Cowart's Common Room
Ballachulish or bust

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Well that was a bonkers 36 hours...

Posted at 23rd Jul 2013 - 03:07PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Ballachulish or bust Comments: 11

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Fairy Nuff's Avatar We left The Studio at lunchtime on Sunday and had a lovely drive in the blazing sunshine down Loch Ness, Loch Lochy and Loch Linnhe to Loch Leven and Onich where we spent the night at the Loch Leven Hotel, originally the Coaching Inn for the Ballachulish ferry. Our room had a spectacular view over the Loch towards Glen Coe and Beinn a'Bheithir (Mountain of the Thunderbolt... so named because of the Dragon that lived there).
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A cooling pear Kopparberg and a pint of Loch Leven ale in the garden and a lovely meal later we sat at the open window of our room gazing lazily over the mountains and watching the to-ing and fro-ing at the Heronry across the water until bedtime.
What is it about a hotel breakfast? I don’t normally eat much early on but love a three course hotel breakfast! Juice, scrambled egg, sausage, mushrooms, beans, a tattie scone, toast with marmalade and a pot of tea… yumm.
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After all that we checked out and drove the 100 yards to Starfish Harps! We were in luck as there was a French Harpist there who had spent the last 10 days playing their demonstration models (in between trips around the west coast) with a view to buying one herself so I got to hear what they could do in the hands of an expert rather than just my faulting attempts at “Afton Water”. I did then spend about an hour plucking away myself to get the feel of the different models and eventually plumped for a Glencoe to be made in cherry wood with a set of lovely new smooth action Delacour levers.
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Job done we set off back up the road north and stopped off at Corpach to visit the Treasures of the Earth exhibition (a great venue for geology nuts!) a quick shop at the co-op for some sandwiches we then carried on along that road to find a picnic stop. Beautiful scenery all around except at the parking places which were all surrounded by trees we found ourselves past Glenfinnan before we found an empty place to stop with a view.
Over lunch we had a mad idea… we were by then only 15 minutes drive from Mallaig so why not take the Ferry over to Skye and drive home that way? The idea was not as mad as it may appear, either route would take us about 2 hours to drive and as I had never been to Mallaig before and it seemed a lovely day for a boat trip we thought “Stuff it… why not?”
The next two ferries were full but we got tickets for the 6pm crossing so spent a lovely afternoon in Mallaig exploring the harbour and eating ice cream, well you’ve got to haven’t you? A little side show as we watched the drama unfold when two hotpant clad designer sunglass wearing airheads swanning around the harbour dropped their car keys (hanging nonchalantly from a pinky) into the murky depths by the fishing boats, the car of course being locked with all their valuables inside parked in the queue for the ferry. The car duly broken into by the local mechanic was taken off along with its owners on the back of a flatbed truck!
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The ferry duly arrived and we sailed through turquoise waters followed by a balmy breeze across the Minch to Armadale passing the blue hazy islands of Eigg and Rum on the way, the crossing only takes 20 minutes and was very refreshing at the end of a very hot afternoon. Petrol at Broadford then on to Kyle of Lochalsh for a tasty Indian meal at the Spice Tandoori before carrying on our way through Glen Sheil passing the Five sisters of Kintail (a mountain ridge with five peaks) Loch Cluanie and down Glen Moriston to Loch Ness again then back up the lochside home. Two tired but happy bunnies after a two hundred and seventy mile round trip and a bonkers 36 hours away!

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 23rd Jul 2013 at 03:11PM

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Arosebyanyothername's Avatar What a lovely trip. I know the area well - it is certainly beautiful. We have camped at Ballachulish, caught the train from Rannoch Moor to Mallaig many times and taken the ferry to Skye. It brings back my memories to hear your story. Love the bit about the lost keys!

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 23rd Jul 2013 at 03:26PM

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Faith's Avatar That last photo is so stunning FN - the calmness of it, wow. What a fantastic little trip you had. Funny about the girls at Mallaig - so cool, until they dropped the keysLaughing I've been to Mallaig - never seen a seal until I went there. I was so surprised to see this 'face' looking up at me!

Posted by: Faith on 23rd Jul 2013 at 03:30PM

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Fennie's Avatar Well, that takes some beating! Yes, wonderful hotel breakfasts - and you bought a harp! Well done!

Posted by: Fennie on 23rd Jul 2013 at 04:08PM

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Fairy Nuff's Avatar Now I just have to contain myself for the next 9 or 10 months until it's finishedBlink
At least I have my little purple harp to practise on.

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 23rd Jul 2013 at 04:45PM

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Inthemud's Avatar What a wonderful trip. I agree the last photo is stunningly beautiful!

Posted by: Inthemud on 23rd Jul 2013 at 05:05PM

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Withy Brook's Avatar What a joy! Some of it I know. We used to sail round there - Rhum, Eigg,Skye etc. not been to Mallaig. Then the drive home, love that to. I always wanted a harp!

Posted by: Withy Brook on 23rd Jul 2013 at 09:27PM

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Pimsonthelawn's Avatar A birthday weekend to remember. Looks just perfect. I haven't been past Hawick, think I need to head up your way FN.

Posted by: Pimsonthelawn on 23rd Jul 2013 at 10:32PM

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Camilla's Avatar What a simply fabulous trip FN, lovely serene photo the last one. How exciting for you FN with choosing new Harp too.

Posted by: Camilla on 24th Jul 2013 at 12:42AM

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Westerwitch's Avatar Very HappyVery HappyVery Happy Fabulous trip and gorgeous pictures. I shall have to give you TONS of homework so that you don't have time to think about the harp that is being made - the time will fly by.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 24th Jul 2013 at 09:19AM

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Fairy Nuff's Avatar I thought you might like the Islands picture Withy I had a feeling you would have sailed there.
I have a steadily growing queue of "can I have a shot of your harp" would be harpists including my Brother who suggested I may be pushing 50 but he thought it was a bit early to order the angel harp yetRolling Eyes

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 24th Jul 2013 at 02:05PM

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