WHW Day 2 – Drymen to Rowardennan

After a lovely stay at the Drymen’s Inn we left early to walk another 13 miles to Rowardennan.

Again it was an incredibly beautiful day with very few clouds in the sky so we were in good spirits!

Heading up through the forest was great as it meant we had some shade for a while and it was so quiet apart from the birdsong – bliss!

Just on the other side of the forest we caught our first glimpse of Loch Lomond, the loch we will be walking along for the next two days.

We then took the high road up and around Conic Hill – FYI this road is not available in lambing season and took in the scenery.

Feeling very tired already we stopped for a quick refresh and food at a pub in Balmaha. We continued on along Loch Lomond and went back into the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park where the path became quite narrow and twisted but remaining by the lake.

We followed the woods all the way up until Rowardennan where we reached the Youth Hostel which was in a beautiful house (unfortunately I didn’t get a photo!)

The food here was quite awful but you could buy wine and order a packed lunch for the next day so not all bad! The view from the garden was epic though.

Such a tiring day and only 5 days until Fort William, wish us luck!

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WHW Day 1 – Milngavie to Drymen

Set off from Glasgow early this morning after a terrible nights sleep to get the train to Milngavie.

Starting in the town we took the standard shot with the West Highland Way obelisk which was erected to mark the opening of Scotland’s first official long distance pass.

From here we walked on the well sign posted route out of Milgavie into the woods and moorland in the countryside. We walked past two beautiful lochs; Craigallian loch and Carbeth Loch pictures below.

The landscape then changed from walking amongst woodland and gorse to flat grassland, grazed by sheep and cattle.

We visited Glengoyne Distillery but unfortunately we had just missed a tour and they only ran every hour. As the hubby was more keen on the England vs Sweden World Cup game than Whiskey tasting we continued out or walk past a pub and through Dumgoyne.

What seemed like an eternity later we got to Gartness waterfall which was beautiful!

Then a short hop and a jump over to Drymen where we arrived JUST in time for kick off.

England beat Sweden and all was well in the world 🙂

The West Highland Way

Today was the start of our journey to walk the West Highland Way.

After a painful train ride up to Glasgow from Manchester where there were no seats for two hours and so many children, we’ve finally arrived in Glasgow. We’ll be staying the night before getting up early to get the train to Milngavie (apparently pronounced mull-guy …. Not sure why!)

We’ll then be walking 12 miles to Drymen by-passing a distillery of course!

Lots of pictures to come!

Lake Victoria, Musoma, Tanzania

Lake Victoria – one of the great lakes in Africa is divided between three countries: Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania – and is simply stunning.

We camped on the shores of Lake Victoria in Musoma, Tanzania for one evening before moving onto our safari which is an absolute must if you would like to see a Tanzanian village in action.

We rented some bikes and went on a tour of the village, seeing the fisherman and markets on the edge of the lake and tried some traditional Tanzanian food before cycling through the residential area and meeting some of the children of the village.

 

So … Hotel Chocolat

On a recent trip to St. Lucia we went on a fantastic excursion that I will share with you!

I’d never been to the Caribbean before and so in order to have some winter sun it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go. The flight was really long, 9 hours, but I had the entertainment of a few films – the new Ghostbusters is fabulous by the way!!

When we arrived, it was beautiful! So warm and sunny compared to miserable old England!

Setting off about half 8am we were driven to a harbour and boarded a boat that would take us down the Island, it was an amazing view from the water and we slowly but surely gained ground to the South side of the Island. Getting off the boat we were immediately but into a van and driven to Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot Estate.

We pre-ordered our lunch and then went out on a balcony to start making our own chocolate. The lady was quite scary not going to lie to you! She explained the history of chocolate and how it was discovered. We then had to smash and grind our cocoa nibs for half an hour!! For someone that is not used to this, half an hour is such a long time to be grinding with a pestle and mortar haha! Once we had an ice cream like consistency we could add the cocoa butter and stir the mixture for another half an hour slowly adding sugar as we went to make the dark chocolate we’d created much less bitter.

Putting the mixture in the mold, it was handed over to be put in the fridge to set whilst we had lunch in the Boucan restaurant. The food was fabulous – everything had cocoa in it! The bread, the oil, my rice, my pudding. Such a good atmosphere and meal.

Once we’d finished dinner we recieved our chocolate and headed out to view a cocoa tree then were put back into the taxi and then on a boat home.

We were supposed to have a sunset ride on the boat home but naturally the weather turned bad and we got a lightning show instead!!

Just an FYI if you would like to have dinner in a Hotel Chocolat restaurant then you don’t need to travel quite as far as they have just opened a restaurant in Borough Market, London.

Campervan Trip to Snowdonia!

So for the first time ever and I writing to you at 9am sat in the beautiful sunshine in Snowdonia National Park.

Please don’t confuse this with me never being to Snowdonia, I have on numerous occasions, it has just always been dull or raining so this is delightful!

Bertie the Campervan joined our family about 8 months ago and this seems to be the only time in the UK that it has actually turned out beautifully!

We’re currently in Gwern gof Isaf campsite and despite it being incredibly busy we’ve found a perfect spot by the stream. I would say however the if you are planning on coming here I really don’t think you need to pre-book as they don’t take your name on arrival but do come early because about 7pm the site is completely full.

We survived through a massive storm last night which probably explains the beautiful weather this morning. I did feel very sorry for all the people in tents as the rain was pelting down and the thunder was ever shaking our van. This morning, though, everyone seems unscathed!

I would love to write more but for now, I’m going to soak in the view eating a bacon sandwich!

The Dock, South Quay – and the Ongoing Quest for Mussels!

So recently every restaurant that I’ve been to has ran out of Mussels by the time I got there, which naturally made me very upset and made my craving for those delicious little shells even worse!

The Mussels dilemma started about a month ago, even before I went on my adventure holiday in Tanzania! So the first weekend I was at home I made it my absolute mission to find some. My first point of call was this lovely little restaurant called The Dock in South Quay.

As we’ve been away a lot I thought that we should go somewhere close and this was the delightful little place I was looking for.

Walking into the Dock there was a large group of people with tonnes (literally tonnes) of children celebrating a birthday. Now I don’t dislike children but a nice, peaceful, romantic meal never happens when they’re around – even when they’re not your own!!

The Waitress (who later turned out to be the owner) must have seen the look on my face and immediately came over and said “Are you Lizzie – 7pm booking? Don’t worry your table is upstairs!”

Having a look around the restaurant I loved the decor, simple but beautiful. There were candles lit on the table and written on the walls in chalk were the menus.

When ordering I picked my starter – the Salmon Sashimi – which was delicious and really refreshing, it was then I found out there was no Mussels.

It sounds silly but I was so gutted because I’d been really looking forward to them and they had ran out only an hour beforehand!

I ended up choosing the Haddock and chips which was gorgeous, crispy batter and fluffy chips is always a good choice!

As the Mussels had managed to evade me AGAIN I thought I would ask the question about whether there was a season for Mussels and there is! Not a season, as such, but apparently the times when Mussels are not at there best and hardest to find are all the months in the year without an R in them – Basically the Summer months.

So it turns out that I might not be the most unlucky person in the world when it comes to Mussels and I will just have to keep looking – I’ll keep you posted!

Despite the Mussel situation The Dock is an absolutely lovely little restaurant that I would definitely recommend. This family run restaurant serves flavorsome fresh fish and delicious wine within a romantic setting.