I’m all packed up and ready to drive back to Glasgow in the morning (to catch a plane first thing Tuesday morning) so this is the last time I’ll be able to post before I get home. The little guesthouse where I’m staying has a dial-up connection I may be able to use, which doesn’t sound promising, so I’m not planning on it. Anyway, I just can’t believe it’s almost over.
So, here’s my recap of the last couple of day —
Invermoriston is a small village located when Glen Moriston meets Loch Ness, about half-way between Fort Augustus and Urquhart Castle. It has one of Telford’s (major British architect in the early 1800’s) bridges though the main A82 road goes over a much newer one. By small, I mean a collection of houses, a bike/kayak rental store, a small hotel (with a pub), a clog shop, a store/post office and a small cafe. Since I woke to the SUN!!, I walked from the apartment where I’m staying across the Telford Bridge (climbed out the other side since it ends in a huge ditch!) and then I visited Columba’s Well.
Apparently, back in the late 6th century, the Irish monk was traveling through Scotland (from his monastery on Iona) trying to convert the heathen Picts and he visited the area. This well was known to be poisonous but he blessed it for all time and it was then safe to drink or touch. There’s also an old story that this spring became Loch Ness, but no one’s really sure about that! I walked on, crossing the main road and going through a gate towards Invermoriston Falls. The walk was great — along the river as it moved from under the bridges to empty into Loch Ness. And the next surprise is called the Summer House.
This is also called the Lady’s House because the laird’s wife would entertain friends there while the laird was hunting or doing other lairdly things. It has several windows that open to look over the river and falls below it.
The falls were nice, the sound was inspiring and, even better, I spied a cave on the other side of the river that gave me more ideas for my next book….
The walk took about 40 minutes and then I spent the afternoon writing a bit, catching up on email and then took a short drive down to Fort Augustus — where the locks make it possible for boats to travel from River Oich onto Loch Ness and farther north on the Caledonia Canal. And for the first time, I watched a boat moving through the locks. Unfortunately, I’d left the memory card out of my camera and had to take photos with my cell phone! LOL!
By the time the boat finished some storms moved through and then the sun was out again – creating the most lovely rainbows for my drive back to Invermoriston! I could actually see where this one ended as I drove under it…wild…simply wild! By the time I got to my apartment the rain was gone again.
This morning was gorgeous! Sunny, windy, cool (about 55-60 degrees) so I set off right after breakfast for my last castle visit — Urquhart. Which I’ve learned is pronounced ‘Er’ – ket’ not urk-hart as I’ve been saying all this time. I got there early and there were only about 6 other cars in the car park and only one bus. So, I flashed my Great British Heritage Pass (look into it if you’re visiting the UK – it’s only for sale to non-residents) and got right in. There’s now a movie about the castle’s history that ends very dramatically with the curtains opening to reveal the ruins in front of you!
Urquhart is built on many levels which means. . . steps!! All over the place — uphill in both directions again! But it was a beautiful morning and the breezes off the loch were cool so I just enjoyed it all. I didn’t climb the main tower – I’ve done that before – so I focused on the other areas of the castle where I hadn’t walked before and took lots of photos before several busloads of more tourists arrived and it became too crowded.
So, I’m going to leave you with one other photo which I got in trouble taking. . . There is a replica of a medieval trebuchet next to the walkway to the castle. I took some photos on the way out but then when walking back, I noticed the rest of the display. And, evil-minded romance reader/writer that I am, I began laughing outloud. An older man noticed me laughing and asked me what was so funny…. here’s the photo –
All I could think of was ‘my, what big balls they are’ !!!!!! I muttered something to the man about phallic symbols and he started laughing, too. Terrible what these things (and big swords) make me think and say, but this weapon could hurl those balls more than a football field and accurately, too! Okay, leaving that behind
A couple of last photos to post for you — apparently the river in Glen Moriston is perfect for kayaking and today must have been national kayaking day because there were dozens and dozens of people carrying them up to the dam to start down the river. It was colorful, hard work and fun from the looks of it —
Even the workers on duty at the dam today were watching. It was amazing to watch these people controlling these little boats with only one double-ended oar, body-twisting and arm-power. Once they got into position, they went down the rapids either by themselves or in small groups. So, if you like to kayak, this is a place to put on your wish-list!
Okay — I have a long day of driving in heavy rains (according to the latest weather guess) so I’m heading off now. It’s been wonderful sharing my trip with you all. Thanks for your comments – public and private. See you back in the States!