Sunday, 16 November 2014

But didn't spot Nessie

On Hallowe'en MrS and I found ourselves in Inverness. MrS had to work (shame) and while he was at his meeting I took Dogstarke for an explore. It had been a little while since I'd been there, and all our visits have been work related (for MrS at least) though we did manage to indulge ourselves on visits by staying at Rocpool Reserve. Since Dogstarke came to stay that hasn't been an option and I've yet to find a dog friendly alternative so I've tended to stay at home. This recent visit could be done as a day trip though, so DogS and I tagged along.

I'd wondered whether to explore out of town either Cromarty on the Black Isle or up to Tain to visit Anta but after a long journey I didn't really fancy getting back in the car; the sun was shining and DogS always opts for walkies so our choice was made. We were lucky with that sunshine too because the level of the river told a tale of heavy rain and the Ness islands were closed, with signs warning of the cancellation of the planned Hallowe'en party. If you don't know Inverness, the river Ness flows, sometimes very fiercely, through the centre, there's a history of severe floods; but on a sunny day it's nice to amble along the tree lined walkway. It criss crosses by a number of bridges, at least two of these with alarmingly "soft" suspension so I kept a tight hold on Dogstarke's lead and was very grateful for the closely woven mesh sides. Not that I'm a wimp or anything.......but I did have to keep telling DogS that it was "a very big river, too big for little dogs". Even ones who love to swim. Actually particularly for ones who love to swim.

Inverness was the destination of my first expedition out of Edinburgh after I'd moved there to study. My boyfriend had a local friend who showed us around and so I had my first non sighting of Nessie, a trip to Urquhart castle and back in the days of more predictable weather, marvelled at a frozen loch high in the hills above the famous one. That icy loch was just my first experience of Scottish winter, the same year I saw Duddingston and Loch Leven frozen solid.


I can't remember exactly when we made that trip, first term probably, so most likely November. This October 31st it was warm enough to set my lunch outside


And yes, greedy guts was eating alone, but in my defence I hadn't read the menu properly and didn't eat the chips(fries).

Not everything had changed though. I took this photo (below) in 1983

And the Victorian market still exists, and didn't appear to have a dog ban so both of us were able to explore. In fact, I shouldn't complain about the unseasonably warm weather, because otherwise I'd have had to go hungry or banish DogS to the car while I ate inside as I didn't find any other dog friendly places, must research better next time.

What I did find was weddings, at least four, including one bride in a gown trimmed with seasonal black lace attended by black clad maids. They must have been relieved by the sunshine on their big days; I hope good times were had by all.

Our drive home took us along the banks of Loch Ness, with another non sighting, perhaps it was too dark, perhaps she was hiding from the rain which had returned with a vengeance, perhaps she's just shy?

Non existent? Noooo. Just elusive.



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