Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Great Loch (Sunday 23 Nov at 6pm)

Even colder today. Woke up to find frost on the ground, the van, the trees. Even the birds were shaking ice off their wings as they cawed overhead. Walking between the shower block and the van was more like skating. According to the bloke in the caravan on the next pitch, there was even 3 inches of snow around 4am!

The alarm went off at 6, but it was almost 8 before Juliette could convince me to get up. We had breakfast, did the dishes, and got on the road by 10am. A quick stop at a BP station to fill up the tank, and we headed north (avoiding the toll roads) for Inverness.

Initially, it was quite pleasant, passing through the snow-covered Scottish countryside. However, as we crossed the Grampian mountains, it started raining, then snowing. Juliette enjoyed it -- even trying to catch some snowflakes as we blatted along at 60mph -- but the appeal was lost on me as I tried to keep the van on the road.

Eventually, the A9 arrived at Inverness, and we turned down the A82 to Drumnadrochit, on the edge of Loch Ness. We stopped at the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, and sat through six short films about the legend and the various attempts to find Nessie (though they seemed more about debunking the legend than promoting it), before we ended up in the gift shop.

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Next, we headed further south along the A82, to Urquhart Castle. Unfortunately, we arrived a little after their 'last admissions' time, so we had to make do with photos from the carpark.

Finally, it was off to Culloden Moor Camping Site we we're staying for the night. Tomorrow, we'll have a look at the Culloden Battlefield (just down the road), and go back to Urquhart Castle -- both of which are free, thanks to the Great British Heritage Pass -- before making the four hour drive back to Edinburgh.

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