Ina - loanspirit

Ina's Return and the Starship "Outlandish"
This last week has been spent in the company of my Sunshine sista, Ina. As I write, she wings her way back to Hawai'i. Under the heading of "Things to Inspire", which is after all a main focus of this blog, Ina left the comfort of 80+ degrees to make her second visit to Scotland! We are mustering all of 45-55 degrees currently in mid-October. (Pic: Ina & Scot basking in a sunny window during high tea in a castle hotel).

She came to enjoy Scotland in perhaps its most "grand" season, the Autumn. As blog followers might recall, we had intended to make Ina's trip into a reconnaissance for a tour of the amazing Outer Isles, but time was limited, so we went as far as a remote area of the west coast which we hope to take our traveling companions to in the future on our way to the outer isles - the Hebrides.

This is a land of mountains where the colors of autumn were painted in grandness from top to bottom and yet also in the smallest of places where the lichen and fern surround small mushrooms and autumn flowers. It is where the sea and its inlets merge and fill the base of the land with slate grays and brilliant blues.
You can still find Gaelic speakers in the homes and deer on the front lawns.
What's not to love about those warm colours, those misty days, the chill of autumn just arriving? Who can fail to be touched by the solitude, the grandeur, the power of the natural world? We cant wait to see it in the spring as well, with all the small flowers budding from rocks and earth and the light greens giving a velvet touch to the views.
Watch the post below in the Comments link for perspectives Ina Sunshine may share. Ina, pray tell the Spirits of the places we went to and things you saw. You warmed up yet, Girl?

Inspiration For New Travels
Scotland, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship "Outlandish". Its continuing mission to explore strange old worlds; to seek out old life and old civilizations; to boldly go where few human beings (or other species) have gone before!
Many times during this trip I have turned to Scot and said "We HAVE to take our friends here! Let's organise a tour." He, being a dour Highland Scotsman, mumbles things about "market research, customer led tour design, " yada yada.
As you might have gathered from the Jamie and Claire Tour website, the tours develop from a wish list, building each tour to our inspired travel dreams and desires. So what I'm putting out there now is a question, nay a Challenge! Who would like to come to Scotland's more remote and most beautiful places, and have a hand in the creation of a unique adventure? Outlandish Spirits step forward!
Some basic ideas, many from Ina, to begin with:
~The tour would need to be about 8 days long, so we have time to reach these remote places.
~It can be for a regular budget, staying in 3-4 star B&B's or or limited budget, staying in hostel / bunkhouse accommodation.
~The tour would NOT take place in the summer (the least interesting season in Scotland, as Scot calls it), but rather spring or autumn, depending on the choices of those involved.
~The vibe of this tour would be Solitude, Contemplation, Awe, Connection to the Land, W-i-i-i-i-i-i-de Vistas, ancient sacred sites, BIG skyes, Mist.

Want to create and be a part?
Email me through the J&C website, link above, and we'll start to create it. (Only those wishing to make the journey please.)


  1. Aloha to one and all! Mostly to my family in a land far far away. I've been back for a few weeks now, finally adjusting to life on the islands again. This time I was truly heartbroken to leave my wee family of the Highlands! Funny how that is. I live on a beautiful island full of sun and oceans of clear azura waters, but the draw to Scotland is fierce. I'm told by a friend that perhaps I lived a former lifetime there and my "old" self was calling me home. Perhaps...................
    My first few days were visiting the enchanting city of Edinburgh and Linlithgow (beautiful). Meeting up with Julia at the famous Eleplant Cafe and handing over the giant book of Echo. Next I went to a pub that we had visited on my last visit and well.......had a lot to be desired this time laughing from you Scot! Who informed me was a "working mans pub" (hello), as I sat gazing across the room at the barkeep who gazed back at me thinking me daft for sure because I did not know you had to go to the bar to order your drink! Make mine a double, it was a long wait! Hmmph! Mans pub indeed!!!
    We visited the west coast of Scotland and the charming villages that seem to go back to another time. Climbed the hills (with some protest from me, I was freezing, my knee a little dodgy!)to vast beauties of breathtaking vistas of clear skies and miles of ocean.
    Stayed in my first hostal, Scot only snores a wee bit first thing in the was like the sweet sound of the birds waking us up! NOT!
    We were in a castle for high tea (yummy), a castle for a wedding (warm fire ahhh), hung out with a jolly bagpipe player and photographer.
    Took incredible walks through forests where the colors of rust, orange and bright red were out in all their glory.
    Stopped in a wee village for a cup of the most wonderful hot chocolate.........across the street from the famous Mrs Beans bobbles and bits! Shhhh we couldn't let her know we were near, she likes to chatter on, and on and on.....
    The last night with my friends we stopped at a place called the Tispy Laird..........I was enchanted by the handsome proprietor....we gazed into each others eyes from across the room......I got a poke in the ribs from Sam! "Hey what was that all about"? "Shall we stay the night"! Hey a girl can look!
    The week went by so darn fast!
    The next day I had to say my goodbyes as I boarded the train for Edinburgh, holding back the tears until they could no longer see my face. Heartbreak #1. Rode the quiet trip with much to think about to Edinburgh where I met up with Outlander fan Julia and stayed the night with her and her wee little fur babies. What a fun adventure that was, little doggie Asher is a babe magnet! Waiting to take the bus back to Julia's place one highly attractive man honed in on wee Asher and talked and talked and talked, then another joined in moving me somewhat out of the way to pet the now famous Asher the weiny dog! We ate in a place just up the street from Julia's cozy little flat called the Guilty Lily and ate the best veggie burger I've ever had. And back to the warmth of her cozy little flat for hours of chitchat and friendship. Julia is a joy to behold and someone I now get to call friend.
    Up early the next morning to catch my 18 hour plane ride back to Hawaii. Sighhhhhhh
    As I boarded my second plane I got a text(email) from Sam..............and that is when my heart broke into for the second time that I was now gone from a place I feel is little sister Sam amd brother Scot. I miss them so much, but know I will see them again for another adventure in a place called Scotland.
    "It's my home too"!


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