31 Mar 2012

Glenelg Race Night

Great night at the Inn on the horses - on DVD not real ones!
You sponsor a horse and can also bet on them or others in the 8 races. My gee-gee “Hoof Hearted!” came in first then it all went down hill for me. I never won a thing after that though Sue picked a few winners.
In the last race the 8 horses were auctioned off with the final horse going for £120!
The same horse then went on to win netting the owner around £250. Not a bad night at the races. (I think he backed it too, so well done for having the bottle to lay out that sort of money in the first place.)
Sympathy vote went to Rab M. His horse Fell in the first race, came last in the next 2 and pulled up in the 4th. His other 4 horses seemed to have a mix of poor heart conditions, gammy legs or asthma complaints!! He was still crying in his pint when we left.

Proceeds go to help put on the 2012 Glenelg Gala Day on Saturday 30th June.

29 Mar 2012

Glenelg Brochs - another theory

We had a cycle up Glen Beag yesterday morning and stopped off at Dun Telve for a couple of photos. There have been many suggestions of what these were built for, a defensive fort, tribal farmhouse or even as a place of stature but I have my own theory.
Could they be the original self catering cottages in Glenelg, maybe a B&B or even a hostel for hill walkers?!!

Did people travelling up the Glen 2000 year ago see a sign carved into a large stone?
Glen Beag Broch – Vacancies and Short breaks

What were the facilities like?
Obviously standards were slightly different in the old days so we have added a modern explanation in brackets.
Twin or Double beds (One large or two smaller stones)
En-suite facilities (Hole in the middle of the floor)
Log Burner (Fire in the middle of the floor)
Large dining area (Floor)
Running water (Down at the burn)
Dishwasher (Burn)
Washer dryer (Burn and tree next to burn)
Hairdryer (Hole in wall)
Freeview (Hole in wall)
Special rates for OAPs and Druids

Local area
Good for wildlife (Bring your own bow and arrow)
Trips “over the sea to Skye” (You swim)

Please note;
Do not tie your horses to posts – these are passing places only.
There is no Mobile phone coverage (something’s never change!!)

28 Mar 2012

Costa del Quiet!

Sunny days, blue skies, calm seas and an empty beach. It's been a fabulous spell of weather in Glenelg over the last 5 or 6 days. You can't beat the West Coast when it's like this.

26 Mar 2012

Otter watch!! (Again)

Our last visitor sent through these photos of one of our local otters swimming just in front of The Lodge. Makes it worth getting up for an early morning walk as there is no doubt the quieter it is the better the chance you have of spotting them.

Thanks again John!

22 Mar 2012

Self-catering perks!

We never realized there could be perks involved when renting out The Lodge.
Our current visitor, over from the East Coast for a short break, used to be a chef and arrived at our door last night with a pot of Cullen Skink for us to try (Cheers John!). As a “not that bothered about fish” person I was amazed at the taste and flavours, absolutely superb, we downed the pot in one (probably four portions in it!). If you see it on a menu I would recommend you try it, though being brought up by Cullen, having a dad for a fisherman and being trained as a chef probably gives him an edge when cooking it!
This has made me think that it could be useful asking what visitors occupations are on our booking form, maybe we could give preferential treatment if they had useful skills, plumbers, mechanics, gardeners and professional racing tipsters springs to mind!!

ps: He was justly rewarded for his good deed. An hour after settling in he came out with a cup of coffee, wandered across the road to look down the bank to the beach and 20 feet below was an Otter. (Could the Otter have been attracted by the smell of the soup?!)

8 Mar 2012

Sandaig walk

Been a busy time since we moved to Glenelg in January and our first jaunt down to Sandaig this year was not until Monday (5th March). After a week or so of rain you jump when the weather forecast promises a decent day so it was up sharp and a quick drive to Upper Sandaig (basically a cottage between Glenelg and Arnisdale), where the forestry track starts just before you reach the cottage. It’s around a 3 mile drive, walk or cycle to Upper Sandaig and another 1.5 mile walk or cycle from there to the shore with some steep up and downs involved.
With a few strong gales hitting the West Coast of Scotland this winter there have been a stack of trees blown down and it shows when you walk through the forest. I guess this one will be down in the next gale...........

This one gives an idea of the scale of the root base on a decent sized tree.

This is a view that hasn’t been seen for a few decades but is now opened up again due to the tree felling operations. A lot of the lower track now has open views which is the way I remember it back in the early 70s, on the down side the tree felling leaves the area looking like photos you see of the shelled trenches in WW1 with just the odd dead tree sticking up.

Saw this fellow keeping an eye on us walking down the track.

Again the tree felling has opened up the views here across to Sandaig islands.

The last remaining cottage at Sandaig, now pretty derelict and a sad sight with a couple of trees landing on its roof this winter.

The late Raef Payne, an English master at Eton and friend of Gavin Maxwell lived here each summer. I noticed an interesting feasibility study on the internet http://www.paperigloo.com/architecture/sandaig/index.html regarding this cottage. Whether anything comes of this in the current financial climate will have to be seen but if it improves tourism and enhances the environment then it must be worth looking at.

Another photo of the cottage, you really can’t get much closer to the sea (though The Lodge is pretty close too!). What price would this fetch as a holiday cottage if it had a road down to it (and was in a better state of repair!)?

The Gavin Maxwell memorial, the rock was placed above the spot his writing desk was located, his ashes were placed below.

Memorial for Edal, the Ring of Bright Water otter killed during the house fire, the inscription reads “Whatever joy she gave to you, give back to nature.”

One of the few remains of the Maxwell years, the boat trailer for the Polar Star.

The wee waterfall, a bit cluttered with fallen trees and branches.

The burn, always a nice spot during the spring

The burn, where it forms the Ring of Bright Water?

Heading over the rope bridge to get across to the Islands (to call it a “bridge” maybe an exaggeration but it’s that or getting your feet wet).

One of the Island beaches, small but stunning, this is one of the most relaxing places in the world for a quick “forty winks”!!

Sandaig is well worth a visit, even though the walk back is uphill!!

2 Mar 2012

Pub quiz at the Inn

Last night was quiz night and my turn for making up the questions. The winning score of 31 and a half out of around 85 points available meant a lot of dissention in the ranks with me getting the blame for forgetting to add a few easy ones. Dunno what they were moaning about, I left out the ones on Quantum Physics and added 2 on the teletubbies!!

March - in like a Lion?

More like a damp squib to be honest! March 1st arrived after a week or so of rain and breezy days and even just a dampish day is a highlight with the mists adding another dimension to the hills across the water on Skye.

Still, by evening we were walking round to the Inn on what was a clear night and this morning brought sunshine to the beach at Bernera. The West Coast always makes you smile eventually!