31.05.2015 - 31.05.2015
Our last drive in Inverness clocked up another 175 miles this morning when we loaded all our luggage into the car and went to the airport via Helmsdale in Sutherland. Of course there was a castle....more about that in a minute.
In the rain we took the A9 to Thurso so we crossed the Morray Firth to Black Isle and then we crossed the Cromarty Firth, which means we went into Rossshire. We headed north through Tain across the Dornoch Firth, entering Sutherland and passing Loch Fleet, Golspie, Brora and along the North Sea coast to Helmsdale. The rain continued to get heavier as we proceeded but lighted a little when we took our 15 minute walk along the River Helmsdale and drove around almost the WHOLE town....enormous...
Our return trip was less rainy and we visited The Duke of Sutherland at Dunrobin Castle. He was not in this morning but for a mere £10 each he was happy for us to have a look around!!! I want the dining room and Rob wants the library, I definitely want the manicured gardens and I would even share them with my Mum...... the Children's room was what every child should have, totally captivating with rocking horse, dolls house, books, everything beautiful. The nursery was divine. I could go on and on, sadly though we had to leave. We enjoyed elevenses by theopen fireplace in the tea room.
Passing Loch Fleet the sign warned us to beware of otters crossing!
Cromarty Firth had a collection of ships and oil rigs hard at work.
Arriving at Inverness airport early for our flight there were some very disgruntled passengers offering us sympathies and good luck for our Flybe flight. The only problem with our flight was our miscalculation regarding our weight. Which aircraft in the world would expect a girl to have less than 20kilos in a suitcase after 4 weeks, I ask you????? We had banked on 23 so got slugged for excess, and we only have 3 more little flights before we get to Emirates, who understand the need for higher baggage allowance.
Fortunately because we were flying between the islands it was only £10 each...cheaper than The Royal Mail to post it home! Keep in mind we already had 500kilo in our backpacks because we keep buying guide books at all the cathedrals and castles.......
Our lawnmower engine Flybe Flight went up then down and we were already at Kirkwall. It was rainy but has fined up for a post dinner walk. We ate at Lucano's. The MOST delicious Italian meal I have ever eaten. No kidding, the bruschetta was a magical blend of finely chopped ingredients, on toasted crusty bread with a fine olive oil drizzle topped with freshly ground pepper . The main courses were just as exquisite to the taste buds; Lucano pizza and Penne with king prawns in tomato and chilli...yum!!! REAL REAL coffee to finish with.....mmmmmmm
I have managed to pick up a sore throat somewhere and the snuffles. Regular doses of sudafed, nasonex, neurofen and strepsils to suck will chase it away.
Rob has let Geoff know we are here so no doubt he will met up with him tomorrow for a look at the hospital here in Kirkwall and the first of no doubt a few good chats.
First impressions of Orkney are very favourable, although I will need to remember my scarf tomorrow as the breeze has a nip to it. Ou stroll after dinner was at 8:30 and the clouds had given say to brilliant sunshine. More than we had seen all day. Nightfall will not beuntil 10:30 tonight and sunriswmwill be at 4:10am.
In town a number of stores were displaying locally made merchandise which will be good to look at. We will buy our Explorers Cards in the morning so we can set off and explore the island. We had to leave our Audi behind, but now have a nifty little Ford Fiesta, that groans under the weight of the cases ....just joking! It 's brand new and manual, so here's hoping we have as smooth a run in it as ' our ' Audi.
We are comfortably set up at Karrawara Guest House (Aboriginal name). The owners are a young couple with two young girls, a dog and a cat. They have renovated recently so we have all new facilities and the bonus is we are on the ground floor Room 2!
' See' you all tomorrow.
NIGHT NIGHT in the sunlight!