Road trip out west

Windy road and castleGiven the recent weeks of freezing cold weather, including some very unseasonal snow, going camping and hiking this past weekend was probably on the face of it a silly idea.

However, I was really glad Nicole and I stuck to our plans. The weather was – apart from the very cold nights – absolutely superb, with warm, clear days rendering magnificent views of the countryside.

We camped at Clachtoll and at Badrallach on the west coast of the Highlands. The weekend involved a a few good walks, a couple of well-earned meals out, and lots of photography – the blue skies and snow-capped peaks making for some striking shots.

One highlight was the driving. The west coast is a beautiful part of the world – and all less than an hour and a half from home – and we enjoyed just ambling along the road with no particular deadline, stopping when we wanted to for a photograph.

On our way north on the first day, we took a break at a stop overlooking the Dornoch Firth where there were excellent views north (see below), and I noticed that one of the other cars pulled up had a Luxembourgish registration. The two occupants were looking at an interpretation board, and as I passed them I nonchalantly greeted them with “moien“.

Dornoch Firth

Hearing someone greet them in their own tiny national language in the Highlands of Scotland made them just about jump out of their skins. We got talking and they were delighted and surprised to hear that not only had we visited Luxembourg but it was our actual destination rather than somewhere to pass through. In exchange we answered a few of their questions about Inverness, their destination that afternoon.

Loch and mountains

Pressing on through Bonar Bridge and westwards to the coast of Sutherland, we passed some stunning scenery (above) and the remains of Ardvreck Castle (top right), sitting on the shores of Loch Assynt.

We soon arrived at our destination for the night – the magnificently located Clachtoll campsite, just a short walk from the rightly famous Clachtoll beach.

There, in the calm but cold conditions, we set up camp and spent our first night…

More posts from the trip here. Photos from the rest of my trip here.

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