Scotland, Loch Melfort, Oban, Staffa and more

Travels around the West of Scotland including islands and lochs

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Changes and Scotland travels

It is so amazing how life changes from one minute to the next, always a big adventure. After a few weeks in Troon we are now 19 miles south of Oban on the West Coast of Scotland in Arduaine at the Loch Melfort Hotel. Summer contracts will see us spending until October here. We have done this for a number of reasons mainly to wait for the world to open up.

I had never heard of this area before arriving here although as a kid I had visited Lochgilphead, south of us, Inverary and also Oban (many times). Its always nice to get to know a new area especially when you have time to get to know it properly. We are living in shared accommodation which we have never done or at least not for over 20 years and we are working quite a number of hours a day so it keeps us very occupied. We also have 2 days off, together every week which is something we have never really had because of our industries. We are using these days to the max and exploring the West Coast of Scotland and the islands in the area.

Staffa and Fingal's Cave

One of our first visits was to Staffa, home to Fingal’s Cave and Puffins. Its quite the journey to get there first to Oban and the 45 minute ferry across to Mull. On arrival you turn left and drive one hour from Craignure to Fionnport where the Staffa boat trip departs from at 2pm. The boat had around 12 other people and the captain and a couple of guides, one a trainee. They took us the 50 minute boat trip out to the island passing seals basking on the rocks. The first stop is Fingal’s cave one of the most famous caves in the world. This sea cave is where Felix Mendelssohn was inspired to write the The Hebrides. The cave has also played a part in the Jules Verne novels “The Green Ray” and “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. It has also been visited by Queen Victoria and is now cared for by the National Trust for Scotland.

Puffins on Staffa

On Staffa there is also a healthy population of Puffins that make Staffa their home from mid April until almost exactly the 4th of August every year. Puffins are sea birds and live on the sea and the only reason they come to land is to lay eggs and watch their chicks hatch which they do in burrows on the island. They are beautiful, colourful, playful birds that are very photogenic.

Kinlochleven and Loch Fyne

The following days off we headed to Loch Fyne which most people know as the sea food place where they have an oyster farm. They ship their oysters all over. Having heard of it so many times it was time to try it out, we started with half a dozen oysters before moving onto a delicious sea food platter with some of the fattest crab legs I have ever seen. Really delicious lunch at a decent price. We headed from here up through Glencoe to Onich, taking our time. We spent the night around here. 

Grey Mare's Tail Kinlochleven

A short drive the following morning got us to Kinlochleven where we hiked up to the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall and then on up to the now boarded up Mamore Lodge above the village. The hike gives magnificent views along the loch and across Kinlochleven. Bits of it are a bit steep and scrabbly but in general it’s a straight forward hike. The beauty of going to Kinloch is visiting family in a place I have been visiting all my life. Beautiful day. The drive back to Loch Melfort is uneventful and takes about 90 minutes.

Arduaine gardens and exercise

We have also been spending a lot of time in the Arduaine Gardens (strangely pronounced Ardoony). The gardens began in August 1895 by J Arthur Campbell and he continued adding to his collection of rhododendrons until his death in 1929. The gardens are cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. I have been picking my camera back up, this time placing more emphasis on learning the manual controls, the gardens are the perfect place to practice. I wonder around taking in the colours the scents and the sound of the gardens. It reminds me very much of the jungles in South America.

Arduaine rhododendrons

During our working week as we are quite remote we spend our time around the cottage and the hotel. I am on week 4 couch to 5k and meditating most days, Armando is practicing yoga most days also. It’s nice to have a routine and a base for a while in this beautiful place. We are making the most of it as we know summer will be over soon.

Work for us

We are working hard and have been awarded 2 Kick Start employees via the government scheme, we plan to have 2 people starting in August. One job is Admin and Sales Administrator and the other a Social Media Copywriter. The places are for people aged 16 to 24 and currently receiving Universal Credit. Initially a 6 month contract with possibilities of a full time career for the right candidates.  If you or someone you know is interested please Contact Us  for more information.

We are not teaching at the moment, except the occasional private class, the internet is proving difficult, we will have it fixed soon. Fortunately for our private practice the green house makes the perfect place. Focus continues on our yoga retreats. As Tenerife is in Amber and you are no longer required to get a PCR or other test to enter Tenerife and the Canary Islands this might be a good time to consider booking up our Tenerife yoga retreat. 

You can also get a hold of us here  this is where you can also ask us questions about yoga classes or anything else really and you can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram and follow our daily adventures.

Our Facebook is here and our Instagram here and we love to hear from you.

 


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