely free tour by the very friendly lady on that day.  Amazing to see small business in action!  We, of course, had to sample the wares and since James was driving he couldn’t really do too much tasting on site.  So we got a selection to bring back with us.

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*hic*

Our time in Scotland was coming to an end.  We knew it would take a couple of days to get to our house sit so we set off south.  We spent a night at the same loch we’d visited on the way up, mostly because it was so pretty and we knew we could safely stop there.  It’s much easier to stop when you’re further north than it is in the central and southern areas.  We did quite a lot of talking while there, especially as James and I seemed to have independently come to the same idea that we should consider stopping travelling, seeing if we could get a job and house and get M’s teeth sorted.  We knew we wanted to travel again so it felt right to stop earlier now to set the groundwork to get off as soon as possible afterwards.  So it was quite a weird few days as we trundled back to Sheffield.  I felt we should have marked our last day on the road with something special, but since we didn’t know it until it was there, we didn’t! 

However, even though we headed back to ‘normal’ life, we were far from normal!  The seeds of travel had been sown and we’re raring to get going again!

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