This is basically a giant photodump, but I wanted to put some photos from our holiday on here, and not having written it up as I went along, I'm cutting my losses in order to make a post of some kind!
Here are Rosie & Pp outside the pub we stayed at in Yorkshire. It's a long way from Cornwall to Inverness. We were not inclined to drive all the way in one day, and Rosie certainly wasn't: when she saw that I wanted her to get back into the car next morning, she made quite a determined effort to go back into the pub...
But! We arrived on the boat, and it was less difficult to get her into the cabin than I had feared. It was a large and very comfortble boat, with lots of room for dog and humans. We had two spare bedrooms for our stuff! It was a bit chilly at night, but fortunately I had brought a jumper & two blankets for Rosie, and the human bedding was more than adequate.
It was a couple of days before I managed to coax her up to the outside deck while we were motoring. As you see, she wore her bouyancy jacket while we were moving. And a jumper. And a blanket...
But she soon got very confident about moving around the boat.
I wish I'd taken a photo of her jumping back on board! It was very impressive. The Highlands being something of a tourist attraction, she got a lot of 'Ooh's from other passing tourists.
Pp banged his head on the cabin roof I think... fifteen times? I did it three times. Rosie did not bang her head at all, and was somewhat smug.
The boat we parked next to, very similar to our boat, on Loch Locky :-D Or Lochy. Who knows.
Intrepidly motoring along (actually, motoring was on the lochs was the least intrepid bit. Mooring, casting off and going through locks on the canal bits was defnitely the most intrepid. Locks are particularly hard because all the lock keepers have slightly different ideas of what you should be doing, and helpfully share them,which to begin with is reassuring, but after a while becomes a bit confusing when you are earnestly told not to do the thing the last lock-keeper told you to always do. I am undecided whether this is intentional.)
A Steam Puffer, Puffing Along.
Moy Bridge. This was the smallest swing bridge of them all! It's only there to let the farmer bring his animals across, and if it's closed, the bridge keeper has to wind one side open, then pop across in a little boat to do the other side. Quite a change from the monster mechanical swing road bridges in Inverness and Fort Augustus.
It got very sunny, suddenly.
The sidekicks took photos of themselves in their giant orange lifejackets. These were much less stylish than Rosie's purple affair, but made for good contrast with the sky.
It was so hot this day that I went and paddled my feet in the canal for a bit, because I was BAKING, even after a cooling shower. (The boat had showers! Two of them!) This was after that, when my feet were no longer quite so red and steaming.
Back at Loch ness as the sun went down. We were rather expecting internet to be a bit limited on this holiday, but in fact we shared the 4G signal from Mark's phone, which is less geriatric than mine, and though it was a little pricy, it was amazingly fast. Which was a good thing, because several things broke randomly while we were boating and I spent quite a bit longer fixing them than I ideally would have liked. Oh well, that's self-employment for you.
We had planned to stop at the boatyard in Inverness the night before we had to be off the boat, but were foiled by an excessive number of paddleboarders, who in a fit of apparent group insanity, had decided to paddleboard all the way along Loch Ness, and all the way along the canal to Inverness. This caused the Inverness swingbridge to have a fit of the vapours and stop opening for larger boats, so we got stuck on the wrong side of it and had to moor there instead.
Undefeated, we walked through Inverness, and sought the Sea.
We found a little bedlington whippetty lurcher, and a heron, and a sea-lock, and some otters. I only seem to have a photo of the lurcher. There may be morephotos lurking on my camera card, but not of the otters, because I missed those. We did see some distant heads, which Pp thought were the otters again, but I think were probably seals.
We also saw a golden Eagle soaring over the mountains as we drove south on the way home. No photo of that either, but it was very cool. We had been looking out for Eagles the whole time, and only saw buzzards, but this was definitely much muh bigger.
We stopped at the Falls of Bruar on the way home, which is pretty and has ENORMOUS car parks and a VAST department store type place selling lots of things that are delicious or delightful but also make you stare in wonder and go HOW MUCH, COR. BLIMEY.
Finally, here is a photo of Rosie at the hotel we stayed at near Carlisle on the way home, staring at the chickens. This is shortly before the chickens all rushed hopefully at her, presumably hoping she was edible, and she ran away.