Bernie Bell: Bernie & Mike’s Road Trip – Spring 2017

Bernie Bell (small bear) and Mike go on a road trip

‘We’re on the road again’

 Thursday 4th May – Depart Kilmartin about 10.30 a.m. bidding farewell to Janet.  Through Oban and Fort William, on to lunch at Spean Bridge.  Next stop is Inver Moriston by Loch Ness.  Walk through woods by falls on River Moriston – summer house and tree like a gnarled sculpture.

Meet couple from Scarborough – talking of rock carvings and mention similarity  between some of Robin Hood’s Bay and Kilmartin rock art.   Bernie encourages Asian family to see summer house with view of falls – they then pose precariously for photographs at the edge of the precipice!  Talk with couple with an aloof lurcher who likes being stroked really.  Visit shop recommended by Scarborough couple.  McB gets leather cowboy hat (!).  Bernie gets Highland coo horn.  Lass in shop tells us of her ‘f*** off stick’ – Bernie show her, hers.   (BB – it’s a thumb-stick walking stick – think about it!)

On to Castle Urquhart for view of Loch Ness – it’s an Hysterical Scotland site, so we get in free!  Great views of loch and castle.

Castle Urquhart

Photo B Bell

Meet Keith, HS guide, who turns out to be father of Hermione, an ICIT student from a few years back, who Mike taught.  Hear Hermione’s news and pass on regards to her.  Small world.

Bernie asks Brazilian couple if they would like us to take their picture together. (BB – I do this because many couples on holiday don’t get to have a nice pic of them both together – ‘selfies’ just aren’t the same).  Bernie promotes Orkney and we chat about Portugal and more.  Lady hugs Bernie.  (BB – I love it when these chance encounters turn out to be so good-natured).

Finally, to Royal Hotel in Cromarty – just right!  Ellie, black miniature Schnauzer who says more with her eyes and eye-brows than many people say with words!  Very good meal, after which we sit in the conservatory and watch strange atmospherics over the Cromarty Firth.

Cromarty Firth

Photo B Bell

Friday 5th May – Woken at 6.55 a.m. by loud ‘rave’ music from the kitchen below our room.  Not pleased.  Music and shouting DJ continues at breakfast.  Bernie has altercation about it with woman who appears to be in charge in Jenny’s absence.  Jenny would have dealt with it better!  (BB- when we got home, I emailed Jenny – the owner – and told her all about it.  She replied saying that she had been un-aware of the situation, and would make sure it didn’t happen again. Was very helpful and apologetic.  I mention this because , apart from that one thing, the Royal at Cromarty is spot–on – ab-so-lute-ly spot–on – lovely place, lovely food, lovely owner.  So, as long as the music from the kitchen has been sorted out – I would thoroughly recommend the Royal at Cromarty – seriously – it’s perfect apart from that one thing, which was easily remedied, once I got in contact with the right person.)

Walk along the sea-front at Cromarty and meet an old lady and a German woman carrying some really nice pieces of wood which they found on the beach and are taking home to decorate the older lady’s garden.  (BB – Good to meet fellow scavengers and people who put stuff off the beach in their garden.)

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Bernie and Mike continue their road trip.  Follow the Orkney News to keep apace with them …….

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