United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland [2005]

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day 8 [] August 9, 2005 [] Inverness and Perth, Scotland

We woke up around 8. We headed for Inverness eating complimentary clotted cream shortbread cookies and drinking coffee. We got to Inverness and began looking for a hostel or bed and breakfast. We walked around for about 30 minutes to find no vacancies. We finally went to the Tourist Information Center to get a reservation somewhere. It was crowded and signs said there were very few places around Loch Ness. After much discussion of options we booked a B&B in Perth. It seemed somewhat risky because there are not many trains that go south. Only like 9 a day.

We got bus tickets to Urquhart Castle to see Loch Ness. We got there and didn't want to pay the money to go inside the ruins (it cost enough to get there). We walked around and took some pictures. We sat on a grassy area overlooking Loch Ness. Lisa read and Jon wrote. It was very peaceful. Then it started to rain. We were excited to use our pack covers. Under the covers, our packs look huge! We sat under a tree on the sidewalk. At first we were facing the rode and realized our backs were turned to Loch Ness (the whole reason we were there). We faced Loch Ness and had a lovely time in the rain watching people in the castle ruins hiding from the rain.

We caught the next bus back to Inverness and we were hoping to catch the train that was leaving 2 minutes after we were supposed to arrive. Unfortunately, the bus arrived 2 minutes late, and when we arrived at the train station, the train had departed. We had to wait for the last train of the day, which wasn't so bad because it meant we got to eat - Subway. After getting food, we returned to the station to eat (avoiding the seagull) and wait for our train, which was broken, and delayed a half hour while they repaired it. After all that, we got to Perth late, but not until we talked with two jocular Scottish businessmen and a talkative old lady who made sure (on her life) that we knew how to get a taxi and get to our hotel. The businessmen acted as tour guides for us, pointing out the wildflowers that turn vibrant yellow in spring and majestic purple in autumn , and the highest point in Scotland where the people go to ski in the winter. Guest House Belches ended up a lovely little cottage. We watched some Scottish television and went to sleep.

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