Friday, 12 October 2012

Canals in Scotland?

My beautiful wife organised a week away for us as part of my 50th birthday. So last Saturday saw the new workhorse Honda CRV loaded to the roof literally with the two of us Leia the dog, Tom and with a stop off in Leeds to collect no2 son Callum.

I had kept them all on the insurance so we could share the 10 hour drive to Whitehills on the Moray Firth . It was a good drive up the A1 then through Edinburgh, over the Forth bridge up past Perth, Dundee then via Aberdeen to our destination.

This is our cottage - Wale cottage right on the sea wall

The beaches around here are fantastic, made more so by the lack of people on them. On Sunday after a leisurely start we walked the Beach at Cullum.

Here is the family was so nice having them with us

Sunday night was clear as a bell so at 11pm Callum and I drove 50 miles (!) to what is supposed to be one of the darkest places in the UK.... except the Moon was waining so it spoilt the party a little.

This is the Milky Way I am told. I took it by putting the camera on the telescope with a 60 second exposure.

We saw a few shooting stars as well. It was worth the 100 mile round trip if only for the total peace and  beauty of the location we stopped at. We also saw Deer, Badger, Owl, Rabbits and Fox. We got back 2.30am cold but well happy.

On Monday (as the lads were leaving us Tuesday) we went clay pigeon shooting, not something I or the lads had done before but very enjoyable. I was the least accurate with Callum winning the competition .... well  we are blokes after all.

This is the action shot of Tom pinging the first clay then moving onto the second....

The winner getting his "Clay" trophy from Rachel

Monday evening we got an amber alert from Aurorawatch uk, that subsequently turned into a red alert. It was the night between two clear nights our bit of coast had cloud cover. We drove till 1.30am up and down the coast to see the lights but were unlucky not to. There was a spooky green glow to the cloud and at one point a shaft of green light came through a break in the clouds but it does not constitute a viewing so we will have to come back !!!

Due to work commitments both lads had to go back home on Tuesday and both has chosen different times and modes to do so.... Tom flew back and Callum being a student got a £40 train ride home to Leeds. This gave us a day in Aberdeen, granite city I think it is called. The Esplanade is worth a visit, once again lots of empty beach.

It is the supply centre for much of the North Sea drilling operation, lots of ships coming and going.

A bit bigger close up .....

Wednesday saw us walking along the beach to Banff. Another fantastic walk along empty beaches.

Here is the canal link......

Banff was where Tim and Shane Spall overwintered in 2011 as part of their around Britain tv trip. They had Princess Matilda repainted in the ship year we visited yesterday at Buckie. Banff is a very nice place, just the right size with beaches to die for. If I had £150,000 I'd be viewing this property, right on the sea front....

It was about 7 miles round trip, the harbour at Banff is very picturesque I can see why Tim and Shane chose it.

The town is very nice to, certainly the lower part away from the main road.
We went west on Thursday, to past Buckie where we did have the whole beach to ourselves. The tide was just turning and it was revealing the beach as we walked.

Leia is in her element here......

Mind you there is always someone who wants to spoil the peace and quiet.

Today (Friday) is very stormy.....and poor Rachel is down with a chest infection, so it is a reading coffee drinking relaxing day. We may do a distillery later....or we may not. Whatever is has been a great few days break. 


Anonymous said...

I did some work in Banff last year - it is a beautiful place. There weren't any aurorae when I was working up there though we did have the Icelandic ash cloud, which was not quite the same :-)

We get the Aurorawatch alerts too - they're never likely to be seen in Surrey but we live in hope...

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Anonymous said...

Looks nice and great pics

Les and Jaqueline Biggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Les and Jaqueline Biggs said...

Happy birthday Nev and many happy returns. I am in awe of the night pics you took of the moon and the Milky Way. I could see it from the back deck of Cloudhouse in Washington. It easy to understand why some ancient tribes used to describe it as "the backbone of night." Loved the pics of your family as well. :)
(edited this comment for spelling errors!)

LittleInsect said...

uote: @they're never likely to be seen in Surrey but we live in hope...@

You say that, but I live in Kent, and twice in my lifetime, I've seen them down here.

Great trip Nev. Hope Rachel is feeling better