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To the Black Isle but we see no dolphins

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 08 June 2007

Friday 08 June, to the Black Isle but we see no dolphins

Today we are going to take things a bit slower and do not drive around so long. Inspired by the stories of Luuk and Wilma, our goal today is Chanonry Point to see if we are also lucky about spotting dolphins. After our breakfast together we chat with Iain and Cathy and then we leave. Today it is more sombre but not too cold.
A fox along the roadOf course there are still a lot of roads on the Black Isle, a very fertile area in this part of Scotland, that we have to drive and we see a lot of rabbits passing by and suddenly a fox. He stays dead at first, but we do not have our cameras fast enough and when we can finally take a picture he runs away.
At the village of Rosemarkie we drive on a road between the two parts of a golf course and signs indicate that the golf course is not responsible for damage to cars caused by golf balls. Fortunately, we get through it safely. Chanonry Point is the tip of a peninsula in the Moray Firth. This bay was completely dug out in the 2nd World War to provide warships access to the area and now the area of dolphins that are hunting for fish during high tides, which are brought to the surface by the strong current. So you have to be at the right time to see any dolphins.
Lighthouse at Chanonry Point Memorial stone for Brahan the SeerAt the end, near the lighthouse, there is also a commemorative plaque for Brahan the Seer, say the Scottish Nostradamus. We have already seen some more references to this man and are quite curious. He seems to have been executed at Brahan Castle on the spot where the 13th hole of the golf course where we just drove.
The Brahanian seer was actually Cuinneach Othar (Kenneth MacKenzie) and was born in Uig on Skye in the early 17th century. He was an ordinary boy until he got a stone from his mother. She had found that stone in a lake after reveiving instructions from the spirit of a Norwegian princess she had seen at night. But of course there are also other legends of how he came in possession of the stone (white or blue, with or without a hole in it) so that he would get his visions of the future, most of them to save him from murder, usually by a woman (his own wife or a mistress). It seems he was quite insufferable to live with.
But with the stone he could suddenly see the intentions and real thoughts of people and also regularly the future. No matter how fantastic it sounds, his predictions are fairly documented and many predictions seem to have come true. Teije is fascinated by this and perhaps he will once write an extensive story. Ultimately, his fortune also became his dead when he told countess Seaforth forcibly what her husband had done when he returned from a vacation: indeed, he had been with another woman ... The Countess was furious because he had offended the name of the family and let him to be thrown in a boiling barrel of tar. Just before his death, he predicted the downfall of the Seaforth genus which indeed came true a century and a half later.
Heron at Chanonry Point Hunting dolphinsSeers or not, we see nothing at all except for a fishing heron and a lot of people with ridiculously large telephoto lenses. From time to time we see people getting enthusiastic when they see movement in the water, but every time it's a false alarm. We, too, sometimes think of seeing something in the distance, but today the dolphins apparently don't feel to show themselves, or they have eaten enough yesterday.
We walk for an hour on the beach, but then we give up. In itself the whole scene is funny, the small group of professionals with super-telephoto lenses who are being watched by a second group of amateurs who thinks that the first group keeps a close eye on everything and will indicate when there is something interesting to see and finally the third group, to which we belong, who just came to have a look and keep an eye on the other groups whether there is something to see. And if people from the first group decide to leave, we know enough: time to move on.
Castle-like house, Alcaig Loch UssieWe come across some nice things during this ride on unexplored roads such as a castle-like cottage at Alcaig on the north side of the Black Isle and we make a beautiful ride around Loch Ussie, just below Dingwall. It is only a small road that you quickly overlook, but a beautiful area around the loch and it ends in a forest with very nice houses! What a dream place to live.
Luuk in the pub Wilma and TeijeWe spend the evening with Luuk and Wilma in the pub and we have a great time. Iain and Cathy carry their own Fawlty Towers sketch without having to make any effort to do so, they both promise us a meal and meanwhile think that the other makes it. Until we ask again after nine if dinner is ready. No, nothing is ready yet! If you do want a perfect hotel then do not go to the Caledonian hotel in Beauly! Do you want real Scots, a pub with a nice atmosphere and you take the personal flaws for granted then it is an experience that we can recommend!
Iain behind the barAnd before you know it you will be admitted to the club of the locals. Scots can initially be quite shy, but if you start a conversation or answer their questions, you will soon have a lively conversation and you will be more in Scotland than when you just travel without contact with the locals. I still think that one of the biggest charms of Scotland is surely the people. As far as nature is concerned, we have already seen a lot of beauty, sometimes even more beautiful than in Scotland, but nobody can match the people here!
Tomorrow we will unfortunately leave again, because we want to see more of the country, but every time it feels difficult again, the last night we stay here. But we will definitely return, every year!


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