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Published: August 9th 2016
We have been back in Darwin 3 weeks now and time is as usual flying by! I wanted to do a final blog of our UK travels but may now be hard pressed to remember what we actually did during those last 2 weeks.
We had not intended to explore Scotland on this trip as we thought we would not have the time but with several days to spare before having to drop the motorhome off we headed quickly up the motorway, something we had so far avoided as much as possible and arrived in the pretty area of the Lake District in no time. Had a ball at a lovely old pub with lots of others watching Euro Soccer and cheering Wales on.
On to Glasgow which has certainly been transformed since my last visit many years ago. The city was clean, inviting and buzzing with buskers etc with one playing the bagpipes and fantastic to watch and listen to.
Next we headed for the west coast to a lovely fishing village of Oban with delicious smoked trout especially! The scenery in Scotland is amazing and a close second to New Zealand with its heather covered hills
and mountains, valleys and lochs everywhere. We were stoked to get up close to Loch Lomond so that we could sing its famous song “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye, for me and my truelove will never meet again on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond! Actually we sang it very loudly many many times in the van and why not! No animals or humans were harmed in the process!
After a quick look around Inverness the next loch was Loch Ness where we camped for the night but no sign of Nessie unfortunately. It was still so relaxing to just sit and stare at this long magical lake, the biggest in Scotland as it was so tranquil and picturesque.
With still time to spare we opted to go all the way and headed up to John O’Groats, the most western point of the UK in the far west corner of Scotland. This was much more rural and unspoiled compared to Land’s End in the south we were happy to note and we had a great time walking along the surrounding cliff edges observing all
the many varieties of nesting birds.
Being so close to the tip of Scotland we just had to visit the most Northern point of the UK at Dunnet Head and were not disappointed as we found it to be a very special place with no signs of a tea shop or souvenir shop in sight, jwith the Orkney Islands just off the mainland.
The scenery around the north east coast of Scotland was well worth the long drive to the top but there was even more breathtaking scenery on the way further south towards Balmoral, the Scottish home of the Queen. Really did remind us so much of New Zealand except our mountains are much much higher. Balmoral was definitely worth visiting and how lucky is the Queen to own such a lovely house in such a grand setting!
Heading further south we camped in the paddocks close to the small village of Kenworth to watch their annual Highland Games. The atmosphere was amazing with a Dutch TV crew also there to film the event and even attempting to compete which obviously resulted in a lot of laughter from the huge crowd. Even the threat of rain
and a few spits did not dampen everyone’s enthusiasm with so much to watch and cheer on such as the dainty Highland dancers, tossing of the caber and tug of war matches!
Our next visit was to the Glenfiddich whisky distillery, not to be missed, especially the tasting of 15 year old single malt at the end!
Once more we headed south down the motorway and managed to visit some quaint villages in the Cotswolds region before our final stop which was Stonehenge once more and not far from where we commenced. This time the weather was perfect and I was so glad that I was able to get up fairly close among these huge mystical standing stones and it did not matter that touching them was not allowed.
After a wonderful week with my dear brother and sister-in-law we headed for a 2 day stopover in Bangkok before heading back to Darwin but found that all we wanted to do was sleep and didn’t get to the Bridge over river Kwai as planned. Next time.
It is wonderful to be back in Darwin but pretty soon, now that neither of us is keen to work,
we will soon head off to Bunbury in WA where we will assist our daughter Kylie to renovate her character home.
We have further plans for travel so no doubt another blog will appear in perhaps February next year when we hope to visit good old NZ.
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