About Us

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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Bl**dy Midges and we were photobombed by Nessie!

 Wednesday 21st.
I took some photos last night across Loch Ness as the sun was setting and got eaten alive for my trouble! Those midges zoomed in on all the exposed bits as soon as I stepped outside. Dashing inside the little blighters followed and before we dealt with them, the Jungle spray was applied to ears and face liberally so I could once again venture outside. We then spent the evening trying to eradicate the blighters from inside the Beast. Note to oneself,  fly spray to go on the shopping list!

The stop for the night.
The Beast started rocking by 6 am and no not for THAT reason! Right next to the road every time a car went past the whoosh of wind moved the motorhome. So another early get up but it was still late morning before we got underway.  First stop was at Dores. It is here that a chap called Steve Feltham has spent the last 25 years in search for Nessie. To see his story click here. I did wonder if this was the right spot for Nessie hunting but on a clear day, you can see nearly to the other end of Loch Ness.

Steve Feltham
Steves models.
Loch view from Dores
And look who appeared in the photo,

Photobombed by Nessie
 A suggestion was made to travel to the Moray Firth to see if the seals and Dolphins were about. Apparently, this was a good place to watch for them. The only trouble was the tide was out! So having travelled down a dead-end road, been stopped at the level crossing (Kev just made it through) we managed to do more multiple turns to return to the main road.

 It was agreed that tonight we went to a CC site mainly so I could use the laundry. But the sat nav took us to a dirt track insisting that this was the correct way. You only have to look at the sat navs screen to see she had taken us 'off-roading'.

Starting the reverse

So it was reverse back to the main road to try and find the correct way. Could we find it?? Impossible! Kev managed to knock the waste pipe off of its mountings when he clipped the bank and our reverse camera gave up the ghost. But it turned out the sat nav was right 'cos after talking to a local, she pointed us up to the track we had just come from.

Approaching the CC site

Once settled it was all hands to the motorhome repairs, Kev to the waste pipe and Ian to the camera.

Off to the top of Scotland, John-o-Groats tomorrow lets hope the predicted bad weather doesn't materialise.

And wildlife

Loch Ness ducklings


Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Took the long way round.

 Tuesday 20th
What a difference 12 hours make. This morning the sky was blue with the occasional wispy cloud and the mountains bathed in sunlight. The Loch was almost flat calm and the queues for the ferry was back to normal. But of course, all idyllic places has a downside. The ferry started running from 6 am and every time it came into the dock the 'beware' alarm sounded and the onboard tannoy sprung into life. It got us out of bed early to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and gave us time to have a leisurely breakfast of bacon and eggs. It was well after 10am when we got underway.

This was taken last night. The rain had stopped but the Police presence was all to do with the accident. They were directing the traffic
This morning and hardly a ripple on the water.

Last nights stopover. The traffic queues had all gone.
A lot of driving today. We all decided to take the scenic route instead of going back across Loch Linnhe and paying another £8.50 for the ferry. In hindsight, it would have been cheaper to take the boat crossing because the scenic route was a 35-mile drive to get to our first destination Fort William. It would have been only 10 miles if we had gone the other way! Think of all that diesel used by taking that route but it was ever so picturesque. The road was a bit challenging. Single track road with passing places but fun to do and well worth the extra drive.

 Anyway, rain started again once we reached Fort William and we wondered if parking would be an issue. It wasn't though, as this was the first place we had been to that catered for the touring public. Huge car park designed for coaches, caravans and motorhomes and only £3 for a stay of 4 hours. Dodging the showers we took a walk to the town centre and found a great fish and chips restaurant for lunch. But dogs were not allowed in and as Harvey, Kev's staffie, was with us the meal was eaten in the rain!

On route to Loch Ness, we spied the first glimpse of Ben Nevis. Stopping at Commandos Memorial at Spean Bridge we got to see the mountain but totally obscured by cloud.

The centre line shows the direction of Ben Navis.
 The Commandos memorial garden, wow what a lovely place to be. It commemorates the sacrifice of those Commandos that lost their lives during the Second World War.

We headed off for the Falls of Foyer along more single track roads with passing places. Once more the scenery was spectacular and we even had the occasional glimpse of Loch Ness.

The weather, well fickle is an understatement. One minute bathed in sunshine and the next your caught in a deluge. On arrival at the Falls carpark this was the case so on with waterproofs to brave the elements. No sooner had we set off than the sun came out and left us sweltering. All those steps down and up and when we eventually arrived back at the Beast we were soaked with sweat rather than rain! It was worth it though as the amount of rain made the falls a sight to see.

And seen by the cafe on our return

And wildlife

Juvenile Robin

Monday, 19 August 2019

Large vehicle, small car park...eek

Watched as the last boat trip went onto the Wheel. Takes approximately 5 minutes to rotate and what an amazing piece of engineering. Click here to learn more. I have included two videos. Hope they work!


Awoke this morning after another night of rain. Was the trip on the Falkirk wheel to be a washout then? But no. By 9am the sun was out so waterproofs packed away for another day, jumpers on 'cos it was a tad chilly and by 9 40 we had somehow managed to be first in line to get the prime seats...right at the front.

Behind us sat a Dutch family with a great sense of humour.

This is what should have been taken.

 So lucky with the weather as no sooner had we completed the trip then the heavens opened once again. Didn't deter the plan to see the Kelpies though. Trouble was the amount charged for parking there. £6 the price it was, outrages we thought, so asked the attendant if we could just turn around and leave. Ian then pipes up that the misses wants to take a photo. No probs, said she, just park at the bus stop, remain with the vehicle and the wife can quickly go to take a photo. We mentioned Kev and Gunda behind us in their motorhome and she also let them do the same thing so we got to see these magnificent beasties for free.

Next plan was to head for Fort William with an overnight stop at Glen Coe. On route, we spied a waterfall to go and see. As lead motorhome, we turned into the car park and ...oh dear...two motorhomes already parked, a tiny car park and what seemed an impossibility to turn around!
 Ian tried and failed but he was right at the very end. There was not enough room behind to swing the rear end and what with that motorhome in front! Kev was further back at a wider bit and with multiple turns managed to get around. With the Beast, a bit smaller Ian managed to mirror Kevs manoeuvring and with a sigh of relief that no reversing back into a busy main road was necessary, continued on our journey with Kevs "Stop trying to see waterfalls and getting us stuck in carparks" ringing in our ears.

The weather turned nasty and all we could see of this beautiful part of the Highlands was mist and drizzle. Plenty of places to stop except for one small problem. They were either full of water or full of cars! So onwards to a place called Corran and a place at a pub we knew we could park at. but unbeknown to us, a trip across the Ferry was necessary!!

Kev managed to get onto the first ferry leaving us behind. Hmm, how do we catch them up from here?  but we needn't have worried as the Inn at Ardgour pub was opposite where the ferry docked. Such a nice publican to let us stay the night although we did have to move as far back as possible to free up car parking space.

Bye bye Kev

Not sure we can open our door.

I am sitting here in the Beast and watching the ferry fill up with car after car and queues stretching back for miles Apparently there has been a huge accident close by closing the road completely and the only way for commuters to get home is via the ferry. At £8.50 a trip the company must be raking it in!

And yes it is still raining.

And this I found amusing

The only way to travel on a motorbike.

And finally some wildlife!

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