Flowering Calluna Vulgaris, common name, “Heather”. The Scottish Highlands is lousy with it. It’s quite lovely interspersed between the rocks and ferns lining the roadways. How can such a beautiful flowering plant have “vulgar” in its name?
I left Inverness this morning with a final destination of the wee village of Fort Williams. As my final destination was only a couple of hours drive and I had all day to kill, the hotel receptionist suggested I pay a visit to the Isle of Skye. Given my newly acquired abilities for navigating round-a-bouts, I was game. The route took me along the shore of Loch Ness. I, of course, had to stop to take a look for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Apparently she was out visiting or tending to her knitting as there were no signs of her.
Further down the road I came upon Eilean Donan Castle located on a small tidal island in Loch Duich. It is by far the most interesting castle of the trip and the perfect place to meet compatriots and plan an attack on the reigning monarchy, especially if the reigning monarchy is a blood relative.
It has also become glaringly apparent to me that the Scottish Highlands is the perfect setting for motorbike riding. Well maintained roads winding through some of the most beautiful scenery you will find. Pack your rain gear though. I have also found that the weather can change from sunny skies to lushing rain in a matter of 15 minutes. “Lushing Rain” is my new favorite rain related phrase. I heard a BBC 2 Radio announcer use the phrase and promised myself to use it whenever remotely possible. It is so descriptive and just so British. You will not be alone as a motorbike rider in these parts. I lost count of the number of riders I passed or was passed by. Admittedly, I was more than a little envious. The car ride is great, but not even close to being on a moto. Remember that (almost) 70-year-old server from Edinburgh who is planning to purchase her first moto I mentioned in a previous blog? She is going to have the time of her life.