407 – Friday 1st July 2016: Deer & Gardens
Has our reader ever seen deer doing Pilates? Honest – K and the little ‘dears’ were boogying on the beach – to a rendition of – ‘Pilates of the Carideen’ !!!
The doe and her two young grazed for ages opposite the carpark. K pilates’d here and the carried on grazing. At one point two cocked their heads on one side, pricked their ears and gazed at me as if I were doing something never seen before … possibly not!?
This one caused the car park to jam, by grazing here.
When the rain did cease, we were rewarded again with more lumps and bumps.
Sandstone on quartz … millions of years old.
Inverewe Gardens – no deer in sight this time. Wonderfully disorganised organised planting, Last of the many varieties of Rhododendron – pure art all around. Osgood MacKenzie (had to type this, as love his name), inherited the estate, planted Scots Pine to protect his garden and started planting in the 1860s. Free to us, as we used our Italian National Trust equivalent again. The rain pretty much held off and we wandered the many paths, trying to avoid the Germans and some Dutch. Honestly, Germany in particular, must be empty as there are so many here.
A couple of unusual plants in the Africa section…
… this one looked plastic.
View from the gardens over the bay and hills.
Trunks that caught my eye!…
A fine specimen of a trunk; one sporting a rough bark of a beard! A slight incident with a half shaved beard this morning, when the battery died.
We stopped for a wander around Gairloch in the rain and found another charming bookshop come cafe (Margaret and Shirley had also recommended this). The Mountain cafe roasts their own coffee and the bookshop stocked an amazing selection of tombs from walking and climbing to latest fiction and mindfulness … we could have left with a wheelbarrow full.
Few wild camping spots in Gairloch, so we moved on a few km up the road. We’d just parked up and were congratulating ourselves on another fine night time pitch, when Nick pitched up. He’s doing the North Coast 500 on his bike in the opposite direction to us. As we chatted and marvelled at his 60 mile ride that day, we admired the view. He joined us for a few bevvies in Chardonnay … I happen to mention that I’d bought Maddy’s wet suite up with me, but not had the courage to test the icy waters. Nick (sadly) did not hold back … we’d both go for a dip – tomorrow at 10.00! All night I dreamt I was swimming and boating around loch after loch, lost, with no money or phone signal, trying to get back to James. I think I must have been quite concerned at the impending drenching!
Our night time viewpoint over Loch Bad … not BAD at all!
408 – Saturday 2nd July 2016: A Tad Too Much Water
K ran early – wearing her ‘halo’ firmly on her head….. minor hangovers? Not she! K and Nick (our delightful visitor of last evening) braved the ’n-icey’ temperatures of Lough ‘Good” for what they claimed was a triathlon swim, but actually was a ‘miniathlon’ dunking! It was actually not as BAD as predicted. Both Nick and K felt very virtuous. I wonder who it was that stayed shore side and took pix?!
Idyllic – Loch Bad.
The temperature is NOT so idyllic! Thank goodness for the borrow of Maddy’s wet suit.
Come on in, the water’s lovely! Or is that a Nick grimace?
Hangovers cured. We did it!
We had thought about a walk around Beinn Eighe, near Kinlockewe. We even stopped at the Visitor Centre, but we made a bad weather call and we justified within 5 mins. One drenching a day is more than sufficient.
We drove onto Torridon and had a 3 mile amble through a National Trust for Scotland Deer park. A very welcome lunch stop of cheese toasties and a shared bowl of chunky chips. Oh so tasty!
The scenery just keeps on coming.
A vantage point over Loch Torridon.
On to Sheilag and again a most popular wild camping site overlooking the sea… common land that is used as a campground with an honesty box for donations. Again lovely views. We were politely asked to move forward by motorhome novices (3 adults, 2 children and a large dog in a Rental motorhome – rather them than me!), so they could have the same vantage point. We ended having to get out the Chocks to get level. And then they went and moved away from us anyway – I won’t hold the fact that they’re Irish – County Cavan and Donegal, against them!
If the rain eases, we may venture to the local Pub to see Germany v Italy. (We talk quietly about Iceland v England…).
Our perch of a pitch over Sheildaig.