Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Travel Tails

Reach to the Sky

First thing the next morning, we were waiting at the bus station, for the trip out to Drumnadrochit. A soft rain had begun to fall, barely more than a drizzle for the first little while, then it got a bit more serious before quitting altogether. We seemed to be lucky like that. If it rained, it did so, when we were travelling by bus, or were inside a building. The weather on our trip had been courteous like that, and appeared that it was going to continue to do so. Though a professional driver, I prefer to be driven around. I like to be able to admire my surroundings, and I prefer not to think about driving habits and rules of the road that are foreign to me. Not only that but for people like sweetpea and I, who are used to roads with wide shoulders, it’s better to not even watch traffic. Whether passing or meeting, there rarely appears to be enough room for vehicles, especially big buses. Heck, it doesn’t look like there’s enough room, for the bus to travel in the lane. The drop offs are too near, and the cliffs rising on the other side, also far too close. Nope, far better to just take in the scenery and put faith in the driver. At least they’re used to the roads and traffic. Although, there were an awful lot of side mirrors missing off of vehicles, and scrapes on sides of buses.
We arrived in Drumnadrochit in good time then did the touristy thing, and took in the museums dedicated to the Loch Ness monster. There was Nessie everything, pretty well everywhere. A young man from Canada was also taking in the sights, and hovered around us a bit. In Scotland for University, I got the feeling he was feeling lonely, but we had things to do and places to go. Entertaining wasn’t in the itinerary.
For a few moments, we contemplated finding somewhere to stay in the hamlet but quickly realized it wasn’t possible. What were we thinking? With limited availability of accomadations, there wasn’t anything that wasn’t already taken. Everything local was booked up well in advance. We rarely do anything in advance. Just buying the bus tickets a day ahead, was a strange concept for us. We had until about six in the evening to catch the bus back to Inverness and many hours ahead until then. It was time to begin some serious exploring, but first, we’d noticed that there was a riding stable a bit up the road. All we had to do was follow the signs. It was a bit of a walk, maybe a mile or so, which was no big deal, especially as we weren’t lugging our backpacks along. We were definitely going to go riding. The character in my dreams, had gone riding in the Highlands of Scotland. We were going to as well. It was what we’d come to Scotland, to do.
Walking into the stable yard, we asked if we could go out on a ride. To our great joy, we could. There was another rider who also wanted to go out, so it was worthwhile for the guide. There would be three riders going out. Sweetpea was matched up with a lovely bay, Eva. A Hungarian Warmblood, she was an absolutely lovely horse and the girlchild was tickled pink at the prospect of riding a breed of horse neither of us had ever heard of. My mount was a tall, chestnut Trakehner mare by the name of, Linhee. The other rider in our group was riding a cute, black and white gelding that reminded me of a Gypsy cob. Small rides are our favourite. Not short rides, mind you, but ones with only a few riders. They’re the most fun and as close to riding out on your own horse without actually doing so. They’re the sort of rides, where it’s possible to interact with the guide, and really enjoy the scenery quite a bit more. Small rides are more relaxed, far more open to possibilities.
Off we went. The sun brightly shining down on a perfectly perfect day, the castle ruins and loch behind were framed in a slight haziness that was completely fitting the amazing scenery. This was definitely the land of ‘anything could happen’ mixed with a perfect dose of history. It fit my dreams and resulting story to a tee. I could see the characters enjoying a ride exactly like we were, on just such a beautiful day. Much of the trip had felt like we’d been there before, this ride we were heading out on was no exception. So far, Scotland fit the dream, just as much as Ireland had. It was pretty great, as well as a huge relief. Imagine, if nothing fit the dream and novels I’d written from it. That would not have been a good thing, not good at all. So far, we’d been to places, I’d seen in my dreams. We’d met people who could’ve played parts if it was a movie, instead of just something from my sleeping imagination. All in all, we had experienced sights and much that I’d only hoped we would. All in all, every bit of it had been everything I’d hoped for and more.
The beautiful, Scottish highlands beckoned. We were more than willing, to heed the call. The only thing that could’ve been better was, if the horses were ours. Imagine being able to explore the highlands on horseback, whenever you chose to do so. I think, I could easily spend a month of Sundays riding there. Alas, we only had but the one day. We were going to make the best of it. The sun was shining and warm upon our faces. The horses beneath us were absolutely lovely and full of possibilities, and we were just heading out on a Scottish trek. It was going to be amazing, simply amazing.

Leave a Reply

About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
All rights reserved. No part of this website or book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic or mechanical – without the prior written permission of the author.


 Oakbank, MB