Our journey today is not too long and we hope to be down at Rosemarkie campsite by late afternoon.  It is on the Black Isle (not really an island – more a peninsular) near Fortrose, which lies on the Moray Firth.

Four miles south of the little town of Lairg are the Falls of Shin where the river of the same name tumbles dramatically.  We took a break from Bessie and walked down the steps to have a look.


However, the midges were rife down there so we beat a fairly hasty retreat back up the steps, passing this chap on the way.


We hadn’t driven much further when Peter suddenly stopped Bessie and grabbed the camera.  There on a post sat a beautiful Swallow and he got this excellent photo.


Coming up to Bonar Bridge, I saw this romantic looking castle tucked into the hills – must be privately owned as it didn’t figure on the OS map.



The bridge crosses the Dornoch Firth and the tiny settlement of Ardgay which has still retained its AA box!


We hadn’t gone far when Peter suddenly stopped Bessie in her tracks again, grabbed his camera and shot out.  Swooping over the water was an Osprey and he managed to get these shots.



We weren’t sure until we checked our Scottish Birds book but sure enough it was an Osprey.  It dived for a fish as we watched but then disappeared behind some trees so we didn’t see if it was successful.

Coming down the Cromarty Firth on the other side of the Black Isle, we took a look at the old Royal Naval base town of Invergordon.  My father spent some time there as a small boy when my grandfather was stationed there before the First World War.  These days the Navy has long gone and the oil rigs have taken over.



The views across the Firth are lovely in the late afternoon sun and the cloudscapes impressive.


We crossed over the water via the Conon Bridge and the A9, which leads on to Inverness, taking a turning left for Rosemarkie.


The Black Isle looks almost like Kent – very green with lots of trees and very different to the mountainous countryside of the Highlands.  The campsite is right along the waterside and we have been allocated a lovely spot directly overlooking the Moray Firth and, in the distance, the oil rigs.


We’re very pleased with this campsite and decided on a barbecue, although the weather became decidedly cool in the end.  Heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow…