Monday, October 28, 2013

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

On Saturday I left Oban by bus (£9.40 to Fort William plus £10.20 to Urquhart). When I got to Urquhart Castle I realized that paying wasn't optional. The toilets, gift shop, view of the water, and tour of the castle were all one entrance. Since the next bus to Kyleakin was in six hours I decided to pay the £7.90 admission.

View of Loch Ness from the footpath to Drumnadrochit.

The full story is that I missed my stop at Urquhart and got off 2 miles down the road at the next stop. Luckily, there was a paved footpath along the road back to the castle, unluckily, I was carrying my 20 pound pack. 

I read every plaque and walked every inch of the castle ruins. That took about an hour, with much staring out at the water. 

View from castle ruins; of part of castle and Loch Ness. 

I then bought a hot chocolate at the cafe (£2.50) and plunked myself down at one of their tables watching movies on my phone until they closed at 16:30. 

I walked around the gift shop for a bit then decided I'd rather sit outside and hope a bus came early. It didn't. I waited outside until 17:45. In the rain. The bus to Kyleakin was £20.40!! And it was dark out so I didn't even get to enjoy the view. I wasn't expecting to spend so much on bus fare, and I had just enough. 

Skye Backpackers was mercifully close to the bus stop in Kyleakin. I stayed in one of the caravans (Starship Enterprise, Sulu bed) behind the hostel (£12/night). 
It's a bit loud and chaotic here compared to Oban. The showers are spread out in the main building, and aren't as nice as Oban's. The people tend to clump together based on language spoken, which is unfortunate. It's not a bad hostel by any means, and the price is good, but it isn't as homey as Oban. 

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