Over the weekend, Me and Regi went over to Brussels for a long weekend. My favourite artist – John Butler Trio – was playing there on the Sunday, and one of Regi’s friends lives there, so we decided to combine a trip of epic proportions. And that’s what it was. We had a fantastic time, and it was lovely to meet Nadia, and be spoilt by her lovely cooking and hospitality.
We (thankfully) booked the Eurostar over, left London at 7am, and got into Brussels at around 10am local time. The journey was pretty awesome, there was a lovely morning mist, and the sun was a-blasting.
We went for a wee tour of Brussels, and headed down to the Grand Place. Here are two panoramic I took of the beautiful square;
We then headed over to see Manneken Pis, the famous peeing fountain boy, today he was wearing a sweet little costume. Apparently, he’s dressed in a different costume, several times each week. Gotta be warm I guess;
Brussels is known for their fries, so we just had to get some, Nadia knew of a pretty awesome shop that sold some good ones, so off we went. The sauce I had on mine was called Andalucia I believe. It was really quite good – a bit spicy, but I’d recommend it.
We then went for a wee walk, seeing some cool Street performers ‘n that. Came across a nice few streets, and some cool looking old Chapels, which Brussels is full of.
We managed to find the Canal that runs through Brussels. It was a beast of a thing, and unfortunately, full of rubbish. It’s a sad thing that I think.
John Butler was just awesome, live they are phenomenal. I saw them a few years ago, but now they’ve improved so much. John seems so much happier in the new band, and it really showed on stage, that they were having a great time. In front of us throughout the gig was this crazy old German dude with amazing sideburns, just going crazy to John, he was very drunk – and out of beat with everything. Hilarious he was.
We walked North, to see the Atomium, and also came across the Chinese Pavilion. The Atomium itself doesn’t really do anything for me, an odd looking thing I find. The Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower on the other hand were amazing buildings. They really were. The Japanese Tower is 80m high! I would have loved to go to the top, but unfortunately, it’s closed on a Monday.
After that, we just chilled, saw some more pretty buildings, ate some more fries, waffles, had some Beers, and hung out with Nadia. It was a really great trip. Good times.
My lovely girl came over to see me over the last week. We didn’t do any mountain walking this time round, because we were both visited by the Goblin of ill health. We went out for some nice walks on different beaches though, and I managed to take a few snaps here and there.
We stared the week by heading down to Pen Llŷn, Aberdaron and Uwchmynydd. This is right at the tip of the Lleyn, at Uwchmynydd, the road comes to a dead end, where you can see a beautiful view of the coastline, and about a 2 miles offshore, Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), a major centre of pilgrimage back in the day.
I love the rugged-ness off the coast down this way, if you ever come to Wales, be sure to head down to the view point, tiss nice :)
We headed up a wee small Hill called Moel Tryfan, once visited by the great man Charles Darwin (click here to read it being mention in his letters), where I took this pic of the dusk skyline;
It’s a lovely spot – located just North of a little village called Fron, from here you get amazing views of the Nantlle Ridge (my pic here taken from Nantlle), and all the way up the valley towards Snowdon, and if you look North, you can see the whole of Anglesey. Behind the little hill is an awesome quarry – Moel Tryfan Quarry – where they filmed a few scenes of ‘Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life’, (awful film) where back in 2002, I came up to the slopes of the quarry to watch them film the action sequences, and shouted ‘Angelina! ‘ – where she gave us a wave back. :) Good times.
We went to one of the most beautiful beaches in North Wales, a wee place called Llanddwyn – an amazing place where you can see pretty much all of Snowdonia’s ‘real’ Mountains (real only applies when there’s some snow on them), and is very rich in legends.
On the Island, there’s a lovely light house, wild horses, lovely walks, just an amazing place to go. It was also the home of Santes Dwynwen, the Welsh Patron saint of lovers.
On the way back, I spotted a large grey blob on the rocks – it was a seal!! Oh he was awesome, I never knew that Llanddwyn was home of some seals too – he was a bit too far for me to take some good snaps of him (Regi got some great ones) but there’s a wee pic below of Regi with the rock they were chilling on down below.
The lighthouse at Llanddwyn;
And Regi with the Seals;
I managed to take a picture of the nice sunset, overlooking ‘Yr Eifl’ from Aberdesach;
It was the best having Regi over for the week. She’s the best. Ever. I’m getting a bit scared about how awesome she’s getting on in her Welsh – she’s now even starting to correct me in my mutations etc! It’s crazy!! But I’m extremely proud of her, Welsh isn’t an easy language to learn – so I’m told, but Regi is picking up like it’s nothing.
I had a fantastic time over the New Years. My amazing girlfriend came over to spend it with me, and without a doubt it was the best New Years ever! We had loads and loads of snow here in Wales, and for two who really likes going out into the mountains, it could not have been better.
Our adventures ranged from being ‘tourists’, going walking in the super awesome fresh snow, camping and swimming in the sea, with lots of visits to the awesome ‘Pete’s Eat’s’ for food :) It’s nice to be a tourist in your own County sometimes. I’ve not done it for a while, so it was pretty cool to see everything again.
We had a nice variation of things to do, from walking on the sea, to walking high up in the awesome snow mountains. On the first day, I took Regi to one of my fave spots, Porth Dinllaen on the Llyn Peninsula. Tiss an awesome spot, with one of the best pubs is North Wales right on the beach – Ty Coch – and just around the corner, there’s a wee vantage point where you can see Seals – on this particular day, the Seals didn’t want to play, and were sleeping I imagine. Regina took this awesome picture of me walking right into the sunlight with my beard basking in the sun.
The next day we headed up one of my fave mountains to begin our epic adventures, Cnicht (689m). There was some wonderful snow at the top, not much people around, and I manage to get myself this panorama, looking North towards Snowdon and his friends;
It was a nice day, the sun was blasting, and we could see for weeks around us. I love those conditions.
It was a lovely walk, we did a loop, parking at the car park in Croesor, up the ridge to Cnicht, carry on North towards Llyn yr Adar, then work back on ourselves, passing Llynnau Diffwys, and eventually ending up in the quarry – and taking the gentle ‘Loser Trail’ decent from the Quarry back to the car park.
Regi bought with her some beautifully made Xmas cookies – a whole box full, there must have been a couple of Kg of cookies in there, and boy! they were amazing!! It’s such a shame that I have to wait nearly another year now to get my teeth into them again, but I cannot wait! It’s awesome getting to know her culture a little bit, and these Xmas cookies is something that I’m going to make sure that we have every single year :)
The next couple of days we were tourists, going to see the Fairy Glen in Betws Y Coed, buying Regi’s new trademark Red-Riot awesome hat in Betws Y Coed, and seeing the lighthouse in South Stack, Anglesey in some pretty awesome windy weather.
On New Year’s Eve, we decided to head up Snowdon, seeing as it was all covered in snow. It was a lovely walk. We went up the Ranger’s Path by Llyn Cwellyn, up Clogwyn Ddu’r Arddu and to the top. It was icy and heavy going in some parts, but it was really good fun. I’m not a massive fan of Snowdon, I’ve only been up it a handful of times, mainly because there just so much people up on there – but this day was without a doubt my best time up there. There was still a lot of people around, some of them were kitted out as if they were going up Everest or something, it was crazy to see – but better to be safe than sorry I suppose.
We got to the top, and there was no cloud cover for us – and again, we could see around for weeks! :) Amazing views, and the crazy snow formation was fantastic! Was great to see some people up there with ski’s and snowboards! I’ve never ever seen anyone around the Welsh mountains with ski’s before – we didn’t manage to catch them going down though – I wonder what happened to them.
We decided not to go down the same way – because we both like doing ‘loops’ when we walk, we decided to decent via the Rhyd-Ddu path, via Llechog.
We got down, and straight to Cwellyn Arms for some well earned hot chocolate.
For New Years celebrations, we decided to camp in a tent by the sea!! Oh it was the most amazing idea ever. We had a lovely night. I know Llyn Peninsula rather well, and I thought that a perfect camping site for us would be Porth Ysgaden, a few miles from Tudweiliog. It was perfect. There was a massive full moon, an Indian Meal, made in the tent followed by warm chocolate cakes with custard. It was a pretty awesome way to see in the New Year.
Here’s a pic of our tent in the morning;
Brilliant place! One of the things that me and Regi agreed on, waaay before she came here was that this time, we were both going to swim in the sea. When better to do so than on New Years day? We had two options – the village of Nefyn was doing a massive ‘New Year’s Swim’ followed by some soup down on the beach in Porth Dinllaen – or we could do our own, in a nicer secluded place – we opted for the latter.
My fave cove in the whole World was to be the stage – Porth Iago. Within minutes of arriving, Regi was running excited full speed down the beach, and straight into the sea. :) I followed, and went all in the sea this time. The water was awesome – so fresh – and as soon as we both headed out, the sun decided to come out and play, and heated us up rather nicely. It was a fantastic idea – can’t wait to do it again.
We explored Porth Iago a little bit, and had some nice hot chocolate to warm up our souls. That night we chilled, watched the awesome film ’21 Grams’, and try to educate Regi on films by watching some Star Wars.
One thing that has totally amazed me about my girl, is that her ability to pick up the Welsh Language is phenomenal! Seriously, I’m really impressed with her, and to this day, she continues to get it, even giving me, a boy who’s first language is Welsh some good telling off for the wrong things I say :) She’s the best (ref: A196-R-Best form to be filled in on Sunday, 14th Feb).
On the 2nd of Jan, we were tourists again, so I took Regi to Portmeirion to see the gardens and architecture. I still love the place. :)
On the 3rd, we headed South, down the Coast to Harlech, and then through the little roads to Llyn Cwm Bychain. I’ve never walked on the Rhinogydd range before, or haven’t been down much to these parts before – and I seriously love the place! The road to Llyn Cwm Bychain was fantastic, with some really amazing views. I highly recommend it folks!
We parked the car, and headed up the beautiful Roman Steps all the way through Bwlch Tyddiad, then across to Llyn Du. The scramble up to the top of Rhinog Fawr was pretty heavy going in so much snow – but got to the top, and was awarded with another fantastic view.
The decent was a bit of a challenge, as there hadn’t been much people up there in the snow, the path was gone, so some navigation, and some fun was in store for us.
We decided to go for another ‘loop’, and go down a different way, we descended (and watching my map slide down the slope in front of me) down towards Gloyw Lyn, and then North, joining back with the Roman Steps, and back to the car.
Was a lovely walk. Nice to explore the area, and it would be nice to go down there again soon.
Because of the awesome massive snow we had here over the week, I wasn’t able to take Regi to the airport, so I got to spend another few days with her – although very stressful at the time, I was soo happy :) For the next few days, we chilled, went for some drives though the county, watched movies, and had some lovely food.
On the 7th – we had a beautiful walk, this is so far, the best walk I’ve been on. Awesome company, fantastic weather, fantastic mountain, and amazing soft – virgin snow. Oh it was the best. Moel Hebog is probably the 2nd mountain on my list that I’ve been up more than any other (Mynydd mawr being the 1st) – but I’ve never experienced it so peaceful. There wasn’t a soul to be seen, no-one had been walking up it for a few days, so there was no tracks, so we both took our time, and enjoyed it. There were bits of snow climbing on the way up that I really enjoyed, nearly being vertical, it was perfect.
Once we got to the top of Moel Hebog (783m), the sun blasted in our faces, and there wasn’t a single breeze of wind in our hair, everything felt lovely, and right. Times are good :)
2010 is going to be a good year, I know it :) I can’t wait to see Regi again this Sunday – thing’s are in motion, and I can’t wait to be with her, really soon.
You know, once in a little while, something happens in your life, that makes you realise how awesome life can be. I’ve just experienced this, on a 10 day road/walking trip in the beautiful, beautiful country that is Scotland.
I started my journey on the 17th of November, by heading up North to Coniston Waters, Lake District. Tiss a lovely wee place. My plan was to camp there over night, but I arrived on one of the worst days – weather wise to hit the UK in a long time, so pretty much everywhere was waterlogged. Not happy. I checked myself into a glorious wee pub, and slept in a peachy pink room, where I felt manly. I spent the night in the pub, drinking some really nice local beer, and chit chatting to the locals.
18.11.09 – I woke up, had a bath and managed to scorch my foot. (This became a nuisance later or for me, really uncomfortable pain – but fear not jolly readers! I pushed on!)
My destination on this glorious fine day was Edinburgh. Edinburgh Airport for 13:15 to be exact. Off I drove, cruising up the motorways, without a minute to loose, as landing at the sky port was a beautiful wee girl – who was gonna join me on this lovely adventure. Regina landed safely. I was greeted by her warm, beautiful smile, and a mammoth bag pack.
We found ourselves a lovely little Hostel, and hit the town, went for some food, catching up, and drinking.
19.11.09 – Today, we decided to be tourists. We went up to the fantastic Castle, where Regi was overwhelmed with excitement to see the Crown Jewels and the ’thing with the thing’. I like the Castle, it’s really quite impressive, nearly as good as Caernarfon Castle.
From here, Regi insisted that we went up Arthur’s Seat, ‘a remarkably wild piece of highland landscape in the centre of the city of Edinburgh, about a mile to the east of Edinburgh Castle. The hill rises above the city to a height of 251 m (820 ft), and provides excellent panoramic views of the city.’ It was crazy how the weather conditions changed, just by going up this little Hill – and it was our first glimpse into what was in store for us, weather wise, walking up these Scottish hills. About 10m from the top – the wind, rain and hail came. The wind was something else – blasting those wee hail stones into our faces, it was bordering unpleasant.
It was a nice view though, well worth the wee trip up there. The way down was something of a mission for me though. I wear Vans skate shoes, and, well to be honest, I need a new pair. The floor was slipperier than Bon Jovi’s album title ‘slippery when wet’ – and it sent me flying, smack on my back. This was Regi’s first glimpse into how accident prone I am. Winded I was for a few minutes.
To dry out a little we headed over to the National Gallery, where I saw a really nice drawing of Caernarfon Castle by someone who was really busy back in the day – Paul Sandby. I really enjoyed it.
A good first day.
20.11.09. – We got up early from our beautiful wee Hostel, and headed North West, to the biggest lake in the UK – Loch Lomond, The sun was blasting in our little eyes – what a great day to start walking we thought!
We stopped off in a wee village to get us some supplies for our trip. Whilst standing at the checkouts, Regi turned to me and said ‘You’ve got Midget Gems!!’. Now – for me, this was hilarious, and it’s one of my best memories of this trip – for those of you, like Regina at the time, who don’t know what Midget Gems are – they are tiny little sweets, similar to Wine Gums in texture, but much, much nicer.I could not stop laughing.
We drove up the East shore of Loch Lomond, and parked at the car park there, and within minutes of us being there, the heavens opened. Oh how it rained. Our route was to head North, over the Ptarmigan Ridge, then climb quite steeply up the final ridge to reach Ben Lomond’s summit. We got dressed all up in our grear, and headed off. After about 20mins into the walk, Buzz Killington to my right said something to the effect of – this mountain is steep huh? In fact, we’d miss the turning, and we were going for a gently stroll around the lake.
We found the right path, and headed up towards the Ptarmigan Ridge. The views from not very high up were stunning already;
We got to the Ptarmigan Ridge, and by here – we’d experience pretty much all seasons of weather. Blazing sunshine, heavy rain, fog, wind. Times we good, and moral was high. We came to a nice plateau at the top of the ridge, and it became very muddy. Regi doesn’t like mud, so I’d often hear ’yuck!’ being shouted, which made me smile. There was some lovely stepping stones right at the bottom of Ben Lomond’s steep climb, which I thought was really pretty.
The last 200m up to the top of Ben Lomod was something else. I’ve never been in such a situation before in my life. The hail/snow/rain/blizzard of the millennium was in, and he wasn’t friends with us. For me, walking up became very tiring, my legs were getting heavy, and to be honest, I was struggling. I stopped, and ate a Mars Bar. Without a doubt, this was the best Mars Bar I’ve ever had in my life. The feeling of sugar rushing into my body and straight into my muscles is something that I’ll never forget, it was sweet. On we went, and after a tough battle, we reached the summit of Ben Lomond. (974m/3,196 ft)
I liked the mountain a lot. The way down was a bit of a trek, along a very well used path, – the loser trail as Regi nicely calls things.
We got back to the car just in time, as it got dark pretty soon. Rain was still pouring, so we got dressed into our civilian clothing, and decided to grab some food. We had some lovely Chinese, then we headed out and found ourselves a lovely little B&B in Balloch, where we were looked after really well, and our walking gear dried out.
21.11.09 – We woke up, and had the best breakfast of the whole trip me thinks. Regina’s porridge looked amazing, and I tried out French Toast for the first time, and I’m happy to report that I’m a fan. Over breakfast, I remembered something that Regi had said previously, and asked our lovely hostess about this. She’d remember that there was this great big whirlpool off the West coast of Scotland, and was wondering if we were gonna go see it. Our hostess googled it, and found some information about it; Corryvreckan (meaning “cauldron of the speckled seas” or “cauldron of the plaid”). It was now a part of the agenda for the day, as today we were taking the beautiful scenic route from Loch Lomond to Fort William – the A83. Really beautiful road, through the mountains, and pass the Loch’s.
We came to lovely named viewpoint – Rest and be Thankful’ where we had a really nice view down the valley we’d just cruise up. We happened upon a really beautiful little town called Inveraray. Every single house/shop/building in the little town was black and white – it was so nice;
We boarded a wee coffee ship shop, and had what we Welsh people call ‘panad’ – a nice cup of tea. We headed into the town, where we came across a traditional sweet shop. Only one thing was in my mind; Midget Gems! I bought a bag so that Regi could experience this wonderful sweet. She fell in love with them. (Not the black one so much – as the one and only black one she tried went hurling through the car window).
We continued North. The turning off to Corryvreckan was on the way – so we took it. We drove along this really nice single track road, and Regi took this really nice picture;
I love it. We continued, and reached, what can only be described as ‘the end of the World’.
It was a nice rugged place, with nothing at all there. There was a disused (looked un-used anyhow) jetty running into the sea, and ending abruptly, and just sea. Unfortunately, or beloved Whirlpool wasn’t to be seen – the weather had come in, and visibility was quite poor. The whirlpool itself looks quite impressive though – check it out! http://www.whirlpool-scotland.co.uk/index.html
We headed back on track, and continued North, through Oban, and up towards Castle Aaaaargh (for the Monty Python fans out there) – or Stalker Castle.
I love this spot. Whenever I do go to Scotland, I always try and stop off here. We grabbed some lovely food at the little café, and headed for the Fort of William.
We checked ourselves into a posh B&B We decided to hit Fort William that night, and grab some alcohol. Night life there was alright. We had fun. I managed to be-friend an older man, who’s beard was mighty impressive, to which I’ve taken my inspiration from to grow my own. it’s slowly getting there.
We had a nice night.
22.11.09 – Today, didn’t go as planned. Today was a day that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Fact. It’s a day that I feel made me and Regi grow to be really close. It had it’s high points, but boy, there was desperate times. Times where I closed my eyes, and wished that I wasn’t where I was. Teamwork got us out of this day – alive – and I’m so thankful for Regi for being there, and doing what she did at the time. We both worked so well as a team, and it made me truly realise how amazing she is.
Before coming up to Scotland, I prepared some walks for us to go on. These walks were based from the Trail Magazine, and an awesome wee book called ‘Walking the Munros’ by Steve Kew. I was stupid on this day, I didn’t bring a map. The one thing that I’m never ever doing again – the only ‘map’ I had was the map that was in this book – it’s a very very simplified map, which doesn’t show much of anything. I was stupid.
We were heading up Ben Nevis. The route was to go from Glen Nevis, up towards Loch Meall an t-Suidhe, drop down into the heather filled valley to the North of Ben Nevis, up Carn Dearg Meadhonach, Carn Dearg, over the CMD Arête, and scramble up the last 200m or so to the summit of Ben Nevis.
We set off early, and it was all going really nice and well.
We reached the loch, and hooked left to go round the Ben, so we could drop down the valley, to go up Carn Dearg Meadhonach. At the bottom of this beautiful valley was a beast of a river – and it’s been raining. It took us a little while to find a safe crossing place – Regi just took her boots off and walked through, while I waded through – and my lovely boots kept my feets all nice and dry. The super steep climb up towards Carn Dearg Meadhonach was a climb and a half. Walking through heather, for me is a nightmare, I hate the stuff. I was being really slow – my foot was giving me some intense pain (the bath incident), but I put my head down, and went for it. About half way up, I stopped and looked up to see where Regi was – she was a good 50m ahead, and about another 50m ahead of her, was this weird looking sheep. I thought to myself – ‘what a weird looking sheep’. I stood there, wondering, what on earth is wrong with this sheep? I could only see his head at this stage, but when it moved, it became clear what is was – it was a deer!! This was my first ever encounter with a wild deer!! I loved it! It totally made the horrid slog up the steep hill worth it.
Once the gradient started to ease out, we flew up to Carn Dearg Meadhonach. The snow was awesome. I really like walking in snow, and fresh virgin snow is just beautiful. We stayed and got our pics taken. Regi had bought with her an awesome, awesome walking ‘biscuit’ from Prague – Tatranky. It’s awesome!!
We carried on, and reached Carn Dearg quite quickly. The weather was holding, but the daylight was starting to fade. In front of us was the CMD Arête. It looked beautiful, and we really fancied walking over it;
It was just like my old friend Grib Goch on Snowdon, but bigger and snowier. We went on. The weather came in. And it came in fast. It was soo cold, the blizzard was so powerful, high winds, and very unstable ground. I’ve been growing my glorious beard for a few weeks, so my little face was all protected, but I felt so sorry for Regina, it must have been so cold for her, but she didn’t complain. This took us a really long time to cross. It was getting really dark, and the blizzard was not easing up. I felt totally out of my comfort zone. It was something else.
I decided to take a look over the Arête – to see what I could see – any signs of anything, and just as I did this, the fog lifted for about 10 seconds, and I could see a sign and some metal posts. I decided to head for those.
Panic and fear set in. I told Regi that I really wanted to go down, and we should follow these metal poles. Regi was amazing. She led the way, down the super steep slope. The wind blew her off her feet a few times, and she went flying. Oh how I hated it.
I think it’s safe to say, that I owe my life to my head torch this night. It got dark really quickly, and we just had to get off this mountain. It was something so surreal. The beam of light from my head torch shinning down on the snow covered rocks, and seeing the snow being blown at such a force made it seem unreal.
I think it took us about an hour to get below snow level. We slid down on our bums. Covered in cuts and bruises, torn my waterproofs. I was so happy to get down from that slope. The next challenge was to navigate down, to the river (the same river we crossed earlier) and follow it down the valley. This proved to be a challenge, but I’d calmed myself down a lot with the help of Regi, and just decided to go for it. It wasn’t so bad. Once I hit the Charles Inglis Clark hut at the middle of the Valley, I knew we were alright.
It took us a further 2 hours to get to civilisation. We were both wet to the bone, tired, in pain, and just wanted to have a shower. The promise of a Shower, Indian Food, Family Guy, and bed was keeping us going.
We got to the B&B, after some great generosity from the locals by calling us a taxi. We were sooo happy to be back, safe – and without any serious injuries.
The Indian, and the Beer I Had that night was the best I’ve ever had. We slept so well. it’s a day that I’ll never, ever forget. Thanks for being there Regi, it would have been something else if you weren’t there.
23.11.09 – Today was totally going to be a chill out day. We drove up from Fort William to Tokavaig on the Isle of Skye. Tiss a beautiful drive, with lovely scenery and Lochs. We stopped off at the lovely famous Scottish Caslte, Eilean Donan, and took some pics etc.
We grabbed some food at the little village just before the Skye bride, and decided we were going to camp that night. So armed with supplies, we headed over the bridge, to the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to (thus far) – the Isle of Sky.
I knew of a lovely spot to camp, so we headed directly towards it, Ord. Our view was the Cuillin ridge, and the sea was our view.
It was really nice. After I complained a lot that ‘I was starving’ I was let go to cook us some food. Pasta ‘n sauce with mushrooms ‘n peppers. It was lovely – followed by chocolate dessert.
It’s a great spot this. I’ve always liked it.
24.11.09 – it’s lovely sleeping in a tent. It rocks. Hearing the rain hitting it always makes me smile when I’m all warm and nice inside. We munched on Chocolate Porridge, and Regi decided it would be nice to go for a swim in the sea. Bear in mind this is the end of November. We ‘both’ went swimming. Regi went fully in – me on the other hand, up to my ankles. I’m telling you, that sea was cold!!
It didn’t stop raining. We toured the Isle, and went right up North, we saw some lovely waterfalls including Kilt Rock, and some nice scenery, Quiraing rocks.
From here, we decided to leave the Island, and head up North to the lovely little fishing village of Ullapool. Our little hearts was set on camping again, so after arriving there, we scouted for a suitable camping spot off the beaten track. This little mission was unsuccessful, as everywhere was waterlogged, and the wind was pretty heavy.
Reginita fell asleep on my lap whilst I was driving, looking for a camp site. Bless. I saw loads of wild deer on the roads. It was a really nice experience. I fell in love with a song by Iva Frühlingová called It Ain’t Easy. This little stretch of driving was just lovely.
We managed to check into a cool B&B, with a similar smell to my fave pub here in Wales – Pen y Gwryd, so it felt homely. We hit the bat, and had some Czech beer. It was nice.
Our plan from Ullapool was to attempt to conquer the lovely walk that is An Teallach, but the weather up here was so bad – and we were still suffering from our mishap on the Ben, that we decided not to.
25.11.09 – We woke up, to an awesome stink. The stink of our walking gear drying out in our room. Oh my, that was some stink. The wind and the rain was still terribly bad. Water had managed to force itself in through double glazing windows! We were right on the sea front. Proper crazy it was.
We checked out, and headed South. On the way, we stopped off at a really awesome gorge – Corrieshalloh gorge.
Mighty impressive. Now, my only two fears that I’ve got, is man made hights – such as tall buildings, and spiral staircases. This was a man made height. Oh gosh. Regi decided it would be fun, once I was on the bridge to start jumping on it. The whole thing started to swing. Oh I felt so ill. The view was stunning though .
We continued South towards Inverness. We stopped off again at some nice rapids called Rogie Falls just by Contin, there was a lovely woodland area where you were free to go walk through and see the falls. It was quite nice.
Inverness was a nice place. Never been there before. We headed up to the Castle, which is now the courts, to the History of Scotland Museum, where I got to dress up;
I felt a bit weird going into a city (yes, it was a city Regi) after being in the wilderness of Scotland for a while. I much prefer the wild. We stocked up on food for the night, Indian from M&S, as we were going camping. I don’t know about you lot – but there’s something odd about having such glorious food when you’re out camping huh?
We drove passt Loch Ness, no Nessie unfortunately, she must be doing her toe nails or something, so we went on a hunt for a camping site. We found one, but it was waterlogged.
We found a lovely one by Loch Eil – but it was closed. Being so cool as we are – we decided to stay here anyhow. We got us a lovely spot, right on the loch, with our own beach. It was great!!
We pitched the tent, got in it, and decided to take a little powernap before commencing the cooking! We set a goal for ourselves of cooking dinner at around 9pm. We woke up at 12am. Oh dear. We decided to skip the lovely Indian food, and kept on sleeping.
26.11.09– Morning arose, and we headed out – over to take a peek at the Glenfinnan Viaduct, and then back over through Fort William and through the beautiful Glen Coe.
The weather wasn’t really on our side, but the views from here are just beautiful. It’s such a shame we didn’t get to walk on the three sisters. I’ve always wanted to go up them. Next time perhaps.
We cruised into Glasgow to see the whole place light up with Christmas lights. I’ve not been to Glasgow before, and it was lovely to see it all lit up and looking pretty;
We hit the Galery of Modern art, not my cup of tea to be honest. We then found us a cool ‘n funky hostel. Our first attempt at finding a Hostel ended up in what can only be described as a den for drug dealers. It was all rather quite bizarre, and huge! Not recommended.
The first thing we did was cook our Indian Meal from the other night, followed by a Sticky Toffee Pudding smothered in Custard. It was bliss. The fellow residents wanted to kill us by the looks on their faces, it was really good food.
27.11.09 – We hit Glasgow in the morning, went to see the nice Cathedral, down to the banks of the river Clyde, and the Disney Store.
After lunch, Regi choose that we went to a place, on the map that showed a little symbol of the sun shinning, as the weather so far had been terrible. This place was Largs.
Here at Largs, something beautiful happened. Me and Regina became a couple. This is my happiest moment in the whole of what Scotland had to offer.
We stayed at another closed campsite, and the view in the morning was stunning.
28.11.09 – Waking up was really nice. Seeing the mountains and the sea. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay there in that moment forever. Knowing that Regina was flying home the next day took it’s toll on me.
We drove into Largs for a lovely Bagel – then headed east to Edinburgh. The place was packed! Ruby weekend – so after running around trying to find us a wee room for the night, we got into the tourist information place, where the very helpful woman got us an amazing place just out of the city centre.
After much chilling in the B&B, we headed into the city (yes Regi) to grab us something nice to eat, and admire the pretty Christmas lights.
29.11.09 – Today was a sad and frightening day. We headed out first thing, and headed up the Scott Monument. Now – imagine if you will, your two fears all rolled into one. It’s something that I really need to overcome, so I did want to go up the Monument. It was riddled with spiral staircases, and where did it take you? Up. Up to a man made height of 61m. I’m sure the views from up there was fantastic, but I couldn’t face it.
Regina left for Prague at 13:45. I hate goodbyes.
For me, it was a fantastic trip. Exactly what I wanted. I became so close to Regina, and we got on so well. The place is just incredible, the people is just amazing, really friendly, and always really happy to help you out.
Go to Scotland people. Experience the rain, the cold, and fall in love with it.