Driving to Inverness was lovely. We have decided driving was a great idea as we have seen a lot of the countryside and it is just magical. At Inverness we camped. Again 9mm matresses…not fun. But is did only cost us 30 pounds for 2 nights. Inverness sort of grows on you. Firstly I thought it was a bit bleak but by the time we left we thought WOW. We just looked around on the first night and bought some food for dinner and for breakfast.

We woke in the morning to over a dozen birds sqkwarking around our tent and we could see duck like feet on our tent. It was all very surreal. Clive poke the feet with his finger, we were still half asleep and confused. We got up and realised that some how the seagulls had broken into the annex of our tent and dragged out our loaf of bread we purchased for breakfast. The gulls were going crazy and making a huge racquet!

Next we had to find a pub that was open as Clive wanted to watched the Rugby. He found a very endearing and lovely pub to watch it in. It was located down a urine stained alleyway and Clive said one drunk came in and started up a conversation with the bar stool. I went for a wander and made the terrible mistake of ordering a cappuccino. It was boiling hot and the top was so foamy that it too no shape and they seemed quite proud of it. I also ordered bacon and eggs on toast. The bacon was only cooked on one side. I stomached it as I knew I was going to have to pay for it.

Inverness is at the main city closest to the Loch Ness. We cruised on the Loch for 3 hours. We started at one end of the canals and made our way along the canals past large yacht and small dingy’s. A man who we discovered had a mental disability rode his bike along the side on the canal on the bike tracks at the same pace of the boat the whole way to the opening of the Loch Ness then waited for our return and did it on the way back too.

There were many beautiful homes along the canals and Loch. The sun was shining so it was quite warm on the boat. The surrounding hills are incredible just a movie set. The boat sails us across this magnificent Loch to Urquhart Castle. We could of opted for a tour of the castle but preferred just doping the cruise.

Afterwards we decided to head out for a nice meal to avoid having to go back to the tent. We headed out to a wine and tapas bar. We got 5 plates of tapas and a bottle of rose’ for 25 pounds. We also had a cocktail each too. The meal was great. On the night there was a boxing fight on so the bars were full of men and not many women. We popped into another bar. It was a bit of a dive then a hen’s party turned up, they were dressed as devils and angels. Then another turned up, they were dressed as cow girls. Then another! They were dressed as defence force. We moved on to another bar. Then walked into a few others. We wanted to find some live music. We came across Johnny Foxes. It was the last one we were going to check out before calling it quits. BINGO! They had a really nice cocktail bar area and a live band starting in the other side of the bar. We had a few drinks and watched Hen’s being told to leave as they are not allowed to dress up. I got laughed at by security for rolling up my goretex jacket and putting it in my bag as they had a cloakroom and he thought it was peculiar I wasn’t using it. We danced for a few hours and Clive was feeing great as we have noticed the Scots are thin men. Clive looks huge in comparison to them.

At the end of the night I just wanted a cheese pizza and bed. One place served me a piece of pizza literally swimming on chilli oil. We binned and found another as we watched the local women make pigs of themselves and be extremely rude to the staff. It was just after midnight and we got a taxi home and slept soundly on our 9mm foam mattresses.

Morning came quickly and it was a very sunny and warm morning so we had to get out of the tent as soon as it received direct sunlight. We packed up straight away and headed further North. We made it to Thurso which is up near the Orkney Islands.

On the way we stopped for lunch at Helmsdale and Clive encouraged the local seagulls with our chips. We had some Haddock which was very tasty and the fish and chip store was rated as one of the top 5 fish and chips shops in Britain by the 2 Fat Ladies.

Arriving in Thurso and we had no accommodation booked. We also couldn’t get accommodation on the Orkney Islands either. We turned to the Visitors Centre. We booked in at a B&B for 60pounds. It was the cheapest we could do. When we turned up the lady at Skara was lovely. Then we entered our room. Complete with brand new ensuite, tea and coffee station, huge fresh bed. That isn’t the best part. The best part is the view. We are on the hill outside of Thurso and overlooking the Orkney Islands and the Thurso Beach and Scrabster port. The view is incredible. We have some rolling hills that drop off to the water and then the light reflects a thousand hues on the cliff face of the Orkneys in front of us. There is also a relic burial chamber in the near by field and the remains of the old homestead of the ancestors of the town ship. We are feeling quite worn out yet reviving at our magical B&B. Each time we turn our head we are stunned by the view. We have to throw our heads back and laugh. What have you done this week? Oh we just drove across Scotland.

Tomorrow we are doing a full day tour of the Orkney Islands. The boat leaves at 9am and returns at 8pm. We are then planning to just get in the car and drive south. We have to have the car back in Edinburgh by Wednesday morning then we are on to Ireland.

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