After eating a welcome and tasty evening meal at Banavie, on the side of the Caledonian canal, we decided to take the dog for a walk before returning to our B&B at Torcastle. We took a B road which would take us in a circular route along the Great Glen to Gairlochy. On the way we stopped and gave our dog a walk along an almost deserted road where we enjoyed brilliant views over the Caledonian canal and beyond to the peaks of the Nevis range of mountains that dominate the area. We eventually arrived at Gairlochy and turned right towards Spean Bridge. Here we stopped for a while and admired the Commando memorial and more spectacular views. The memorial, made from bronze, was place there in 1952 in honour of the Commandos who trained in the area. I guess the SAS have taken over the dreams of young boys nowadays, but when I was a lad, my mates and I all wanted to be Commandos. And so we returned to the B&B; we had come a long way from Stafford and it had been a long day.
The following morning we awoke to some nice weather and indulged ourselves in a delicious full Scottish Breakfast. This would set us up for our journey up the Great Glen where we would skirt the shores of three Lochs on our way to Inverness. Not long after setting out we came to the first, Loch Lochy where the views were lovely in all directions. So too were the views along the banks of the smaller Loch Oich which is the home to the village of Invergarry. Loch Ness, is a place that that springs to the minds of a lot of people when they think of Scotland and I was looking forward to seeing it for the first time. However, it didn't quite live up to its reputation. It was wide and long, and the views were nice, but it couldn't compare with most of the scenery we've seen in Scotland. Anyway, we stopped for a while, had a cup of tea and scanned the water just like all tourists. No, we didn't see Nessie, it must've been the monster's day off.
Eventually, we reached Inverness where we turned left and struck a course due north on the A9. We crossed the spectacular bridge that spans the Beauly Firth and another that crossed the Cromarty Firth. We stopped and had a picnic lunch, gave our dog another walk and then carried on over the Dornoch Firth to Loch Fleet where we turned left to try and find our lodge which was somewhere near Rogart. We followed the directions as supplied by the booking agent and soon found ourselves winding up a very narrow mountain track. We were beginning to wonder if we'd made an error in navigation untill we crested a brow in the road and saw our lodge perched wonderfully on the hillside.
We were soon inside and marvelling at the view from the lounge window and balcony. The picture in the holiday brochure didn't do it justice and neither can any of the photos I took. The view however, did have a downside; I like to have a good read in the evenings when we are on holiday, but, the book I took with me was almost untouched. Every night I would sit by the window with my binoculars and gaze at the Golden Eagles soaring along the slopes of the mountains on the opposite side of the valley.
Even our dog Buzby enjoyed the view.
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