LOCH NESS . .Tours are not for me. I don't like them. I hate time limitations when I travel. However, when you have distances to go, limited time, and no knowledge of the place, they make a good option. There were 46 passengers on the cattle bus I loaded on to for my visit with Nessie.

It must be said, the driver/guide was the highlight of my trip. He was an opinionated Scotsman, never missing a beat to blast the English, British government, and any clansmen who were opposed to his clan. He especially didn't like the MacDonalds or the Camerons, so that probably included the Martins who allied with them. Although he never said anything about them either way, he really didn't like those other two clans.


It was an all day journey to get to Loch Ness. Fortunately, there were stops along the way, but they were limited to 15 minutes here, 2 minutes there for a photo, 50 minutes for lunch, and the like. Not ideal. I wasn't actually in Fort Augustus very long. I had five minutes to get to the boat, an hour cruise on the lake, and five minutes back to the boat. I couldn't be sure what the thirty people did who didn't ride the boat. There wasn't much to do in the village. And, I didn't understand why anyone would travel so long and far only to opt out of a boat tour of the lake.

There was a lot of information on the tour. Loch Lomond has a larger surface area than Loch Ness. However, the home for Nessie is deeper and therefore contains more water. In fact, it contains more water than all of England and Wales. There was a wee bit of Scottish pride in that statement, to be sure.


To make sure everyone had a sighting while on the tour, stickers were placed on the windows of the boat (as seen above). It was hard to get past the hoards of cameras to get that photo.

Tales of Nessie go back to the 6th century to an Irish monk, Saint Columba. Perhaps he was the first person to visit the area who could read and write. He was the first to document that water beasts lived in the area. Little did he or anyone else ever dream of the tourist industry that would eventually develop in Loch Ness.


Urquhart Castle
Modern interest sparked up in 1933 when newspaper stories and grainy photographs testified to the existence of a monster lurking in the loch. Monster or not, it didn't stop people from building some settlements and Urquhart Castle where the shores permitted. It isn't possible to walk circumference of the loch because much of it doesn't have shoreline. And, you can't see very far below the surface. Peat runoff from the area makes the water very dark. I read that you can drink the water but it also has a "peaty" taste so it is best to mix it 50/50 with whiskey. Maybe that's just an excuse? Or, maybe it is easier to see Nessie after a few of those whiskies?

After you have a few drinks, scroll back over some of the photos. You, too, may believe in the Loch Ness Monster.


Copyright 2010 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.