Stirling, UK to Inverness, UK. This part of the journey gave us our first real taste of true Scottish scenery. A quick stop in the much hyped Perth remained a quick stop - not much happening on a Sunday morning here. The one thing Perth does offer is the beginning of the picturesque drive along the A9 to Aviemore (TO BE CONTINUED AFTER REVIEWING PHOTOS).
From Aviemore it was a quick drive to Inverness, our next port of call. Mysteriously arriving at campsite #3 (Bunchrew Caravan Park, Inverness) in daylight, we were basically given free reign of a relatively empty site, jostling for the best positions with only the bugs. The next abnormality about this strange place was the lack or rain. Were we being built up for a fall by the weather gods? Hmmm.
Quickly becoming one with the tent, it went up in a fluid motion, and we were back on the road to tackle Nessy, and Loch Ness. We were soon to find that this is a tourism must - not for the crap about some monster in the loch, but for the spectacular scenery and drive from Inverness to Fort Augustus and back.
The main road to Fort Augustus was filled with the natural beauty of the loch and the forests surrounding it, with no shortage of parking and viewpoints for the avid photographer to get trigger happy, but the real jewel in the crown of Loch Ness was the 'B' road home.
After refuelling with fish and chips (us, not the car), we set off on the 'B' roads back to the campsite, racing against the falling darkness to squeeze in as many sites and beauty of the area as we could. The road itself was our first encounter with 'one lane traffic' and 'passing points' every few hundred metres. It was soon noted that if they took all the money they spent on the millions of 'passing point' signs, they could have easily just made the road wider. But I digress.
If you could not get enough of the beautiful scenery around the loch, all you had to do was peer into the mirror that was the loch itself to see the perfect reflection of everything in its surrounds. Spectacular. Our passage also took us past so many amazing things that to mention them all fairly would mean that the updating of this blog would be even later than it is already. So I will limit it to the two outstanding in my mind.
Firstly, the Red Squirrel Café. To itself not that interesting, and closed when we arrived, but opposite this establishment of fine dining were amazing waterfalls (that I can't remember the name of), a breathtaking example of the many waterfalls across the landscape. An amazing drop into a deep black pool of water. Second was a viewpoint across the another massive valley. This was a genuine 360 degree view of a-typical Scottish scenery - mountains, valleys, hills and glens - it had it all.
Back to camp under the cover of darkness, it was another early night in anticipation of a long day's driving. The Uno (card game) competition continues.