Back to July 6-10, 2000

JULY 11 Scotland Lewiston / Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge (9.5Pounds)

Mareschi Family and Sekaly
When I got up, it was raining, too. I didn't like to go ahead and stay here another night.
As soon as I paid for tonight at the reception, It stopped raining. God of sky still seems to make fun of me. Well, as I has made friends with Mareschi family and Sekaly, it is not bad to stay here.

I spent today cruising around Loch Ness and visited Highland Life Museum. I also found off-road. Although I saw a sign of "No entry" by the Forestry Agency or something, I go ahead and enjoyed off-road ignoring the sign.

Amandine is the "Queen of Jenga"

I went to Lock Ness Monster (Nessie) Center. They haven't found certain proof of the monster yet. Maybe the monster is still sleeping at the bottom of the lake…
In the evening, I played a game with them and had dinner together. "Jenga" was very funny!

JULY 12 Scotland Staffin / Dun Flodigarry Backpackers Hostel (8Pounds)

Where is 'Real Scotland'??

Scotland is classified in 3 main regions. Northern Highland, Middle lowland, and Southern Upland.
When I came to Scotland at first from Northern Ireland, a Scottish at the hostel said to me, "as this area is close to England, it is 'britishnized'. If you want to experience real Scotland, you should visit Highland" .
And I came to Inverness in Highland coming over Grampian Mountains. When I walked in the town, another guy also said to me, "this is not 'real Scotland', if you want to taste real Scotland, you must go to the Top End".

I want to go to the top end, but it must be much colder than here. I couldn't bear any more coldness. And even if I went to the top end, another guy might told me, "This is not real Scotland. It you want to taste…....". It could be endless.
I gave up and I ran to the west instead. The destination is Isle of Skye.

After 200km cruising, I crossed over the bridge, which connects the island with the mainland.
I don't know if this is real Scotland, but it is very attractive island, which has steeper mountains and cliffs than in mainland.
I got some information about accommodation at the tourist office in Portree and headed for further north and got a bed at a independent hostel outside Staffin.   

JULY 13 Scotland Staffin / Dun Flodigarry Backpackers Hostel (8Pounds)

Hilly features of Isle of Skye
The hostel stands by the sea and we can enjoy a brilliant view from here. I decided to stay here one more night because it rained again and I needed to get through the backlog of the web work.

According to the manager of the hostel, around a half of the population in this island still speak Scottish language to each other. That is why I saw people talking unfamiliar words in the glossary store a while ago. This island might be "real Scotland"!   

JULY 14 Scotland Glasgow / Glasgow Youth Hostel (13.5Pounds)

Scotland has a lot of lakes.
This morning I ran around the island and got on the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig in the afternoon. It took for only 25 minutes.
After that I ran to the east for Fortwilliam. Getting there than expected, I headed for Glasgow taking A-82.

The road condition between Mallaig and Glasgow is very good and easy to drive. I saw various shape of mountains and lakes, and sometimes went through the woods. It is one of the best drive courses I have ever passed in this travel.

Although Scotland is a very beautiful country with full of green, forests are very few. They are much less than in Japan.
That is because most forests have been changed into pastures. And most of them are planted woods, not natural forests. How many trees did they cut down?

It is nice to cruise on the coast road or in peaceful pasture area, but for me, the best is when I go into the forests. Going through the tunnel of thick woods, I feel even the air become green and I would take a deep breeze in the helmet.
And I would say I love Japan, which still has a lot of natural and virgin forests like this.  

JULY 15 England Pooley Bridge(Lake District) / Camping (4 Pounds)

At Hardrian's Wall
I came down to the southeast from Glasgow.
Crossing over the border between Scotland and England, I turned to the west along a long ancient protective wall called Hardrian's Wall (World heritage).

It was built by Roman, who had ruled Britain Island long long ago (about 2000 years ago). They wanted to defend their territory from the north. And that is because this long wall means the limitations of expanding of the old Roman Empire. After the evacuation of Roman, England used this firm wall against Scots' attack.

When I got to the visitor centre, it was about closed and I couldn't see the exhibition well. But the wall itself can be seen everywhere there cause it lasts more than 100km. It was a nice view but some parts of the wall are used as a fence for sheep…    

I got to the north end of Lake District around 8 o’clock after the over 300km cruising. This is much warmer than Scotland. And sunset time gets earlier from 21:00 to 20:40. I put the tent at a campsite. 

Go to July 16-20, 2000