2 months of virtual travel cafe, a June review

When I started this website two months ago, I had never built a website and had no idea about blogging. So I have set up a website site and have managed to record most of our recent travel experiences. We have enjoyed a week in Scotland and some great weekend outings. It has been great considering the wet weather during June. The weather forecast for July is typically non-committal, we are hoping for south westerly winds and sunshine. We are resigned to going where the wind and tides take us (quite romantic really). We watched the film The Lobster recently and the ultimate test for a couple was to spend 15 days together on a yacht off the Kerry coast. Interesting idea.
I have found it sometimes difficult to find the time or motivation to write, especially after a day at work. It has taken a long time trying to get each post looking as I would like (I do not know coding). I did not write while we were on holiday because I did not want to spend our precious holiday time recording our experiences as you become less present in the moment. How can you truly enjoy the wonders around you?
My main problem at the moment is procrastination and managing my time.

We will hopefully be visiting these shores in July
We will hopefully be visiting these shores soon

“Like as the waves make towards the pebbl’d shore, so do our minutes, hasten to their end”.
William Shakespeare (him again!)

The sea theme is deliberate as we will soon be spending 3 weeks afloat.

“Tide and time wait for no man”
Geoffrey Chaucer

On to Pitlochry, Edinburgh then home

After completing our walks we returned to the car and travelled on to Pitlochry. We stayed at the lovely Derrybeg B&B. Had an evening meal at Victoria’s restaurant-good food with friendly and efficient service. In the morning we visited the Pitlochry Dam and Fish Ladder. The dam was built between 1947 and 1951 to generate electricity. It also formed Loch Faskally flooding the site of the Pitlochry Highland Games field. The fish ladder was designed to enable 5000+ salmon to pass upstream. It consists of a series of 34 chambers with three resting chambers. The fish can be viewed in one of the resting chambers.

The river Tummel at Pitlochry
The river Tummel at Pitlochry

Dam and power station
Dam and power station
Fish ladder
Fish ladder

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On the way to Edinburgh we stopped at Scone Palace, the crowning place of the Kings of Scotland (including Macbeth). I seem to be finding Shakespeare links everywhere since completing Shakespeare’s Way! Scone palace also housed the Stone of Destiny until the English pinched it (although there seems to be a suggestion that the one at Westminster isn’t the real one either). Another link to a previous post was having a cream tea, which was actually more a cream lunch.
Scones from Scone (with lots of cream but not clotted)
Scones from Scone (with lots of cream, not clotted)

We arrived in Edinburgh Friday afternoon. We stayed at the Apex hotel in Grassmarket (comfy with great breakfasts).
I love Edinburgh, I like cities that you can walk around. There are lovely Georgian streets with Edinburgh castle perched upon Castle Rock. The Pentland Hills to the south of the city offer a picturesque contrast.
Inside the Scottish Parliament.
Inside the Scottish Parliament.

Pentland  Hills
Pentland Hills
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From blue sky on Skye to the Cairngorms

We wished that we had more time to spend touring around Skye. We just spent one day there taking many photographs. We walked along the Quiraing to the needle, which I found a little slippery underfoot. It made me appreciate how well the National Trust maintains footpaths. This was an area for experienced hill walkers. The views though were amazing, I think I will let the pictures do the talking.

View of Old Man of Stor
View of Old Man of Stor
Inver Tote
Inver Tote

The Quiraing
The Quiraing
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We stayed over night in a lovely bed and Breakfast called Tingle Creek near to Kyle of Lochalsh. We enjoyed a good meal in a nearby village called Plockton
Plockton
Plockton

From their we travelled on to Aviemore via Loch Ness. We stopped at Urqhuart Castle on Loch Ness. We had a picnic lunch in the sunshine, explored the castle and then drove towards Inverness stopping to view the Caledonian canal and the river Ness.

Funny how you don't notice certain details when you are busy taking lots of snaps! Must have been because of the bright sunshine ; )
Funny how you don’t notice certain details when you are busy taking lots of snaps!Must have been because of the bright sunshine ; )
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Blue skies and blue bells
Blue skies and blue bells

Aviemore is a functional town giving easy access to the Cairngorms. We had a comfortable stay in the Cairngorm Hotel which is an old railway hotel. The next day we tackled the peaks. We walked up from the base station to the restaurant and then the summit. I would advise walking up if you are able, as they do not allow you access to the summit if you take the funicular railway. We then had a relaxing descent by the railway giving us time to complete a further walk around Glen More.

Cairngorms
Cairngorms
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Again this was a lovely part of Scotland, and we would have loved to have spent more time exploring this area also.
Around Glen More area
Around Glen More area
Bothy
Bothy

Days two and three towards Fort William and Nevis range

We could have gone sailing!
We could have gone sailing!
The weather continued to be glorious and we found ourselves looking enviously at the boats moored in the marina. We tried to book a boat trip the next day but they were all booked.
Oban
Oban

A little walk around Inchree
A little walk around Inchree

Weather forecast Fort William area
Weather forecast Fort William area
Neptunes steps
Neptunes steps
After seeing the weather forecast we booked half a day kayaking. We were rather good at it, and had to keep waiting for the others in the group to catch up!
Ben Nevis from Neptunes steps
Ben Nevis from Neptunes steps

Loch Eil
Loch Eil
Nevis range
Nevis range
Returning from Loch Lochy with Nevis range in distance
Returning from Loch Lochy with Nevis range in distance
We enjoyed views of Ben Nevis from outside the hotel, Richard had never seen the peak on previous trips.We drove to the Nevis range and took a cable car up. They were preparing for an international mountain biking event and there were cyclists testing out the tracks. We walked along the ridge and got lovely views of the mountains and lochs.