On Tuesday I had planned to head out to Skye, but I got up too late for the 2 hour journey each way, so I decided to head up towards the town of Loch Ness and then onto Inverness. One of the things I wanted to accomplish in Loch Ness was to find a local Burns Night dinner, which is a celebration of the Scottish National Poet, Robert Burns.
The information center wasn't open yet, so I headed up the hill to the new Loch Ness Exploration Center and did the tour there. It was a tour with different rooms built to be like rock and had videos in each room talking of the search for the Loch Ness monster. I have to say that being the only person in the place was a tad bit spooky, in a Scooby Doo sort of way. I kept my back to the wall in each of the rooms, just in case the Loch Ness monster snuck up on me and I had to exclaim "Jinkies!" and run away.
Once through the exhibition I went into the gift shop adjacent to it and had a nice chat with the local ladies who worked there. What nice ladies!!! They recommended some other things to see while in the area.
At the information office the woman told me to check at the post office for a Burns Night dinner, because she thought that was who had mentioned it to her. So I went to the post office, where they said "Burns Night dinner? No, I haven't heard anything, check down at the information desk." I explained that they were the ones who sent me to the post office and a nice gentleman who was mailing a package said "I'm on my way to the library, why don't you walk with me there and ask the librarian, she should know of something."
So across Loch Ness to the library we went. The librarian did indeed know of something, and drew me a map to get to Balnain to check their community board. Phillip, the man who walked me to the library, told me that if I was headed to Balnain, I should really try to get out to Plodda Fall because they were really spectacular, so I did. It was funny that 3/4 of the people I met in Loch Ness were actually from England, not Scotland. Phillip must have been from the Liverpool area because he totally sounded like John Lennon.
I found the Balnain message board, wrote down the dinner info then headed on to Plodda Falls. I thought I missed a turn at one point and asked a man who was walking his daughter home from school for directions. He redirected me and said "Be careful on the road there, it's got big potholes, very (prounounced 'verra') treacherous that is, that." I thanked him and went on my way.
The thing I love about the highlands is that you'll be driving along, round a bend and have your breath taken away by a totally stunning vista. The thing that's annoying is that photos just do not do the vista justice at all. The drive to Plodda was simply amazing. There is a little bitty town you go through that's labeled as a 'conservation village', which I take to mean that the houses are old because there was no description of what a conservation village is. The village was totally adorable, with ancient stone houses that had gingerbread trim. The walk to and from the falls was beautiful and serene. I only came across one other woman. There is a platform that sticks out over the falls so that you look straight down over them. It's relatively terrifying to be hanging out over the water and rocks like that, I have to say.
I stopped in the conservation village to take photos on the way back as it was getting dark. I pulled into a car park and stood outside the car clicking away. When I turned around I found that all of the sheep in the field were standing there chewing grass and watching me.
So now for the photos: