Author Topic: Highlands  (Read 2948 times)

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October 13, 2014, 09:21:25 PM on

Offline pablo (OP)

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It's been some time since I got back from my wee tour of the highlands, so long in fact that I've been back. In the van this time :icon_wink:
I set off on Tuesday 2nd Sept heading up the A68 into the borders, making good progress around Edinburgh and up the A9. I had intended to stop at Pitlochry, but arriving there early in the afternoon I thought I'd crack on a bit further. This was a bit of a mistake as I'll explain later :augie

The A9 was really quiet and I made good progress up to the Dalwhinne turn off. I paused here for a wee while, deciding wether to head for Spean Bridge and the west or keep heading north. North it was another fatefull decision.

It was still quite eary when I got to Inverness, so I thought I could easily make it to the top end in plenty of time to get the tent up. I headed over to Lairg, and took the road to Laxford Bridge. From ther I could decide wether to head north to Durness or west to Scourie. This is a beautiful road, but it's single track and you have to be aware of traffic in the middle of the road.


At Laxford Bridge I headed for Scourie. I like the wee campsite there. The views are great and the facilities are good. I was suprised to find it almost deserted.



In the morning I headed south on the A894 and stopped at the Kylescu Hotel for a bit of breakfast. I never tire of the views from this place. It's on one of the most spectacular sea lochs in Scotland. Properly fed I headed south again along the spectaculer road to Lochinver. I skipped the longer coast route, it's well worth doing, but I've done it before and I wanted to make a bit of progress. I stopped for a brew in Lochinver and a chat with some Germans who were heading in the opposite direction and enthusing wildly about the highland roads.

From Lochinver I took the wee coastal route south that rejoins the main road to Ullapool the A835 after another dose of breathtaking roads and scenery. From Ullapool I continued on the A835 till the junction with the A832 and another great coastal route. I stopped at Gailoch for a break before heading down past Loch Maree, and down to Torridon. From Torridon I headed around the coast to Applecross. I encountered a group of eight German Harley riders who were plainly enjoying the views and not concentrating on the road. It would,ve been easier to overtake eight double deckers, they were all over the road. I put the tent up for another night at the campsite where I met a couple of chaps from Nottingham and a chap from Heysham who were touring and camped at the campsite. The pub was rammed.

The next morning I headed for Loch Carron via the pass of the cattle, where I know you can get a quality breakfast.







After allowing the breakfast to settle I took the A890 toward Kyle of Lochalsh, but turned right on to the A82, only for a short while though, as I turned left onto the old military road down to Glen Elg. This is a great little road and an alternative route to Skye.




You can get the wee car ferry from Glen Elg to Skye for seven quid and it's a great trip. You'll see eagles, seals, otters and dolphins.



The road up and away from the ferry onto sky is special too, but you need to concentrate it's single track and the bends are blind. I did a lap of Skye and stopped in Portree for lunch were I witnessed some very lively referendum discussions. From Portree I headed down to Armadale ferry terminal and camped at the wee campsite nearby. All I'll say is it's an experience :icon_confused:







The next day I had breakfast at the cafe next to the ferry terminal, and boarded the ferry to Mallaig. Maillaig was as busy as I've ever seen it. It really is begining to come alive as a town. A few years ago it was grim. From here I took one of my favorite roads. Turning off the A830 onto the coast road around the beautifull Moidart peninsular. I arrived at the Corran ferry early afternoon and crossed the Loch to The A82.



From here I was just going to head for the Red squirrel camp site at Glen Coe, but I arrived to find it Deserted. Not fancying sitting in a deserted campsite I headed off down the A82 up Glen Coe and across Rannoch moor. When I got to Crainlarich and fuelled up I was struggling to think where to go, so by the time I got to Calender I was on my way home. What a Journey that turned out to be. Rain and fog all the way from Stirling to Newcastle. Arrived home at 22.00 tired but thanks to Mr Dainesse warm and largely dry.

Now if you remember I made two fatefull decisions on my way north. Well if you're on the A9 near Moy don't do more than 60  :icon_confused: I had a nice surprise in the post when I got back.
 

October 13, 2014, 09:36:11 PMReply #1 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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Nice write up  :thumbsup glad you had such a good time. Just back from the Hebrides on Sat, you've given me the urge to write that up now. 

I only use the A9 as a means to an end myself, sorry that spoiled your experience. Glen Elg is a great wee secret, it only rained because we didn't want you to leave (no referendum reference intended)  :icon_mrgreen:
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October 14, 2014, 12:40:32 AMReply #2 on

Offline KuzzinKenny

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Hey pablo !! great RR and pics :thumbsup

We camped at Scourie campsite on the 15th Sep and Lairg on the 16th Sep when we were up north on our wee trip, in me van tho  :icon_lol:

pity about the surprise souvenir  :icon_sad:

KK

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October 14, 2014, 08:27:07 AMReply #3 on

Offline Spud

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Nice RR  :thumbsup

I love Scotland and if my numbers come up tonight I'm going to buy it  :thumbsup

cheers Spud  :thumbsup

October 14, 2014, 09:17:18 AMReply #4 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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Nice RR  :thumbsup

I love Scotland and if my numbers come up tonight I'm going to buy it  :thumbsup

cheers Spud  :thumbsup

Drop Alex Salmond an email, I belive he's open to offers  :ImaPoser
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October 14, 2014, 10:27:08 AMReply #5 on

Offline pablo (OP)

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I never tire of Scotland, even roads I've travelled on previously I still enjoy. I know there are other places to see and I will get round to it, but Scotland is special.

All of our recent trips have been dual purpose. Part holliday/break and part recon, for an eventuall permanent move north. The trouble is even a short list is difficult to arrive at. There are so many attractive places.

I've just come back from the Cairgorms. Which was great but, we're favoring the west. I like the sea and the islands.

Next time I head off on the tiger, it'll be a little more leisurly. Find a base for a few days and just chill.


October 16, 2014, 06:00:54 PMReply #6 on

Offline pablo (OP)

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Kenny. Where is the campsite at Lairg? Stopping there might be a good idea. Rather than thrashing all the way north in one go. I had a look at the Glenmore campsite near Aviemore while we were up there last week. Looks ok.

October 16, 2014, 08:04:11 PMReply #7 on

Offline Geoff W

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Top quality write up. The road around the Moidart Peninsula is a real gem and little used. But it is so much better for getting to/from Mallaig than  Fort William and the main A road (can't remember the number of it).
  A9 is covered by average speed camera between Perth and Aviemore, a touch odd as the road varies from divided dual carriageway to single carriageway.
  As you no doubt have noticed as soon as you cross the border on any road there is a "Welcome To Scotland" camera;  so pleased to see a visitor they want to take your picture! I have been very close to being snapped a few times by mobile units on the A roads they can be sneaky in the placing of the van.
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October 16, 2014, 11:53:49 PMReply #8 on

Offline KuzzinKenny

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Kenny. Where is the campsite at Lairg? Stopping there might be a good idea. Rather than thrashing all the way north in one go. I had a look at the Glenmore campsite near Aviemore while we were up there last week. Looks ok.

Hey pablo !! the campsite at Lairg is called Dunroamin  :icon_scratch: its a nice site with a great restaurant (not fast food)  :thumbsup

http://www.lairgcaravanpark.co.uk

KK
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October 17, 2014, 08:22:33 PMReply #9 on

Offline Micko

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Just read your RR Pablo and loved it. Great trip and must've done a few miles. Remember me and the Mrs on our honeymoon round Scotland on the Thunderbird and the speedo cable knacked which made it interesting with the speed cameras.

October 18, 2014, 09:18:34 AMReply #10 on

Offline threepot

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