[Go here if you missed part 1 of the Scotland postcards.]
Our luck with weather continued throughout our time in Gairloch. I couldn’t ask for anything nicer than the cool breezes and partly sunny skies we experienced.
We stayed at the Shieldaig Lodge, a former hunting lodge turned hotel. I felt a bit like a character in Nancy Mitford’s Highland Fling as I wandered through sitting rooms like this one with the bay window, this one with the coat of arms, or this little library where we enjoyed tea (more on that later).
Here Steve looks out over the Fairy Lochs. We were told at the lodge that this was a fairly easy walk, so we set out shortly after we arrived. It soon became clear that we’d need more time and energy, so we turned back. The next day we were determined to reach the lochs, but despite what all the travel guides said, it was fairly rough going–rocky terrain alternating with muddy bogs, and very steep in places. We had at least four moments of false hope when we thought we’d almost reached the plateau only to find there was SO MUCH MORE ground to cover. This view was well-earned, I tell you! (Going back down was even harder, but we won’t dwell on that…)
We enjoyed views like this (and easier paths) on our Flowerdale Glen walk.
Another view of Loch Gairloch.
I’ll wrap up by offering this post-dinner selfie taken on our last evening at Sheildaig Lodge. The pictures were so goofy, and we were laughing so hard, that the owner came out and asked if we would like him to take the photo. (We must have been making a spectacle of ourselves.) As you might imagine, his photo featured the lodge much more prominently.
Stay tuned for postcards from our walk to Chastleton House in the Cotswolds!
“Now this feels like the Highlands!”
On Sunday we flew to Inverness for five days in Scotland. We spent the first two nights on the Black Isle at Cromarty, a lovely little village. My photographs from the stay aren’t that impressive, however, because the weather was a bit dreary. I was terribly fond of Cromarty, but for now let’s move on to the more dramatic west coast sights near Gairloch. (We’ll revisit Cromarty when I post my blog on tea. Yay!)
First, I must praise my husband and, to a lesser extent, satellite navigation. I’ve never driven overseas, and Steve hadn’t for over a decade (not since we drove to Brontë country and he nearly abandoned the car in Bradford out of terror and frustration). What a difference a built-in sat nav makes! I wouldn’t say Steve was relaxed about driving this time around, but he was very good at it, particularly when the roads narrowed to a single lane, which happened A LOT.
One of our first driving adventures was out to the beaches at Red Point. The day started gloomy but turned quite fine as you can see. No filter on any of these photos–it was just that beautiful! And we nearly had it all to ourselves (but were happy to share).
Obligatory (and somewhat squinty) selfie. As we were leaving this beach, we ran into a group of pony trekkers. Later we walked to the Gairloch Trekking Center and watched two children grooming a pair of fat little ponies as part of the “Kids Stable Special” program. Do check out the gallery on their webpage–guaranteed to make you smile!
We were able to explore this rocky outcropping while the tide was out. You can see the Isle of Skye across the water — it was huge! Why did I think Skye was a wee island?
I didn’t have the nerve to walk to the edge, but that’s okay because it meant I could take this photo. 🙂
Stay tuned for more postcards from the Highlands!