Tuesday, June 14, 2016

14 June Inverness - Mallaig ( Glenfinnan Viaduct )

14 June :
We fly from London to Inverness. Arrival time 11 am. Pick up car at airport ( Europcar ) and head south. Pick up LH at Inverness Dalcross / lunch.

Hug A82, west shore of Loch Ness.

( Inverness Dalcross Airport - Glenfinnan : 2 hours )


Reach Glenfinnan Viaduct for train spotting ( 3 pm ). Allow 30 min to walk to vantage point. Stop for 2 hours.

Travel from Glenfinnan to Mallaig via A830 ( 30 min )

Call Moorings about our arrival. Checkin to Moorings Bed & Breakfast ( E Bay ) steps from  Mallaig ferry terminal at 6 pm. We spend 1 night there.

Sunset 10.24 pm.

What actually happened :

In London, Blackberry cabs actually came on the dot and got us to Luton in good time. That was Cab 41 who picked us on the dot (£45 cash ), very  professional and totally worth it. The one hour ride on M1 was so smooth we actually dozed off in the car.

Our flight Ezy 153 to Inverness was delayed and we sat in the place on the tarmac for an hour waiting for takeoff. A bunch of old boys entertained us with their antiques and made the waiting bearable. 

In the end, the arrival of our hour long flight coincided with Lai Hong’s arrival. We met at the only carousel in the airport.

After a long wait sorting out car rental and stuff, we were all systems go. I even setup Mr Garmin so that it could get us to the lunch place after Fort Augustus. Unfortunately, the  route was not what we intended ( Garmin took a route east of Loch Ness ) and we backtracked to Inverness. From there, we got on A82 and headed to The Thistle Stop ,using a westerly approach, for a lip smacking lunch. Everything we ate was good and delicious. Never did we know it was to be one of the best meal in Scotland.


By now, we were on the road for 2 hours or more. We turned off towards Mallaig on A830. The road continued to be windy but opened up to beautiful lochs and hills. There was the occasional car but all was tranquil in the hills. Even the loch  surface was still and sometimes just shimmer gently in the sun. We even past by Ben Nevis with its snow capped tops.

At Glenfinnan Monument, we took a walk up to the view point behind the Visitor Center. Parking was an obligatory £2 to support the upkeep of the place. We stayed long enough to see an electric train chug past the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Needless to say, it was not impressive because it was not the Jacobite Express.

Across the road, we inspected the monument that celebrated the Jacobite uprising and Prince Charlie raising of the Jacobite Standard. We did some crazy photo moves before we departed.

It was extremely scenic along the way to Mallaig and we made a couple of unintended stops. Each was a great Kodak moment, be it a dog fetching a stick thrown into the loch or a great waterway coursing between 2 mighty mountains.

We finally checked in at Mallaig’s Mooring Guest house at 6.30pm. It was favorably reviewed by Tripadvisor though the not so plus point is that we had to pay for our stay in cash. 

I failed to exchange my online confirmation voucher for the actual ferry tickets because we were late ( Calmac office closes after 6pm ) which meant that I  would have to repeat the errand again tomorrow.

Mallaig is a sleepy town in the evening. Everyone seemed to congregate at the CornerStone seafood place. It was fine dining, pricey  but the food was extremely well done.

By 9pm, LH gave in to jetlag and called it a day. We stayed in a quaint little family room ( £115, cash ) which had all the creature comforts of a hotel.

What a day! It was lots of travel but the company was wonderful and so was the food. Hopefully, tomorrow will be the same as we stay together in a chalet, under one roof.

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