General, Marine Biology, Travel

July Roundup – What I Did!

I’ll be honest here, I’m not writing this for anyone in particular, but more for myself. This blog is currently my diary until my dissertation starts and I have some genuine content to bring you guys! But for now, documenting my months is a great way for me to look back at my achievements and be able to easily reference anything that comes up!

July got off to a good start – We started at the Kelburn Garden Party which was amazing and everything I wanted in a music festival!

Several stages, filled with amazing acts I’d never heard of, and people of all ages (right down to babies) are what to expect at this indie festival. I’m already planning next year! It’s also in the grounds of the most amazing castle I’ve ever seen!

We did however, skip the last day and head across to the Isle of Bute. I love hopping over the Isles, but Bute was a little disappointing. Rothesay Castle was amazing, but outside of that, we were underwhelmed. We did have a little walk to a stone circle, which was cool, but not really noteworthy. Ah well, cross another Isle off the list!

Rothesay Castle

For the next couple of weeks I was away on my volunteering job as a Wildlife Officer. Although, having packed up my car and started the 4 hour trek from Aberdeen to Oban, I got there to find out the boat I was working on had cancelled it’s first trip…

So, I ended up a little stranded in Oban. What to do? I went with hop on the ferry and have a little jaunt around the Isle of Mull!

You’re looking good, Duart Castle!

I ended up heading straight from Craignure ferry terminal to Duart Castle. This is the second time I’ve been to Mull, and last time went out of season so I only got to see the castle from the outside. I went in this time. I love Clan MacLean and this is their seat, but I was a little disappointed by this castle, as it just seemed to be a homage to the chief that rebuilt it and didn’t really cover a lot of the fascinating history of this clan!

After that, I headed to Tobermory, where I bought cheese, whiskey and then visited the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust in order to get some info about the wildlife in the area. The staff were so happy to help and armed me with all the info I could possibly need! After that, it was back home!

The next day I didn’t have to be at work until 3pm so I headed to nearby Dunstaffnage castle.

This Castle was built by Clan MacDougall, but when they chose the English side in the Battle of Bannockburn, it was taken away from them and passed into Crown control, before eventually being given over to Clan Campbell, who hold it to this day. Beautifully placed overlooking a marina, you can still get access to the wall walks and the information dotted around gives you a perfect look at what life in this dramatic castle must’ve been like.

Then, it was time for my first trip out as a Wildlife Officer. If working with dolphins is your life goal, this is one of the jobs you might end up with. I was a little apprehensive; having worked with the public before I expected to be talked over and ignored. I couldn’t have been more wrong! People loved having me on board to chat with them about the wildlife and quite a few were keen wildlife watchers themselves! I got a quick cruise around the Sound of Mull and Isle of Kerrera, which was ideal, and saw a fair few porpoises and lots of seabirds!

Dunollie Castle
Duart Castle

 

Isle of Kerrera

The second set of trips took place on sunnier days, and were a lot longer. Despite exhausting myself trying to save money and doing two nine hour boat trips of non stop work with a four hour drive before the first one and after the second one and only stopping to sleep, I loved it. I even got a free trip to the Isle of Iona!

Highland cow included to ensure you that this is, in fact, part of Scotland! Iona is an important religious centre and has a very unique form of Island life. You can do pretty much the whole island in a few hours, and it’s white sand beaches and turquoise waters are Instagram perfect!

On the 19th, it was my birthday. I turned 25. That’s enough about that…

My parents were king enough to send me over some money and so I invested in this beauty of a camera! You can read more about this here.

My lovely boyfriend took me for dinner at Number 10, which is just behind our house and is probably the best restaurant in Aberdeen! Thanks to Tom for finishing my dessert so we didn’t waste anything!

I’ve spent the rest of July taking up a new hobby; hiking! Check out my hikes of Forvie National Nature Reserve and Bennachie to see some of my photography.

That’s about it for July! I’m now into my last month of summer before I have to casually write a dissertation and start powering through my final year of university. Because that’s not terrifying…

Did you have a good July?

Rachel xxx

Follow me!

Facebook: @WordofRachel

Twitter: @WordofRachel14

Instagram: @wordofrachel

Bloglovin’: @wordofrachel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *