SCOTLAND ODYSSEY : ENCOUNTERS HAIRY & WOOLY
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It’s a charming little village strung along the waterfront. The houses are all simple, what back home would be called ‘Settler-style’. It made me think of an Artificer’s Square-on-sea.
I went down to the jetty and there was an old cruise ship off-shore with passengers being ferried ashore to do walkabouts in Plockton.
I got chatting to a man aboard his yacht (“Moondancer”). He was about to set sail for Skye.
I then walked down to the Plockton Hotel where I am sitting writing this alongside the fireplace in the lounge.
Well-to-do guests are busy heading out for the day and it’s interesting listening to the interaction between them and the very friendly proprietess who’s very forthcoming with advice on what to do and how to get there. She and her husband have had the hotel for about 20 years and are about to hand over to their children.
11:46: I’m now at the Wayside Café on the far side of Loch Carron, in the village of Loch Carron (“Geoff and Kate welcome you”). Today’s drive has been breathtaking on narrow backroads (‘Allow overtaking’) and I’m having some quick sustenance before making for Gairloch via Shieldaig and Torridon.
I’ve just had a chat to Geoff and daughter, Hannah. Geoff recommends I visit Applecross via the “highest road in Britain”. Hannah went to Plockton High School (fewer than 300 pupils). I’m soon on my way: “’Bye, Geoff. ‘Bye, Hannah.”
Forgot to mention, it’s another glorious and, in Scottish terms, balmy day today. I’m very fortunate.
1:08pm. I'm at Applecross Inn. Spectacular and quite hairy drive from Loch Carron and over the top: wind-y, wind-y all the way. Captured a portion of it with my camera in movie mode for the benefit of those back home with a couple of mock near-accidents on sharp bends for added effect. Should be fun in fast forward.
I’m sitting in a nice pub with the best view of any I’ve been in so far. Can’t work out if that is the island of Raasay out through the opening of the loch.
There was a sweet little gaggle of ducks at the water’s edge just as I parked in front of the Inn, making interesting smalltalk to each other. Thought of filming them on my way out but by that time they’d moved off shore and out of range.
15:43: Now at Torridon Inn watching England v Australia. Spent a bit of time in Shiedaig – reminiscent of Plockton but obviously even less on the map and not so touristy. I was keen to stay over but the price of the B&B (28 pounds for a back room) was too steep and the owner was not prepared to give a rate less breakfast. I may still make Gairloch tonight.
The trip from Applecross was uneventful but certainly not lacking in beauty.
I saw the remnants of old crofters ‘Black Cottages’ and many sheep: stockier than our’s with denser wool and they get to keep their tails. Took a picture of an oncoming one in the middle of the road which I think Kathryn will like. Oh, yes and another difference from our’s is that they have better road-sense, more like our goats.
Now for Gairloch.