Another wet and windy day in the van waiting for the garage to not mend our car. We have an amended plan here on in but it depends on our car being available the day after tomorrow and there are no guarantees. Ah well, I do manage to make progress with the Braund Society Journal whilst stuck in the van.
The next day we decide we really should do something. First, in to Kyle of Lochalsh to find a cash point and get some food. There is a very tiny general store and meat comes from the butcher’s next door. We show ourselves up by being unsure of the weight of the mince that we require. I hate to admit that we normally grab pre-packaged mince in a plastic box that looks the right sort of amount, without being aware of its weight. In this area there are plenty of road signs exhorting us to drive on the left. This of course is for roads that have space for two vehicles to pass and given the number of European tourists, may well be necessary.
We head north across the breathtaking countryside that is Wester Ross. We have chosen a destination somewhat at random and are aiming for Torridon Countryside Centre. The weather is what we have come to expect of Scotland, raining one minute and sunny the next. Along the Wester Ross Coastal Route we encounter a sign to Stromferry. Helpfully, the sign warns that there isn’t actually a ferry at all at this location. We have seen many abandoned and ruined crofts, either a relict of the ‘clearances’ or signs of where a more recent crofter has found themselves unequal to the demands of life in the remote highlands.
On arrival at the Countryside Centre, we are able to watch a short film about the flora and fauna of the area. Accompanied by an evocative smell of pine, we walk down to the small deer museum and park, where we can see captive Red Deer. There are meadow pipets and curlew and as ever, rowan trees (Mountain Ash) full of berries. As the year progresses and we get further north, the Rosebay Willow Herb that has been prolific since the Lake District is finishing and the heather is becoming more noticeable.
We take a slightly longer way home to avoid retracing the whole of our route. Firstly, along Glen Torridon, alongside the towering Beinn Eighe range, then through Glen Docherty and Glen Carron. Here we re-encounter the convoy of Italian camper vans that we first met at Killin. Here also our first close up view of a wild, full grown, male red deer, unfortunately not in a position where we could take a photograph.
Our car is still being described as ‘a work in progress’, which is less than helpful and may mean that the revised plans require further revisions.