Scotland, Aviemore to Gairloch

Thursday 19th July 2018

We were up early and on the road heading to Loch Ness and the Jacobite Cruises. We headed to the Dochgarroch Loch. We found it and were there early. We discovered that this loch was part of the Caledonian Canal. This is fascinating. It was conceived in 1773 with the construction agreed to in Parliament in 1803. Thomas Telford surveyed the land and built the canal. It was finished in 1822 at a cost of £910 000 and took 12 years to build. The Caledonian Canal links the lochs in the Great Glen and can be used to get from one side of Scotland to the other using a series of lochs from one loch to the next. It was quite an engineering feat for the time and is still used by pleasure craft today.

We headed out towards Loch Ness through one of the canals. The tour guide was pointing out different points of interest including castles on the shore of Loch Ness. We went past the lighthouse and all of Loch Ness was in front of us. Oh my goodness! It was so much bigger than I had anticipated. Now I know why nobody has so far found the Loch Ness Monster – this thing is massive. We couldn’t see the other side of it from where we entered.

The tour guide was pointing out different points of interest along the way. We reached Urquhart Castle. The boat went past the point and then turned around as they were dropping people off to explore the castle – or the remains of it anyway. We had opted to spend our time in Inverness instead.

We headed back towards the Loch, passing the fishermen and the lighthouse.

The Caledonian Canal is fascinating and we had a look at how it works before heading off to Inverness.

We went into Inverness and drove around for a while looking for a car park. We eventually found one and found a cafe. It was rather ordinary, but ok. We wouldn’t recommend it, but there wasn’t anything that terrible with it either. In all honesty the service was ok and the waitress was friendly. After lunch, we went for a walk up to Inverness Castle. This is used for different government buildings now. There was a lovely view over the River Ness.

After taking some photos we walked back along the riverbank. We checked out some shops and headed back to the car. We had a 2 + hour drive ahead of us to get to Gairloch. It is 2 hours direct, however we had planned some photo stops along the way. We found our way out of Inverness very easily and headed north towards Gairloch.

This was getting into the highland country that we envisioned when we were planning this trip. It was just amazing. Phil would go around a corner or over a hill and we would be absolutely amazed at the sights to see. One thing that we really appreciated was that at absolutely scenic sights, there was a thing called a parking area off the road so that people could pull off and take photos, so clearly knowing us, we did.

 

The mountains were so majestic. The weather was misty and it had clearly been raining up in the mountains as the rivers / creeks were flowing well and we were able to see some waterfalls. It truly was breathtaking. Mum was starting to get a little fed up at how often we stopped, but she liked the photos we were taking.

We found our way to Gairloch (thanks to our built in Navman – best of German engineering) headed for Muldoanich B and B (click on the name to link to the website) .We got a little lost and called Marion. She happily directed us to her house. We pulled up and Robbie came over, introduced himself and offered to help unload the car. We had packed what we needed for tonight in our overnight bags so we didn’t need to get the big cases out – thankfully. Marion greeted us and was so welcoming. She showed us to our rooms and organised a time to suit us for breakfast. Marion suggested 8:00 am, but we were after an earlier time as we had to get to Uig Harbour for our Puffins and whales cruise. This suited her much better too as she an appointment in Inverness in the late morning that she had to get to as well.

We relaxed until we had to leave for dinner at Badachro Inn. Marion had made this reservation for us earlier. We had some confusion as to the time it was booked for and headed off. It was some distance away but we were driving through stunning countryside along the water. We found the Inn and walked in. It was just perfect. Exactly what you would expect a little country inn in Scotland to look like. It was small and cosy as you walked in (luckily cause it was now raining / drizzling outside). You walked in through an outer door into the bar area. It was wood panelled with seats at the bar and some lounges by the fire, with some tables and chairs inside as well. There were also tables and chairs outside on a deck. The owner showed us to our table which was in an enclosed glass deck overlooking the water. The owner is British and when we asked him the difference in the tide (as it was clearly low tide) he told us they had to wear goggles in the restaurant during high tide.

We sat down and then had to decide what we were going to order. It all sounded so good. I opted for the lamb cutlets with mashed potato and carrots and so did Mum. It was amazing! Phil had the chicken and leek pie which he loved too. This meal was so beautiful in such a perfect location. Mum and Phil had the pear and apple crumble. It was so hot that it was steaming. I had the chocolate cake with melted in my mouth. It was such a perfect meal in a stunning location with such a homely, cheerful feel. This night in this place will live in my memory for a long time.

On the way back to Muldoanich B and B at Gairloch, we stopped to take some photos. It was so windy and starting to rain.

 

We enjoyed chatting to Robbie. We felt so welcomed here and the rooms are lovely. If you are looking for a B and B in Gairloch, we can highly recommend Marion and Muldoanich B and B. Up early as we are off to the Isle of Skye in the morning.

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