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; The YAMster Leaves The Hutch - Last Leg

We awoke on Sunday morning at Alness with wetness yet again surrounding us. We had been looked after by the weather gods for our full day of travelling the neighbourhood on Saturday, but now the return journey was damp again. However, unlike the northward trip, it was more broken up and lots of non-drip spells to stop and appreciate the land. After a reasonably leisurely breakfast, we said our farewells to F and cousin M (and Gabby, of course!), making the decision as we drove out onto the A9 to follow that down as far as Aviemore, then cut across the country.

Kessock Bridge, over the Moray Firth - by Inverness.

Below Aviemore, there is Newtonmore. The wee place is bypassed by the A9 now, but there is a wonderful rest stop called Ralia, in which one will find the Hairy Coo cafe and shop. The first was closed - the second was not. It was here that Hettie decided to make herself known to me, and thus I acquired yet another stuffed animal... sigh... 

If there had been a miniature of the fantastic, larger-than-life sculpture in the car park, I would probably have favoured that - but don't tell Hettie!!! There was no info to be found there about the sculpture, but a quick net search revealed that this was created by Kevin Paxton, Blacksmith; steel structure, galvanised and painted so should be rust free for many years. 

It irks me somewhat, however, that KP, Blacksmith, named his work "Fergus the Highland Coo." Fergus ought to be a Highland Bull and have his horns turned out flat or downward pointing. As this is clearly a cow from the upturned horns, she ought to have been named Fiona. Jus' sayin'...

There was a map which attempted to show where we were in relation to the various hill-sets of the area. I would not have minded a postcard or poster of this, but neither was available. That's a miss on their part, I'd say. Here's a rather poor photo of it. 

Directly after leaving Ralia (the wee red circle at bottom of that 'map') we headed off the main road and over to Loch Laggan, where there is a dam, built as part of the Lochaber Hydro-Electric scheme. From here we continued down through Fort William, waving to Ben Nevis with his head in the clouds, and into Glencoe. At the northern end is another grand we rest stop. We parked in there for half an hour and stretched our legs by walking to the bridge over the River Coe.

There was quite a roar in that water. Such places all over the planet give rest and respite...and capture the imagination, don't you think? From here it was on down to the next rest stop and a bit of food at Tyndrum at a well-known place called The Green Welly. Greasy-spoon style cafe food, but golly, that mac'n'cheese was just right at that point in the trip! There are also some excellent, hi-tek toilets there. It took us a moment to figure out that the taps also contained the blow-driers. It was the cause of much giggling once we got over the surprise!

The photo doesn't really convey the hilarity - not helped by the mask, of course. I ought to have thought about filming it. A bit of levity to set us up for the final run down via Loch Lomond, round past The Cobbler and along Loch Fyne, where the sun was dimming fast. 

From the ridiculous to the sublime... we were in the door of the Hutch by seven-thirty of the evening and a quick cuppa and bit of toast were all we required. Mini-break was over and done!

There you have it folks... but here, just to round it off, is a wee bonus...

ADDENDUM Nov 1st 2021 - I was contacted by Rhys Davies (good Welsh name that!) of the Ben Nevis website requesting to have a link provided to it. Duly done! I had a nosy around and it is full of useful stuff to know about the Ben and also some fun posts relating to news and doings thereabout. Worth remembering if you are going to visit - or attempt a climb!!! Yxx


  1. we love Fergus!!! and we love the view on the water...

  2. Enjoyed the trip very well. I felt as if I was travelling over there.Thank you for this post,Yamini.

  3. Love Hettie's road trip through Glencoe!

  4. Beautiful pics, Thanks for the video

  5. Hi Yam - love the scenery ... and what a fun journey to make. Fergus is fun to see - love those cows or bulls!! Glad you had such a great time and trip away ... cheers Hilary

  6. I love that harmonica and my dad used to play harmonica. And the sound of the noise of the cars flying by would like a background to the harmonica. What a wonderful trip you had and the music was perfect for watching that beautiful River Coe. I love the video and I agree that Fiona is a more appropriate names but the statue is well worth looking at for sure. You know I love the co has as much as you do

  7. Oh my goodness what a gorgeous bridge that looks like a sailboat. All the photos excellent and your descriptions purrfect. The faucet is reminiscence of the shower head in Indiana. BOL BOL LOL LOL MOL MOL
    Hettie was enjoying the Moovalous view and Mac 1 well done on the harmonica
    Hugs cecilia

  8. Just gorgeous and the video was such a treat!

  9. We love your road trip series, although do wonder if Fregus might have been just the right colour if permitted to 'oxidize'.. Your scenery is remarkably similar to much of what we have seen this week (including spots on the windscreen), but that relief map is better local information than we can find anywhere here. We do miss tourist info centres, decents local maps and signposts to the local highlights. So much of what we find inline can't be located on the land for kack of any signage or arrows to assist. Yours has looked like a great trip and we loved the musical interlude....xxx Mr T &F

  10. Quite the adventure! We have those hand dryers all over the place in the big city! First time I saw one a 3 year old girl showed me how they worked. I love seeing the sights! I would so love to take that road trip!

  11. Thanks for taking us along on your trip. We enjoyed the video, especially Mac1's little concert.


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