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Published: June 12th 2018
Although we discussed the route for this ’fling’, Bill pretty much left booking accommodation up to me. My criteria was B&Bs where possible but definitely no ‘starred‘ hotels. The result is that Bill was never quite sure what we are staying in next! The Glencoe log cabin I think was a delightful surprise for Bill and a relief for me! The Culfail Hotel pleased Bill no end. I definitely found a winner here!! It is a delightful family-run hotel. Everyone is so friendly. We had breakfast and dinner here each day not to mention a few drinks in the bar. It is the quintessential typical Scottish country hotel as one might imagine. We checked in Fri 8 Jun. Saturday was ’Garden Day’. We went via Lochgilpheal. What a lovely little village. So friendly. After coffee, we wandered around. I saw an interesting poster which I took a photo of concerning Scottish independence. No sooner, the girls popped out and invited me for coffee. I declined but had some great conversation. They were ready to sign me up until they realized I was an Aussie. We were constantly in search for heather. Bill thought he saw some in someone’s garden. I took
a photo but no. A gentleman walking past took up the cause lol. He walked with us for a while. He asked for my email address ... not sure if it was a pickup or not lol. We met up with his mate a couple of houses down the street. He was sweet. He had grafted white and purple heather from the hills into his garden. He would have taken us back to his house. We reluctantly declined. Continuing the Garden theme, we visited the NTS properties - Crarae Gardens and Arduane Gardens. Both were beautiful. Extensive walks. Very informative. Stunning. I may have to spend more time in our garden at home! Crarae Gardens have a Himalayan Gorge walk which is impressive.
Sun 10 Jun was a quiet day due to aches and pains, mostly from me. Deciding extensive walking was not a good option, we drove back up north towards Fort William. After lunch there, we checked out the Glenfinnan Viaduct. The viaduct was opened in 1901 and is a fine example of Scottish engineering. As it turned out, by the time we arrived, much to my delight, a steam train was coming through within half an
hour of us arriving there. Totally unexpected as we previously understood the only train that came through each day was at 11am. Those Hogworts / Harry Potter fans out there will appreciate the photos. Back to the Culfail Hotel. A full house at the pub. Ended up a late night after a few beers and wines and lots of conversations.
We farewelled Simon and Vanessa the next morning and hit the road for Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre. Vanessa strongly urged us to drive down the eastern side. The one track road wasn’t the worst we have been on. The landscape was beautiful. Similar in some respect to Skye with mountains rising straight up from the sea. With the sun shining, the colours were spectacular. I’m not sure what we expected of Campbeltown but when we drove over the hill and saw it below, we both said “Oh wow!”. After talking to the friendly staff of Visit Scotland, we realised that we had not allowed ourselves enough time in this part of the world. We visited the Muneroy Tearoom at Southend for lunch. We just seem to often luck out and this was another occasion. Within 30 mins
of being there, it was booked out. We then tackled the Mull - the reason we were down this way. The single track road was challenging and Bill coped very well. Then we walked. Very rugged but a good walking track. And I found heather! Hills of it. It is only starting to flower. It must look amazing when it’s in full bloom. We had booked a room at the Argyll Hotel which was a few miles up the west coast. Another good find. It overlooks Bellochantuy Beach, a white sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean. We could see Islay and Jura of the Inner Hebrides. Absolutely wonderful. Tasty, very reasonably priced dinner. Friendly people to chat with. Stunning sunset (at 9:55pm lol). Sad that we only had one night.
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