A soggy trip round Loch Ness (120 miles)

23rd May 2017

I get a bit stir-crazy and need to get away. I took the services at Knockbain on Sunday as well as the Youth Fellowship. So I have been preparing and going over and over my notes. Now things are easier and I just wanted away. The relations come in batches starting tomorrow! The weather forecast last night was great, but this morning was for rain in the north. On checking as the day went on it seemed to indicate down to Fort Augustus would be OK so I decided to go round Loch Ness.

I stopped at Morrisons, Alness on my way to school for petrol. I could only squeeze in 3.79 litres.

And then went to LIDL for pork pies, chocolate and Pepsi. LIDL is just fantastic value. I use it wherever possible. Eg. four pork pies for 85p!

Then onto Invergordon. The morning was wonderful and I thought – this will be a great day. A lot of oil rig repairs going on at the moment.

I did my days teaching and left the school pretty sharp, maybe 3.45. I keep off the A9 as much as possible as my speed is so low. I went through Evanton and got crisps which LIDL isn’t so good for. I got McKoy’s crisps. 1 packet for 85p or a 6 multipack for £1. No contest.

So it was time to get some miles in. I joined the A9 beyond Evanton and crossed the Cromarty Bridge onto the Black Isle. Then it was up to Culbokie to get off the A9! This gives a great route using back roads to near the dual carriageway at Inverness. It goes over to Munlochy, and round by Drumsmittal. It just started to rain at Drumsmittal. I thought Oh! Oh! we’ll wait and see. It took a while to get through the traffic in Inverness but I headed out by the Islands and onto the Dores road. It’s a lovely road. I got to Dores and by then it was drizzling. I almost decided to head home but thought – well the forecast was only for a little rain around 4ish. Its almost 6 so I’ll give it a go.

I stopped not far beyond Dores Free Church Continuing to answer the call of nature. This road out to Fort Augustus is just amazing. It has been upgraded and that in some ways spoils it. I had a good run out to Fort Augustus apart from slowly getting wetter and wetter.

I tried to keep taking pictures. I think this is Loch Mhor, it looks lovely. The whins are amazing just now.

A wee bit further I came to this church. It is a Free Presbyterian church! I’d love to worship here. I wonder what size of congregation is here? On doing a wee bit of research it seems to be Gorthleck Free Presbyterian Church and only seems to have one service every 4th Sunday. How sad for them. We are small in Evanton Free Church but at least have two services each Sunday.

And then on to above Fort Augustus – the Suidhe Viewpoint.

This is looking down to Fort Augustus. You can see the new surface. You can see the miserable day. You can see the wet road!

And finally Fort Augustus. I just took a few pictures and left on my way.

Just outside Fort Augustus is a woodland walk at Allt na Criche . I was the only vehicle in the car park. I ate standing under a big oak tree. It was pretty wet and miserable.

Now this is a very disgusting video. I didn’t realise I was recording it with a mouth full of food and I keep chewing! Sorry. It does show the misery of a wet day!

I then moved up Loch Ness side and stopped near the Cobb memorial. I have mentioned it on another of these web pages.

And then reached Drumnadrochit. The rain was really easing now.

Beyond Drumnadrochit I went over the Culnakirk. This is up on the top. That 125cc of raw power found it a struggle.

Then it was on past Kiltarlity and I stopped at Lovat Bridge. It was dry by now and I was even drying off and feeling that wee bit cheerier. Now this was a nice and surprising wee break.

This is what I found! Look at the bluebells!

Flashed face.

It’s a very attractive bridge.

I recorded the bluebells as I made my way down to the river.

Then it was onto Beauly. I stopped a minute to grab a couple of pictures.

I am no Nationalist. I love my country but hate Scottish Nationalism. It’s a form of racism. You might as well just put on these yellow signs – we hate the English. I hope they do poorly at the election. I don’t think so, though.

And onto the Black Isle. I was almost dry by now!

This is Ferintosh Free Church. I stopped to take photos, but who was outside but Chris Smart, the minister. We are not on the same side as far as worship is concerned but we had a pleasant chat and he showed me round the back of the church.

In particular he showed me the ancient urinals! He thought they must date from 1843.

This is a strange warning.

And went on to the cemetery. 

This is John McDonald, the apostle of the north’s gravestone.

And his predecessor Charles Calder.

I then moved on and stopped briefly at the Cromarty Bridge.

And home, about 8.30. Despite the rain, a great evening.

This shows it was wet. Look at the muck on my bonny wee bike.

This shows it was wet. Look at the muck on my bonny wee bike.
I gave it a wash. I just so love this bike. I would never have bought it as I’m not really a scooter guy but it is so much fun. Every journey is an adventure.