Kildary, Ross & Cromarty, Day 4
Today we headed south to explore The Black Isle.
The term Black Isle is a bit of a misnomer as it is neither black or an island, but a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides - the Cromarty Firth to the north, the Beauly Firth to the south, and the Moray Firth to the east. It is thought the black part of the name refers to the dark, fertile soil.
The Black Isle is also well known for its viewing spots that give the chance to see bottlenose dolphins at close range in the Moray Firth and it was to Fortrose, more specifically Chanonry Point, we headed hoping to see them for ourselves.
A small group of people were gathered on the beach just along from the car park at Chanonry Point that due to the path being closed (it was crumbling) wasn't accessible to me. I was hopeful though and waited patiently with my camera but once again I cursed my lack of a telephoto lens.
After a couple of minutes David shouted "there!" I shouted, 'Where?" but it was too late. I'd missed them. David spotted them jump again but alas they evaded me and after sitting for a little while longer we headed back to Fortrose.
The road from Chanonry Point back into Fortrose cuts right across the golf course. A bit dangerous depending on the golfing abilities of those on the course. Other than to take the shot in extras of the lovely view from the course, I put the car window up until we were safely in Fortrose! :-)
From Fortrose we drove the short distance to Rosemarkie and stopped there for a while. It has a lovely beach and a lovely cafe/restaurant looking right on to the water. We resisted though as we thought we might have dinner at the Royal Hotel in Cromarty (recommended by a friend) which was our next stop.
After arriving in Cromarty our mission was to find Hugh Miller's cottage. Good friends became involved in the organisation the Friends of Hugh Miller a number of years ago and we have heard lots about him and his little cottage in Cromarty. We found it easily (Cromarty is tiny :-) but sadly it was closed so we weren't able to go in. It was lovely to see it though and put it into context.
We also found the Royal Hotel, which had the most beautiful flowers around the door, but it was also closed. Well until 5pm, so as it was only 4.40pm, we drove along to Jemimaville to pass the time, and enjoyed the drive back to Cromarty which afforded the best views of the sleeping giants that snooze in the Cromarty Firth either awaiting work to be done on them, or to die (some people refer to the Cromary Firth as an oil rig carpark, others an oil rig graveyard). They are quite a sight to behold and strangely attractive in their setting.
There is a tiny two-car ferry that sails between Cromarty and Nigg Point and we knew we wanted to catch the ferry back to Nigg Point as it saved us a 40 mile journey (Nigg Point is only ten minutes from The Barn.) Unfortunately the last crossing is 6pm so that put paid to dinner at the Royal Hotel, but the short crossing (we were the only passengers :-) with the Sleeping Giants to our right and the entrance the Cromarty Firth on our left was well worth missing eating out for. Also reversing off the ferry onto the slipway was a little exciting! lol)
Back to the Barn in time for G&Ts sitting in the garden and dinner of venison burgers and salad. Neale had filled the bird feeder and once again it was a joy to watch all the little feathered visitors and a not so small wood pigeon. I was actually laughing out loud at two blackbirds and they bounced along the ground jumping in and out of the hedge. They looked like they were playing hide and seek with each other. And of course the bunnies came to visit too.
I can't remember the last time I felt so relaxed.
- Canon EOS 6D