There are those who may be concerned with such minor questions as whether or not mythical beasts like the Loch Ness Monster exist; we could easily have titled this post Nessie: Real or Fake? But we’ll leave such questions to the monster hunters. Really, whether or not Nessie exists doesn’t concern us. What we find much more intriguing, is whether or not she would be your friend.
That’s why this week, with the question of Nessie’s friendliness burning in the back of our minds, we decided to brave the narrow highland roads and head north to Loch Ness, in search of the Loch Ness “Monster.”
The Road to Loch Ness
A trip to Scotland without a trip to Loch Ness would make you a poor tourist indeed. The myth of the Loch Ness monster rests high atop many a tourist’s preconceived notion of what Scotland is all about – undoubtedly to the chagrin of many of Scotland’s native residents, who would rather people know about, you know, their history and culture and what Scotland is actually all about. But I digress.
Traveling to Loch Ness from Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh required us to wake up early. 6:00 AM early. Somewhere nearly 300 km away, Nessie was foraging the bottom of Loch Ness in search of her breakfast – a feast composed of either plankton or small children, depending on her friendliness. Back in Edinburgh, we were feasting on coffee and energy drinks. This was the earliest we had been up in close to 3 months, and the chance to see the sun rise was little consolation.
We were traveling to Loch Ness by tour bus, and purchased our tickets from the tour company Haggis Adventures the night before. We were the first to arrive at the pick up point, and for a few groggy moments, were wondering if we were the only ones who booked the tour. It runs every day, so we began to question if the number of people looking to make a twelve hour trip in the middle of the week could really be that high.
We were wrong. The bus was packed. But luckily we got prime pickings on the seats. Call us keeners, but we sat at the very front of the bus, right behind the driver. We could easily see through the front window, so we had a 180° view of the countryside, and didn’t have to deal with the seat in front of us getting in our way. Since most of our time was going to be spent on the bus, a good view was definitely necessary.
One of the perils of traveling is that you might not always get where you’re going. You have to be prepared for the occasion where something goes wrong, and accept that your plans might change at a moments notice. But when something does go wrong, the frustration quickly seeps in.
This is why it was so surprising that when our our bus driver, Don, told us that we might not be able to make it to Loch Ness, no one freaked out. There was an accident on the road ahead, and no one could get through. Motorists coming back from the accident told him that the entire road was blocked off. And when he contacted the tour company’s headquarters, he was told it would be several hours before rescue crews would arrive from the nearest city. There was no telling how long it would take for the road to be cleared, and it was starting to look like we might not make it to the lake in time.
I tell you, if you ever decide to become a pirate, recruit Don for your captain. He somehow managed to avoid an impending mutiny, and I’ve gotta tell you, we were contemplating readying the plank ourselves. His offer to take us somewhere else was wholly unattractive to a group of people who had their hearts set on seeking out the Loch Ness Monster. And we needed to know if she would be our friend. Plus we bought hats.
Getting to Loch Ness really was a near miss. Every fifteen minutes, ‘ol Don would get on the phone with the tour company and they would check to see the status of the accident. Things weren’t looking good, and we were about to turn around. He announced that he would try one last time, but by this point our hopes were dashed. At the very last minute, the word came that the road was cleared. The clouds hanging over our heads broke and we were on our way.
An Hour on Loch Ness
Part of our tour was supposed to include stops along the way to enjoy the Scottish highlands. But we were hours behind and the tour boat that was supposed to take us out on the Loch was going to stop running soon. So we rushed past the scenery and skipped a few planned stops. We arrived in Fort Augustus at 4:00pm just in time to catch the last cruise of the loch.
We’d have just one hour before we’d have to get on the bus again and start the journey back. Our plans to answer the question of Nessie’s friendliness would have to be slimmed back.
Is the Loch Ness Monster Friendly?
It’s a lot of build up to such a short part of the day. We planned to survey some of the other tourists and ask if they thought Nessie was friendly. Maybe even a local expert or two. But with the small amount of time we had there, we barely had time to get a few pictures in. So without much research, we’re going to have to speculate. But at the end of the day, that’s all this was going to be, was speculation. Short of actually finding Nessie and asking her herself, we can only guess.
We’ve come to the conclusion that Nessie would indeed be your friend. We believe that she spends most of her time at the bottom of the loch eating seaweed and plankton. We’ve seen it argued elsewhere on the internet that a giant sea creature/dinosaur is unlikely to be friendly, but maybe those people haven’t heard about herbivores?
She avoids the surface as much as she can. An aggressive creature would likely show itself more often; aggression should come with displays of aggression, no? There don’t seem to be many of those reported. She’s shy and doesn’t like when people attempt to photos of her, which explains why there aren’t any of her posing for the camera.
It’s most likely that Nessie is like Littlefoot, from The Land Before Time. And if you have any doubt that she could be friendly, just look at the hats we were wearing. Does that look unfriendly to you?
The driver played this as we arrived back in Edinburgh. It felt appropriate after all of our traveling in search of Nessie:
This post has been submitted to The Carnival of Drifter Tales, hosted by The Drifters Blog. Be sure to check it out!
Do you think Nessie would be a friend or foe?