• Destinations,  Solo Travel

    Part 1: Solo road trip in a camper van -North Coast 500!

    INVERNESS TO THURSO Let me preface this post by saying that all of Scotland is observing strict social distancing rule which include face masks & 2 meter distancing. So everything I’ve visited, has that in place. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿  After exploring Culloden Battlefield, I’m ready to begin my North Coast 500 road trip – 516 mile route that hugs the northernmost coast of Scotland. You can do the route clockwise or anti clockwise- I chose the latter and set aside enough time to take my time along the route and chase any shiny object that caught my eye. Here’s the route I took for the first half. I have circled my overnight stops…

  • Destinations

    Culloden Battlefield: Sad & Serene

    I ended up spending 3 nights at Culloden Moor Camping & Caravan Park & would definitely recommend it for the park itself and its location. There may have been some places to eat that had begun to open after the COVID shutdown, but I did all my cooking in camp. The camper came with 2 butane stoves just like the one I have back in the States. This recipe of Jamie Oliver’s is one of my “go to” camp meals. I used chicken thighs and paired with noodles with peanut sauce. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/sticky-kickin-wings-5a4dfeaad736332bda563bf3 For day one of my road trip, I got up early and drove 2 miles up the road…

  • Destinations

    4,000 year old standing stones and burial cairns!

    This is my third visit to the Scottish Highlands, but in my past visits I never had as much time as I wanted to explore properly. The first part of my time here will be traveling the North Coast 500 – the 516 mile route that begins and ends in Inverness. Before I head off, I wanted to get the camper organized and explore the area around Inverness. I am camped at Culloden Moor Camping and Caravan Park situated, as the name suggests, on Culloden Moor. Just minutes up the road are the Clava Cairns. A cairn is man-made and comes from the Scottish Gaelic càrn. It means a stack…

  • Destinations,  Solo Travel

    Pandemic lockdown in Scotland is easing and I’m back on the road!

    Well, it has certainly been an interesting time since I left for Europe on March 1, 2020. After three unexpected months in Portugal, being detained and questioned in London by Border Control for 45 minutes, 2 weeks of mandatory quarantine in Edinburgh, then 3 more weeks just waiting for Scotland to open, I am back on the road! This morning, I picked up my rented camper van, Kryptonite, and headed from Edinburgh up into the Highlands.With the lockdown easing and foreign travel discouraged, many of the UK residents who would normally have gone abroad are going camping instead. As a result, I couldn’t get a site in Inverness until tomorrow.…

  • Destinations

    Lockdown in Portugal: The day I bleated at the Butcher

    My 3 months of lockdown in Portugal was both challenging and rewarding. The most challenging was the language barrier. Hands down. Full stop. I’ve been traveling abroad as a solo traveler for nearly two decades and my monolingual limitations have never been a barrier. Until Covid-19 happened. I’ve pondered this a lot. Frankly, I had little else to do. I believe what made this experience more challenging was anxiety. Anxiety felt by me as a stranger in a strange land and by those I had to interact with an obvious foreigner during their own personal and collective crisis. Nowhere was this felt more keenly than when I had to make…