Many parts of Scotland are poorly connected: I left off the previous post having got on a bus chock full of ladies & shopping bags. It was surprising as I had taken the same bus completely empty a few hours back. The passengers all knew each other & were surprised to see a new, unfamiliar face boarding the bus. Chatted up with some passengers & understood why this bus runs only two times a week. It is run specifically to pick up Speyside locals to take them to the nearest large supermarket (either in Elgin or Keith) & back. So in the morning, it was about to begin the pickups & I got on again on the dropoff run. The driver was very helpful in unloading bags & in some cases, pulling the bus into the driveway.
It’s a bit sad as a traveller to see this beautiful part of the country so poorly connected. I read that buses in more areas in Scotland are being cut. My personal opinion is that it’s the tourism ministry & bus companies that should come together, invest in attracting tourists to the region & be able to see it well by bus & hope it becomes popular (this has worked well in Isle of Arran, buses run full in the summer). Plus people go to Speyside to try some whisky, what better way to visit than by bus, leaving the driving to the professionals.
Started the 2nd half of the day making my way back to the campsite via Dufftown. Took a picture from the bus heading towards Tomintoul that doesn’t quite do justice to how beautiful the surroundings were.
Most of the ladies on the bus were also Tomintoul residents & urged me to do a proper visit the next time I travelled here. Tomintoul is again a charming village. Took a quick shot when people were deboarding the bus. The shop in the picture (The Whisky Castle) is over a 100 years old and is purportedly the highest whisky shop in Britain by altitude (as Tomintoul is the highest village in the Speyside region). Would really love to come back & visit the village properly someday in the future.
Reached Dufftown with about 50 minutes to kill before my next bus so walked a bit to see two very famous distilleries in person, Glenfiddich & Balvenie. Here is where I learnt that they have the same parent company. Just like Glenlivet, Glenfiddich is a pretty big distillery. Peeked into it’s visitor centre where they had the option of bottling your own whisky straight from the cask! Balvenie was next door & there were signs everywhere that it’s “Appointment Only“. However, I wasn’t going to leave Dufftown without getting a picture so I crossed the parking lot till a Final warning sign came up. That’s where I took a picture of one of my favourite distilleries (featured image). Also tried to see if I could board the Dufftown – Keith Steam railway but that operates on Friday – Sunday.
Finally took back the bus to Aberlour & made a quick visit to it’s distilleries visitor shop. There was a nice trail that starts from the distillery and circles back to the village via the Linn Waterfalls. It’s a nice, gentle trail which I recommend doing. Finished my day by walking some more along the Speyside way to get to my campsite. Met up a Czech walker who was checking directions & wanted to go the same campsite as me. She was laden with so much weight & had walked the whole day, felt sort of ashamed with what I thought was a lot of walking for me. We reached back to the campsite where there was a mobile chippy waiting. Ended my day with a solid hot meal of fried chicken & amazing Scottish beer by Tempest Brewery while offering my mini-Glenlivet 15 dram to my campsite friends. A perfect end to a great day of travelling.