Armed with a piece of paper that M wrote down all the places she had planned for us to go see today we headed out.
First stop was Glen Ord distillery where we planned to go on a tour but the next one was a tasting one which was 18 quid. We thought that a little pricey, we just went through the museum which was just our price, FREE.
Glen Ord is a whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands and is the only remaining single malt scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle. Its principal product is an eponymous 12-year-old single malt whisky. The distillery won awards for the best single malt at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 1994 and 1996
The distillery is off the A832 at Muir of Ord, 15 miles west of Inverness.
Our next stop was Rogie Falls. I really enjoyed the nice, easy walk to the falls. We walked across the suspension bridge. There was a couple with a small dog, who was scared to death on the bridge. The poor dog just laid there shaking. I thought the bridge was way cool.
I read that you can see the salmon leaping up the falls in August and September. Just like at home in Alaska. The falls flows from slopes of Ben Wyvis. The falls are really worth seeing if you are in the area.
Here I also discovered that the men stopped talking as much when they are walking and enjoying the nature. I hope M plans more trips with a little walking in nature, so I can get some peace.
Next stop was Ullapool where you can get the best fish and chips. Ullapool is a small, quaint fishing village which has many things going for it; like hillwalking, nature, and beautiful views. You can also take the ferry to Stornoway.
Seaforth Bar & Restaurant is the place to go for fish and chips. Don’t go into the fancy bar and restaurant just go to the chippy that is on one side of it. They are always busy, but the make the fish fresh and it is wonderful. There is nothing like chips from a chippy shop. The chippy has won all kinds of awards. Sit at the picnic tables outside and enjoy the sea air.
After stuffing ourselves on the great fish and chips we started off to Achmelvich beach. Now is time for taking pictures out of a moving car. Fred did actually stop once for a photo op.
Achmelvich Beach is a stunning, white sandy beach with a popular caravan and camping spot nearby. A popular spot with water skiers, windsurfers and kayakers, Achmelvich is a bustling beach during the summer months. Dogs are not permitted on the beach during the peak tourist season and neither of the camping and caravan sites allow dogs. The unique morphology of the area, means there are many nearby walks and climbs, including the famous Suilven, for those interested in hiking. The beach is popular with fishers with cod, haddock, whiting, pollack, saithe and mackerel being common catches.
The sand reminded me of where we I grew up on Padre Island in Texas. I just love the sea and beach. I think they are so peaceful. We went early enough in the season that there was not many people there which was really nice.
We did make one more stop on our way back to the Byre. We stopped at Ardvreck Castle and Calda House.
Ardvreck Castle was built by the Macleod Clan in the fifteenth century on a promontory of land that juts into Loch Assynt. It witnessed regular local clan warfare throughout its history but it became infamous for its role in national events in 1650 when James Graham, Marquis of Montrose was betrayed there and handed over to his Covenanter enemies.
The second MacKenzie of Assynt , Kenneth, was persuaded by his wife to abandon the austerity and discomfort of Ardvrek in favor a new house at nearby Calda. Begun in 1726 it was the first classical style house in the northwest highlands and at that time would have been very grand indeed.
Amid mounting debts the luxury loving Mackenzies were forced to put their grand house up for sale and a struggle for control of Assynt now ensued between the MacKenzie Earl of Seaforth and the Earl of Sutherland. In 1736 some MacKenzie supporters deliberately torched Calda House to prevent it ever being used by the Sutherlands!
Now it was getting late, so it was a fast trip back to the Byre. M says she has to stay home for the business and Sam, the great dane, but I believe it is because she wants peace and quiet. David and Fred have not stopped talking since the have met. Good thing I raised 5 kids because I can tune them out.