Scotland 2022

Friday, 18th March 2022, from Newton Abbot, Devon

I had been planning a special trip to Scotland for almost a year. The idea was that after retirement – and whilst I still had a car – I would drive up the east coast from Inverness to Thurso, along the top of Scotland to Durness, and down the west coast to Fort William, stopping off in Skye for a few days. I would take my time and not plan any particular stops along the way; I would simply take each day as it came. It would be a good old-fashioned motoring trip rather than a drive.

Two things seemed essential: first I had to have a car and second I had to be retired, because I had no idea how long I would be away. I guessed it would be at least two to three weeks.

HOWEVER… I learned in January 2022 that I would have the car until the end of August, when I would have to hand it back to Volvo. I retire in early July, so that meant making the trip over the summer, which was a definite and resounding NO! Not only would the Highlands be crowded – relatively speaking – but it would be school holidays and places to stay would be expensive and hard to come by. Not to mention the midges.

So, when to make the trip? Easter was out and June would be my last month at work. May might have worked but we ended up with the last two weeks of March, when the Highlands would be on the cusp of winter and spring and hopefully there would not be too many other tourists about. Did I mention the midges?

In the mean time I had told my neighbours all about my dream motoring holiday and, after very little deliberation, they expressed a strong desire to join me. All was set for the three of us.

I have another ‘dream motoring holiday’ that I have been wanting to do for many years, if not decades. Corny I know but I wanted to take my time driving along and around Route 66, preferably in a 60’s Chevy Impala – like the one in the TV series Supernatural – or a 60’s Mustang. This will never happen.

Three people meant planning. We needed accommodation booked up in advance so we needed to know where we would be on each of the fourteen days in Scotland. I am pleased to say it has come together quite nicely, and no doubt we will encounter a few surprises – and hopefully very few mishaps – along the way.

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Scotland Day 4: Buckie to Thurso

North of Inverness is the most stunning scenery we have yet scene in Scotland – and that is saying something. We stopped on the way at an Eden-like idyll just before Golspie, which was itself a beautiful town with varied and beautiful architecture.

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