Charles and Cathy were wonderful hosts and we had a great time with them and around Edinburgh but today was time to move on to our next series of adventures around more northern parts of Scotland. Our first port of call would fulfil Majella’s ambitions for Kombi camping. The rest of the day was open to possibilities on our way north.
I was up again at 6:30 am to complete the blog post that had been unfinished when we went to bed at midnight last night. That was done before breakfast and after breakfast we had time for a final stroll around the garden.
By 10:00 am we were on the road. The morning rush had mostly dissipated by then and we made good time through Currie, over the Firth of Forth road bridge, and on toward Perth. The new bridge is due to open on the weekend so we drove over the old one but had a good distant view of the new one from the top of Harlaw Road near Michie’s place and a closer view as we crossed on the old one.
We bypassed Perth but Charles had recommended a stop at the House of Bruar, just north of Blair Athol. He had warned that it had expensive clothing for sale but we were surprised by the size of the place, the variety of goods on sale – country fashions for women and men, a whole section for knitwear including cashmere, fishing gear, pottery and other top shelf souvenir items.
We wandered through the women’s wear area and then found the restaurant where we had lunch. Majella had the sausages and vegetables. I had an Angus burger that included two meat patties, melted cheese, chips and salad. It was huge and served on a chilled plate that was great for the salad but not good for the chips which fortunately insulated the burger. I struggled to finish it. The food was good but expensive. Smaller portions and prices to match would have been preferable.
After lunch we checked out some more of the store areas. In the sales section I found a waterproof jacket for £20, reduced from £30, and bought that to help with warding off cold and rain.
On the way in we had seem a sign to falls but little information. We looked again on the way out and saw a sign to the falls walk. We managed the 3 1/2 kilometre circuit up a steep hill and back but wished we had not been doing that on full stomachs. There was a strong flow of water coloured brown by peat and the falls were well worth the effort to see. There were two sets of falls, lower and higher, and two stone arched bridges over the stream, one near each of the falls. They appeared to be fairly old but it was not clear what purpose they might have served in the past since there was no obvious trail on either side other than the walking circuit that we were on. Perhaps they were built just for visitors but that seemed like a great deal of work for that purpose. The falls had been a favourite of the poet Robbie Burns who had requested that trees be planted in the area to add to their appeal. The beautiful woodlands surrounding the falls are a great credit to him and those who took his advice.
We drove on a little more than another hour to find our accommodation near the Culloden Moor battlefield east of Inverness. We had booked this one through Airbnb. Our hostess, Jo, gave us a friendly welcome, showed us around our accommodation and the facilities in the house that we could use. Accommodation secured, we drove into Inverness where Majella managed to arrange a haircut and we did some necessary shopping.
We are now quite settled in our accommodation. It is well set up and with access to the house for some facilities it is more like glamping than camping. Our large lunch meant that we did not need a substantial dinner so we managed on bread and cheese with grapes for dessert and a bottle of red wine. We have access to the kitchen in the house to make coffee for breakfast and to the bathroom for ablutions.
The forecast for tomorrow is rain. Based on recent experience of weather forecasts it is possible that might be wrong. If not we may have some interesting adventures to report from wet kombi camping.