Stephen Mc Coll- Wilderness Scotland- New Tour- May 2014
Well here I go again writing a blog about a Scottish Tour. For many of our returning clients who have travelled with me to Scotland over the last five years know of my passion for the Bonnie Land I come from.
Scotland is a place for renowned history with our neighbours in England when battles were fought and victory was sought sometimes for both sides, and to be the victorious in earlier days acclaimed the right to rule the land, a beautiful land full of high towering mountains shadowing the lochs with pride and sometimes when the weather is nice, the mountains display themselves with a magnificent reflection on the surface of the calm water in the loch.
Now Scotland for me is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in my heart, but not only the history noted above, it is a place that is on the tick list for people from all over the world.
Because of The Highland clearances when Scott’s were replaced with sheep as they were more profitable and shipped to America and Canada Americans return retracing their history of their ancestors.
People come from all over the world following and believing legends and myths such as the Loch Ness monster!!.. Now that would certainly be the most magnificent sight of wildlife to see !!..
Visitors like to absorb the culture the folklore the scenery the history and of course the magnificent wildlife to be found in Scotland.
One of my favourite forms of wildlife has got to be the Golden eagle the second largest bird of prey in Scotland with over 800 breeding pairs. An elegant and very intellectual bird that soars the landscape of Scotland seeking it’s prey.
Day 1: Well this was the journey from London to Drymen, a very typical and peaceful village within the vicinity of Loch Lomond. On leaving Thurrock with 420 miles to go it’s always a thought on my mind, please no hold ups, but the run up was good scenic and when we crossed the border (passports were not required) the sun was shining, well what I mean it was dry. We arrived in the best time possible for 19.30 and welcomed by a hearty Scottish meal and a very comfortable bed at the Winnock Hotel.
Day 2: We started our day with an early entry in to the sea life centre on the banks of Loch Lomond to view the captive otters being fed their breakfast and doing a trick or two. We then had time for an included tea and shortbread to view the splendour of Scotland’s largest body of freshwater.
From here we travelled over one of Scotland’s must travel roads the infamous dukes pass a narrow pass with 180 corners to twist and turn with amazing views over the Trossachs to Loch Katrine for a trip on the SS Sir Walter Scott, an elegant steam ship that creates beautiful patterns on the picturesque loch surrounded by an amphitheatre of gentle sloping hills. The sound of the engine puffing away makes the journey so pleasant and tranquil with the opportunity to see wildlife. Before our trip on the loch we had a nice lunch which consisted of home made soup, sandwiches and cakes, it was well presented and very very nice.
After our boat trip we headed to Ardgaty farm to view Red kites a breed of prey reintroduced to our country. We saw them feeding and as they elegantly swept down for their food it was quite a wonderful sight. The guide at the farm was very informative, detailing the history of this bird and the ways of how they survive and breed.
Day 3: Today was the day of our Safari on the outskirts of the highland village of Aberfeldy. The drive was pleasant and scenic as we skirted by the Lochs of Luibnaig and Loch Earn. On route we spotted Red Deer and a capercaillie, a rare bird with a beautiful blue colour. On arrival at Aberfeldy we divided the group for a trip up the mountain to view any form of wildlife. The guides were entertaining and very knowledgeable and the journey was quite an experience.
Day 4: Well today was a day enjoyed by all as we set out to travel to North Berwick for a boat trip out to Bass Rock an island inhabited by over 150,000 gannets. The weather was stunning as always in Scotland !!.. And the sight of these birds dominating this island was quite spectacular. The young lady on the boat was very informative and pointed out to us also the rare puffin although at this time of year few and far between. But some were sighted.
On returning back to North Berwick I found this a stunning spot of Scotland that even I had never seen and took a liking to the golden sandy beach, the stunning coastal scenery and a town with the most expensive houses in Scotland.
So on our return journey I took it into my own hands just to do something extra to enhance the holiday. I diverted after coming round the city bypass of our capital city Edinburgh to view the most iconic structure of Scotland, The Forth Rail bridge.
I had never been that close with my coach, so after a few wrong turns and narrow streets we arrived to this view.
With my diversion and me boasting the land I come from and the land I pride, I forgot to mention we also had a bird of prey display right outside the front of the hotel and this is the picture of the Golden Eagle at the start of this blog.
So this was our last evening in Scotland and it was our Scottish night with haggis addressed to the crowd of hungry clients eager to taste the wild beastie that had been captured to put on our plate. They are easy to catch and easy to see and hear as they squeal like a really bad bagpipe player, but you must be equipped with your skigh n dubh to taste the most infamous beastie of Scotland.
Haggis addressed and eaten it was time for a ceilidh, so to conclude the tour I presented myself with a bit off class and adorned my Scottish attire.
Now as a known representative I was requisitioned to a barn dance but I did have to disperse and change into my jeans because swinging an swaying is something you have to be careful of when wearing the highland attire.
The holiday was enjoyed by all, although wildlife can not be arranged by appointment, but it is there and you never know what you will see.
Thank you so much to all my clients who travelled with me and enjoyed our experience of Scotland.
Best Regards as always, many thanks for traveling with Crusader Holidays and Motts Travel and hope to see you all returning for a trip to the Bonnie Land with me.
Haste Ye Back