Inverness UK, Ullapool UK (via the top end). After battling to sleep through the night without eating our weight in midges, we rose early to tackle the top loop - the road that would see us to the northern most point of mainland Great Britain.
The drive started with what we had come to expect from Scotland; breathtaking mountains, beautiful forests, and everything in between. As we ventured further north, we came across what is known as 'the whiskey trail', a scenic drive that you can offset by visiting a vast amount of Scottish distilleries. Now, on a normal afternoon we would have been the first to veer from our objective and sample the local wares, but it's a whole different world at 9am, and whisky does not look as tempting as you would think.
Pushing past this, we followed the coast up to the hilariously named John O Groats, which we originally believed to be the most northern point of Britain, but thanks to some inside knowledge (thanks Stoney) we forged west to Dunnet Head. Even though there was nothing more than a lighthouse here, the coastline and the amazing waterfall dropping into the sea was worth the little extra. It doesn't get any more north than that.
From here we pushed through to Tongue and then took the inland road south toward Ullapool. Again, time was not our friend, so we soaked in as much as we could of the highlands as we sped toward campsite #5 (Broomfield Holiday Park). The location was amazing - just a short walk to the centre of town, right on the waterfront. Unfortunately, both the dark and the rain caught up with us here, and with more bad weather experiences under our belts than not, it was a struggle to decide whether to put up the tent in the torrential downpour, or to seek shelter in one of the millions of B&B's that seemed to be populating the village.
After trying a few B&B's for vacancies (who would have picked a Tuesday to be so busy!) we decided to brave the harsh conditions and rough it. So, in the dark and soaking wet, we got the tent up and prepared for the cold night ahead. The best remedy for a heavy heart in this situation - hot shower. To our surprise, the showers were coin operated (we had not faced this to date) and we had no change. Sleeping in the rain is one thing, but sleeping in the rain wet and cold is not all it's cracked up to be. If you get the chance, don't try it. Ullapool does not rate highly on our places to visit list.