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A wonderful day at Glen Affric, Drumnadrochit, and Urquhart Castle
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Drumnadrochit for lunch
Glen Affric trail
Glen Affric river
Our tour guide, Emily, middle
Snow capped mtns
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Subject: Castles, lochs, trails and views! The Glen Affric and Loch Ness tour was a good combination of driving, boating, castles, and short hikes on trails with beautiful viewpoints of lochs, raging rivers, waterfalls, bridges, and trees. Emily, our guide, described the geology, geography, and all the conservation efforts Scotland is currently undertaking to restore native trees and wildlife to the Glen Affric area.
OUR GUIDE Emily is a wonderful tour guide, the kind that talks to you like shes a friend just telling you about her neighborhood as you drive through. She never sounded like she was giving a rehearsed speech, which I must give her high praise for. It cant be easy to impart that much history and background info and still sound so passionate after the first hours. We had 8 people on our tour, which I didnt realize was the very first tour of Glen Affric from their new base in Inverness. We even had a brand new Rabbies vehicle... otherwise I would never have known it was a new route, it was such a easygoing day. No, Emily, I didnt feel like a guinea pig :-)
LOCH NESS and URQUHART CASTLE This section of the trip was probably what youd expect from any tour of Loch Ness, though I liked that each of us had 3 choices of how to see it. Some preferred an hour long boat ride, others only wanted the castle, while I chose the middle ground - half the boat ride and an hour at Urquhart Castle. Everyone was picked up and brought back together at the castle car park, where everyone had a chance to take more pics of the castle. I loved the castle, with all its nooks and crannies!
LUNCH in DRUMNADROCHIT Plenty of time for lunch in the picturesque little town of Drumnadrochit too. I didnt notice Nessie Land at the other end of the village, over the bridge, but I dont feel like I really missed anything but more shops!
GLEN AFFRIC There is a lot of driving, since Glen Affric isnt very close to Loch Ness, but its broken up by 2 short hikes, which also are voluntary and have choices for rocky paths or easy routes. I took the rockier path, but most of it was gravel single track and easy. When we reached the raging part of the river, we had to walk over rocks and boulders to continue the path. Our guide walked it in some little Keds shoes, but I was happy I had hiking shoes on. One guy wanted to feel the water, but misjudged how slippery the rocks were with his basic running shoes, and slipped and got a foot in the water. I dont recommend trying that! Its cold, nuf said. The other hike was up hill, but before I could worry I wasnt going to make it, we were there! Maybe 10 minutes walk for stunning views of trees, rivers, and snow-capped mountains over all.
I am so glad Rabbies is offering this tour now. I really liked seeing the natural park land, filled with trees and a river and paths, especially after seeing all the tree farms across the highland for cutting down. Thank you Emily!