Friday, 16 August 2013


'I shine not burn' the McKenzie motto. I am a McKenzie of the  clan McKenzie, formally of Kintail, in the North West Highlands. Here I am in Dunbar, just south of Edinburgh, not planning to go further north of Sterling. I had included Inverness, driving over to the Isle of Skye, in my first itinerary. I would have driven through or past Kintail. It seemed too far for the few days I have so I changed my plans a little. Wish I'd know then what I know now. I may need to make a decision about that today.

I'm really enjoying Scotland. It's beautiful, very green and scenic, with plenty of castles. I am staying in Dunbar with an Airbnb family, nice folks who have visited New Zealand. They had used the Airbnb service in Europe so decided to let their spare room. After my long drive up from Saffron Walden, I was pleased they did.

It is a long drive, four and a quarter hours to Newcastle after a couple of quick stops for coffee and the loo. The traffic on the A1 behaved so it was a pleasant trip. A bit north of Newcastle I left the big road and headed for the sea, wending around country roads until I got to Warkworth then up to Alnwick. Both nice places with big castles. Check out the movie credits for Alnwick Castle. I will add photos later.

Last evening I dined in the Volunteer Arms and had a lovely chat with the waitress. She's studying to be a geneticist, studying genetics at Aberdeen University. An interesting lass working in her holidays at the coolest little pub. The food was great and the wine much needed. I'm heading back down into town to get some pics of the harbour, guarded by a crumbling fort with a narrow channel. The early evening light through the drizzle was lovely, I hope this morning's light works too.

I also want to go back as there was a fishing boat called Tangaroa, god of the sea in Maori legend. I did wonder where the name came from, a bit more history to search. 

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