My 5: Orkney, Scotland.

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1. Starting Our Trek From Stromness, October 2000. In late 2000 I found myself in between jobs in the isolated Scottish outpost of Fort William. I was cold, fed up and bored, so it was something of a relief when a friend of mine got in touch to say he’d be coming to visit. It didn’t take us long to get out of Dodge. Throwing a tent and a couple of backpacks into the boot of his car, we sped off on a road trip through The Scottish Highlands. We stopped off here and there, failing to spot the Loch Ness monster, feasting on haggis and tatties, getting constantly rained on. Arriving at the dismal ghost town of Thurso, it was time to ditch the car and take the ferry over to Orkney for the main purpose of our visit: a fourteen-mile hike from the southwestern town of Stromness to the bright… err… lights of Kirkwall in the east.

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