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Via Oban and Loch Ness to Beauly

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 29 August 2006

Tuesday 29 August, via Oban and Loch Ness to Beauly

Our hotel in LochgilpheadAfter a delicious breakfast we leave the Stag hotel around 10 o'clock. After a quick picture of the hotel we go looking for a garage. At the second one we learn that there are virtually no garages in this part where one even dares to look at a gas engine. We can try it in Oban, but Glasgow or Inverness are probably the only places where we can find help.
The harbour of Oban The harbour of ObanThat's why we first drive to Oban, we do not feel like going back to Glasgow and being stuck there. In the Victorian town we walk around a bit, visit the harbor and drink coffee on a terrace. The rain, just like the last few days, has fallen all night and ended at around 10:30. The sun is coming through again and we are sitting in the sun.
Here too we visit a number of garages and everyone advises us to go to Inverness, where they know more about gas installations than in Glasgow. We are in doubt what we are going to do and we call Iain, our friend in Beauly, near Inverness. We would visit them in a week, but when we tell of our car problems he says they have a room for us and that he a good gas mechanic in the neighborhood knows.
McCaig’s FollyWe walk through Oban for a while and see from a distance McCaig's Folly, an imitation of the Roman Colosseum from where you should have a great view of the surroundings. There are more such buildings in Scotland, built in the 19th century with the intention of providing the unemployed with work. A kind of job, paid by people with money, in this case a local banker. But to explore Oban fully, we need more time and our minds are too busy with the engine problem.
Loch Etive Loch EtiveWe go to Beauly, but we have plenty of time and we can still run on petrol, so we also want to see a few things that we have not seen before like Loch Etive. The main road runs close by, but you have to take a dead-end road, drive to the end and you have a nice view over the loch that we would otherwise miss. Mountains frame the lake and the sky and the clouds determine the color.
Loch EtiveWe now see Loch Etive from the south but from the north there is a road through Glen Etive to the loch, a road that we would later like to drive through. This is a piece of Scotland that you can easily pass by, because it is just outside the main roads. These are the gems that are still virtually undiscovered and fortunately there are still a lot of them in Scotland. By car you can only visit the north and south side of it, it is even better to explore such a piece by boat and to get to know the loch. We have been in Scotland so often, but we have only seen a fraction of the country, there is still so much to discover!
Eas Urchaidh, Glen OrchyWe drive north through Glen Orchy. It is busy on the road and everyone seems to be on the way to the waterfalls in the river for a picnic. The river Orchy comes from the high mountains in the north and runs with various rapids through the 20 kilometers long and beautiful glen.
Glencoe GlencoeThen we arrive in the wild area of the Black Mount and Glen Coe with majestic mountains. The tops of them are often hidden in the clouds.
Glen Coe literally means Valley of Tears and recalls the day that Campbell of Glenlyon and his men slaughtered the MacDonald clan by whom they had been warmly welcomed.
GlencoeIn this area you can make beautiful but hard walks. Of course you can also do Munro-bagging, climbing one of the 284 mountains that are higher than 3000 feet (about 915 meters). It has become a real sport but we are no longer fit enough for that. We enjoy the beautiful area, the green slopes and high waterfalls that are clearly visible from afar from the road.
Loch LinnheAt Ballachulish we see Loch Linnhe, a long inlet of the sea (and thus a salt water loch) that forms the beginning of the Great Glen that goes all the way to Inverness in the north. It is an impressive valley that follows a geological fault line. Only 10,000 years ago the last glaciers disappeared from this area. The 4 lochs (Linnhe, Oich, Lochy and Ness) are connected by the Caledonian Canal and provide a safe route between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Isolated house The UK in the airJust past Fort William, at Torlundy, we take a side road that takes us through a very quiet area with a few small villages. The sun is regularly visible, but the clouds are fully present to provide beautiful skies. Do we see the map of Great Britain on the right & euml; in the clouds?
Urquhart Castle Beauly FirthAt Fort Augustus we take the east side of Loch Ness, with quieter roads than the A82 on the west bank. You also have a much better and more beautiful view on the famous loch from this side. No trace of a monster, but with binoculars we see Urquhart Castle on the other side. We look especially for some roads that we have never driven before and then we quickly go via Inverness along the Beauly Firth to Beauly.
Iain and Cathy are already waiting for us and we are glad we are here again, it feels a bit like coming home to these two good friends. And soon several people come along (in the pub, not especially for us), which we know quite well in the meantime. Other guests ask if we are locals sometimes and we can say with a clear conscience that we are a little bit. It is getting pretty late before we go off tor bed. We are glad we made the decision to come here.


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