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Walking the Birks of Aberfeldy: The Falls of Moness – Exploring Scotland

The Falls of Moness are located on a short circular loop track called the ‘Birks of Aberfeldy’ which are located near Loch Tay in the Scottish Highlands.

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Sunrise over Loch Tay Scotland

As the winter sleet and snow falls softly outside the lounge windows we have to make a decision. Stay snuggled up warm on the worn leather couches or brave the elements and explore the many walking and hiking tracks around stunning Loch Tay in the Scottish Highlands.

Loch Tay Sunrise Scotland

Living in Scotland for over a year now means that we have quickly learnt that if you waited for clear weather when you are exploring here then you would never get anything done.

So with the warmth of summer (and sometimes better weather) still months away we piled into the car to find some walks.

I am a sucker for waterfalls so when we read that the Falls of Moness were located on one of the best walks in Scotland was just a few minutes down the road near Aberfeldy we had to check it out. The walk, aptly named the “Birks of Aberfeldy”, were immortalised by the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns in the poem of the same name and captures their beauty.

The walk is a short 4 km (2.5 miles) circular track and is well maintained. The track begins off the A826 and can be easily completed in about an hour. However, if the weather allows it then take along a picnic and take your time.

Walking several hundred metres from the carpark the gorge begins to narrow and you have two options on this loop track. Either cross the river now via the bridge on the left or continue straight up along the right bank. We chose the latter although I would probably recommend taking the left side if we did it again purely so that as you near the top you will get a better initial view of the Falls of Moness.

Falls of Moness, Aberfeldy, Scotland

In the middle of winter, like on our trip, sections of the river are actually frozen along the banks. While clinging icicles glisten from under the overhangs of the jagged cliff face. Through the steeper sections the crystal clear waters continue to flow and tumble over the smooth boulders.

The first section of the walk climbs gradually following the river. As the gorge continues to narrow the banks become steeper and the path begins to zigzag to the top. Be careful crossing the wooden bridges that pass over smaller waterfalls as they can be slippery! They also provide a nice respite from the uphill slog.

Not to mention the chance to get some great photos.

Falls of Moness on the Birks of Aberfeldy Walk in Scotland

As you near the top don’t forget to look back over your shoulder as the valley floor created by the meandering River Tay is spread out at your feet.

From the top you should be able to hear a low rumbling as the water cascades over the Moness Falls. The viewing platform provides one of the best views directly across from the waterfall. Although my favourite spot was actually the bridge over the top.

Walking back into the shadows of the gorge on the return route the bright green moss covers the mature birch trees.

Once you reach the valley floor make sure you stop in Kenmore or Aberfeldy to rest those weary legs, warm up and fill up on some hearty Scottish tucker.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Sam

    February 7, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Sounds kind of similar to Montreal. You can’t wait for clear weather (or warm) before you go out exploring, you’ll just miss too much.

    Those Moness Falls look beautiful.

    • Cole

      February 8, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      We loved Montreal Sam! Would love to go back. But you are totally right.

  2. Jarmo

    February 9, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    I love waterfalls, but I don’t think I’ve seen any yet in Scotland or anywhere in the UK for that matter! But that waterfall looks beautiful partly frozen like that!

    • Cole

      February 9, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      It was freezing! Just the sides of the rivers and waterfalls were frozen though. I am addicted to waterfalls I think haha.

    • Cole

      February 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      Did you travel around Scotland much? You guys sound like you had an epic trip!

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Adventure Travel

Tips For Unwinding While Travelling

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People often don’t get the most out of their travelling experiences, and often the reason is a surprising one. People slam themselves with unrealistic schedules and try to do too much in too short of a time, and this winds up deteriorating the quality of the experiences that you want to have. So we have come up with a quick little guide with the help of our friends to help you get that needed decompression on your vacation:

Here are three key ways to savor that vacation many times more than you normally would just by running like a chicken with its head recently cut off. Note that all of them require time, and while time is precious, that’s actually why it’s that much more important to use it wisely.

Stay Inside For One Day:

Believe it or not, you don’t have to spend every waking moment of every vacation out there tramping around checking items off of a list. Whether you realize it or not, this is a lot like work, and can be very stressful.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a day to do next to nothing. Casinos online are an excellent way to pass the time in a fun fashion, or any other sort of game that catches your fancy. Also, get your food ordered in for once. Get a reset. The rest of your vacation will be 1000% better.

Treat Yourself to a Nice Meal:

Go out and find the restaurant wherever you are where you most want to go. If you’re in a group, vote on it, but make sure everybody’s happy to go there. If you’re alone, this is that much easier. Either way, pick an excellent restaurant. Go there and absolutely take your time, meaning don’t even think about leaving that place less than 2 hours after you’ve gone in. Enjoy every aspect of the meal slowly, contemplating the ambience and the flavors of what you are eating. It’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing at the same time.

Watch The Sun Rise or Set:

This is especially something to do if you can find a great lookout point. One thing that really works is to go to the lookout point, and just chill with a camera, even your phone’s camera, and take pictures every 5 minutes or so and document the sun going up or down until it’s done.

It’s incredibly relaxing, and you will take with you a serious series of souvenirs that are eminently shareable with friends and loved ones. You can even turn the whole thing into one big time-lapse photo. And the act of calmly and quietly observing one’s environment is in and of itself so relaxing and rewarding in surprising ways.

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Adventure Travel

Tips For Hitting The Orlando Area For Holidays

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Planning on visiting the famous theme parks in and around Orlando soon? This is definitely something everyone should do at least once in their lifetimes, whether as a couple, with the whole family, or even solo. Here are some pro tips to make the experience the absolute best one possible:

Don’t Leave Anything for the Last Minute:

You have to understand that this is an extremely popular destination for tourists, so much so that if you don’t have things planned out beforehand, you could be shut out of a lot of things you actually wanted to see, because they actually fill up to capacity well in advance sometimes. Especially, make very sure to get your theme park tickets before you go. Doing so will save you so much potential headache and stress.

 

Think Carefully about When You Want to Go:

Orlando is in a particularly hot and humid part of this Earth, but it’s not that way all year round.

If your schedule permits, you may want to consider going during March and April. This is a great time because the summer heat hasn’t started slamming the area yet, and because it’s still during the school year, the place isn’t packed with tourists.

The second best time of the year  to go would be September and October. The temperatures will be roughly the same as in March and April, and prices will be even lower and crowds even less. The one caveat is that this is technically in the middle of Florida’s hurricane season, and while Orlando is quite a ways inland, there still exists some risk, albeit a minor one.

November through the beginning of March is an excellent time to go for weather (although as of this writing it went below freezing in Orlando for the first time in 30 years, this is a very rare event; usually things in Orlando are quite balmy, even in the absolute dead of winter). The problem with this time of year is that a lot of people are on vacation, especially during Christmas break, Presidents’ Week, and Spring Break. This means crowds and marked-up prices everywhere.

Lastly is the summer. Unless you are a gecko or an iguana, you probably won’t like Orlando in the summer very much, as the heat and especially the humidity go practically off the charts. If all people concerned are very cold-blooded, this may be an option for you. The other downside is that people tend to come here despite the heat in the summer because that’s when their kids have their summer break from school.

 

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Adventure Travel

What is Your Dream Vacation When You Have Won the Lottery?

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For everyone that buys a ticket for a lottery draw anywhere in the world, the dream is always to win and win big.  We all have things we would buy and stuff we want to do when we won the lottery and among that list is to take a dream vacation.  But what are the types of dream vacation you could enjoy with all those millions in the bank?

Ultimate safari in Africa

Africa is the second largest continent in the world and takes up a massive 22% of the planet.  That means there is a lot to see across it and the ultimate safari would include the most important sights.  From scaling Mount Kilimanjaro to seeing Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World there are so many things to do.  You can visit one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Olduvai Gorge or the larger unbroken volcanic caldera at Ngorongoro Crater.  Then there’s the wildlife – elephants, giraffe, lions and so much more to see during the 29 day private tour across Southern Africa.

Jet tours with National Geographic

If you want to see the most amazing natural wonders, there’s no-one better to do it with than National Geographic experts and this is something you can do for just around $80,000 a person.  This 24 day adventure takes you from the Iguacu Falls in Brazil to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to Easter Island and lets you see the most amazing places in the world while learning about them from the ultimate experts.

Luxury Antarctica Cruise

For the adventure fans, there’s nowhere more fascinating that Antarctica and a luxury tour of the frozen continent is a great way to see the most amazing sights while still enjoying all the best conveniences.  Spot the penguins and elephant seals who are unafraid of human visitors while seeing the amazing icebergs floating through the glasslike seas.

Silk Road private train

The Silk Road is associated with some of the most famous figures and events in history from Alexander the Great to Marco Polo.  Now you can take a private train and explore the 4000-mile length of the ‘road’.  Stop at historic spots, see amazing modern towns and villages and enjoy the amazing scenery while recreating a route that brought many of the luxuries we take for granted today from the Far East in the first place.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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