WYSIWYG

What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menootanaboot; YAMster Leaves The Hutch; 1st Leg

Oh, my word, that made a change. Some of you may have noticed I was 'absent' for a few days. A strange happening... Mac1 came to stay (not strange), but then she whisked me away on a two-night stay elsewhere (very strange!) The YAMster hasn't left her Hutch since arriving back in it last December (barring a trip down the road for an hour or two). This was a major change in routine. Where did we go?

Well, first, Mac1 had to arrive. That was Thursday evening. We got sorted and planned, and I made picnic plans, and we loaded up on Friday morning and were on the road by 10:30h. The weather, it has to be said, was monochrome. As can be witnessed by this first photograph from the road trip outbound. Yes, that IS full colour!!!

We were heading for Alness, north of Inverness, to be with relatives from dad's side of the family. The scenic route is always our favourite. Despite the precipitation, we thoroughly enjoyed meandering up the coastal road from Dunoon, round by Inverary and Lochgilphead, where we made our first pit stop. Public toilets were not making themselves evident to us. Still, we did spot the library, and it was open (only Wed and Friday - lucky us)... we had a couple of questions we could put to the ladies staffing the desk to make our visit more than just a 'can we use your toilet' situation. They were a delight, and we spent an enjoyable fifteen minutes with them. We drove another ten minutes to a layby we favour that hides one from the passing traffic. Despite the wet stuff, I put on the camp stove, and we had a hot cuppa to go with the sandwiches I'd made earlier. A piece of fruit and a packet of chickpea chips completed our luncheon. Back on the road, via Kilmartin, Ardfern, Kilmelford, up to Oban and then to Connel - where this first bridge is. (Here is the map so you can keep up!)

Not a lot beyond here, we come to another big iron bridge, slightly less pretty, but every bit as functional. This is Ballachulish ("balla-hoo-lish"). 

The state of the day is clear for all to see in this particular photograph! You can also make out that rain was not the only weather effect. Any idea of viewing the scenery was removed due to the blanket fog. At one point, with no word of fiction, I tell you that there was no distinction between the sea and the sky out to my left as we drove that coastline.

That said, as we drove around and out of Fort William headed for Loch Ness via Fort Augustus, there could be no denying the atmospheric quality of it all. It did brighten a little, and we had another pitstop at Fort Augustus, where it costs 50p to use the toilet, but they do have the fully electronic non-touch flush, taps and dryers. Shame they couldn't have hands-free door-locking too... We were starting to think we might want our evening meal before too much longer but needed to find the right spot to park so that I could fire up the stove again. As it turned out, this was further on than we had envisioned but was well worth the wait. No photographs due to A) poor light, B) I was the head chef, C) wet stuff... The park we located was off the road some way. We had turned off before Inverness and headed up via the Beauly road. We found our way into Moniack/Reelig Glen forest. (In case you lost track, here's another map point!)

This is forestry, and we were parked under very tall, very elegant, very drippy beech trees and silver birches and firs galore. The precipitation was also now pounding rain. Mac1 had a large plastic sheet that we managed to lodge over the open tailgate of the SUV she drives and had the perfect open-sided 'tent' arrangement by which I could proceed with our meal. Pasta Carbonara no less! I had pre-cooked the pasta, so this was a one-pan task. I have recently had the revelation of vegan "bacon" - pea and soy-based product that works for a meal such as this. Three decades ago was the last time I ever ate bacon. It had not bothered me by its absence. The reintroduction of this tasty morsel in vege-friendly food is a rather singular delight. Anyway, Mac1 thought my concoction was lush - five star, given the conditions in which it was produced! Another hot cuppa, some moments of meditation listening to the trees drinking, then the last little run-up via Evanton to Alness, found us arriving a little after 19:30h at our cousins' place. 

TBC - next Thursday! (Though, tomorrow, there will be a bit of a foretaste.)

16 comments:

  1. We are enjoying your travelogue and can't wait for the next installment.

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  2. I don't know they build bridges like that anymore. But in my neck of woods that style of bridges was quite common. Now they were replace with a different style.
    Hope you take a lot of photo, also.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  3. Thank you for the maps! Rain or no, this is a lovely trip. Waiting for the reason!

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  4. What a wonderful voyage (of discovery - especially the loos) Reading about your trip, I realized how much I need a vacation. I can't wait for the next installment.

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  5. I think that the coast is especially gorgeous in the rain!

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  6. Bridges of .... County. We love them and your outing. You have been longer in your Hutch than we have been trapped here and we are just rearing to get out znd see some new countryside. You must have been climbing walls.... Furrings and purrings - our house to yours - Mr T

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  7. Great that you finally made it out to venture north again, but oh what a shame the weather was not better for the journey. After a mostly dry week, the rain finally reached Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon!

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  8. I would love to travel with you... and we love the word!!

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  9. the bridge photos are pretty even in monochrome. i enjoyed the travel with you and am hoping for better weather in the post on your return. it seems to me you both had a grand jolly time in spite of fog and rain.. mother used to make sandwiches on the hood of our 1953 Pontiac on our rare travel times.. yours is a good hot meal

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  10. Yay for you and Mac1 taking a pleasure trip to visit family and enjoy fellowship. That is a mighty bridge. I look forward to TBC.
    Hugs Cecilia

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  11. What a marvellous adventure! I miss my women friends. I don't even talk to my brother anymore. I live vicariously through my blog buddies.
    We've had three days of rain here. It's been quite something. Hugs from away! xx

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  12. What fun and we can't wait to read more!

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  13. Did you use A9 or B817 on the last leg of your trip? Travel cooking is always lush! namaste, janice xx

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  14. Hi Yam - that does look wet - but I so admire your way of approaching things ... being organised and being able to heat lunch and supper, as well as teas and coffees along the way. Sounds great fun ... take care - cheers Hilary

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  15. It’s not the weather that makes for a good trip. It’s the company you keep. And you cannot go far wrong with a beloved sister.

    Klem

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