Haven’t done one of these for a while, but most of this year has been a blur of work with no time for sightseeing.
I managed to cram an entire day off into the schedule on the end of my last Highland trip and decided to play the tourist. We’ve actually owned a property nearby for nearly 20 years now, but I still never tire of the beautiful countryside around, or the mystery of that deep, deep loch.
Having decided to play tourist, I thought it would be a nice idea to take a boat trip out onto the loch, something I’ve not done since before we bought the house. Last time we went out from Fort Augustus, where this picture was taken, and has the most frequented trips.
Back when we did it all those years ago, the boats were local fisherman making some spare cash, now they are full on tourist boats, with twin decks, toilets and a bar.
Naturally, they were packed so I decided to try one of the boats out of Drumnadrochit, which lays half way up the loch, and features in my book, Desprite Measures.
We were collected by minibus from The Loch Ness Centre. Grand old building, isn’t it?
I failed to get a picture of our own boat, (though if you watch the BBC crime drama, ‘The Loch’, you’ll see it, as it was the one with the underwater camera that found the body!), but to give you an idea of size and type, this was its neighbour.
Off we went, and I was so glad, despite the T-shirt weather on land, that I’d brought a jacket – it gets COLD out there!
The ‘DEEPSCAN’ had been ploughing these waters a long time, involved in the Loch Ness Project for 40 years, and is a veteran of many scientific studies, films, TV series, and, of course, Nessie hunting.
Deepscan actually made the news a few years ago when its sonar found the monster! Much excitement ensued (as you may imagine!), until the beast was dragged to the surface and proved to be a long lost movie prop from a 1960s Sherlock Holmes movie.
One of the attractions of taking a boat out from Drumnadrochit, is that you get unique views of the other iconic Loch Ness feature, Urquhart Castle.
And so we returned to our berth
…and set off home again, with the added bonus on the trip back up to Inverness or having a squirrel dart across the road in front of us (yes, it survived the experience).
Not unusual, you may think. But this was a red squirrel, these days a truly rare creature in the UK, though they are making a bit of a come back in Scotland, thanks to conservation work.
Isn’t he cute?
Lovely way to finish a great day out.