Thursday, 16 April 2015

Wee holiday

I don't think I've mentioned here that OH and I recently bought a campervan :-)  Luckily we share the same frugal values and each of us had saved a goodly amount to buy this lovely vehicle.  We bought it in February (which is the 'quiet' time apparently for buying them) after missing out on 3 other vehicles because we didn't act quickly enough.  We've had a few overnight outings but this time we went away for 3 days wild camping ie not using campsites.
We headed north to Inverness and then went across to the west coast following the north west coastal route.  I'd always wanted to visit Applecross, which is a peninsula that was only accessible by boat until the start of the 20th century.  Then a road was built literally up and over the mountain. 

This is us halfway up.  The road is VERY steep and VERY narrow (single track with passing places)and frankly VERY scary.  There are huge warning signs at the base that basically say turn back now!This is the 'famous' hairpin bend where we stopped to take a pic.  I really wouldn't recommend it. 
By the time we arrived in Applecross the weather turned really nasty.  Heavy rain and gale force winds forced us into the Applecross Inn where we spent a few hours by the wood burning stove eating excellent food.
We left by the newer longer coastal road that goes round the mountain, still steep and narrow but marginally less scary.  We headed for Torridon in search of a place to park up.  We found a lovely quiet spot in the car park of the Beinn Eighe and spent the night being battered by heavy rain.  Next morning we walked up a bit of the mountain before heading further North to Inverewe Gardens.  We have a family membership so entry for us was free.  We got rather wet.  Again!

Afterwards, still heading north, we stopped off at Corrieshalloch Gorge.  This is me being brave and standing on the viewing platform looking back at the falls.  You can just make out the suspension bridge above it.  As we were walking over it (I had to be 'persuaded' to cross it!!) some German tourists thought it would be funny to shake it.  Let's just say they got a mouthful from me!!!
After a quick stop in Ullapool for some delicious seafood (crab claws, scallops and cod) we found a nice stopping place that had a ruin in the background.  It was too wet to investigate (and it was getting dark) so we waited until morning.

In the morning, between heavy showers, we investigated Ardvreck Castle.  Luckily we didn't see or hear any of the ghosts!

With the castle on one side and Calda House on the other, we'd picked a fabulous spot :-)

Minutes after this was taken we had a heavy shower of hailstones!
We then meandered back towards Inverness via Bonar Bridge and back home down the A9 stopping for chips in Aberfeldy.
Despite the heavy rain, high winds and cold we had a lovely break.  In Scotland it's not illegal to wild camp.  Most people are responsible and leave no trace of their presence there.
Holidays are always too short but even a few days away together without kids is relaxing.  And I didn't think about work once :-)


  1. I'm not sure which is more terrifying - that road up and over to Applecross or the little suspension bridge over Corrieshalloch Gorge!

  2. Looking at the pics you didn't get the glorious weather we had down in the south. Scotland does have fab scenery. I've had many a walking holiday there. Not nowadays as hub spent too many army days training on moorland in the rain. He likes hot hols now.

  3. Susan, both terrifying in different ways!!

    Anna, every time we go away in the van it flipping rains! Luckily it's cosy and warm inside so even when we get wet we dry off quickly

  4. My OH would love a campervan,he doesn't stop going on about them! Lovely scenery but I don't like the sound of that road! We need a weather swap for a few days, it has been too hot here to garden comfortably, we need some rain soon.

  5. Hi Ali, we had a large camper van for about 15 years when we were married and loved going fishing every 2 weeks and so on with the kids. My ex got custody of the camper in the divorce and I bought myself a second-hand one sometime later. Problem was, while I am happy with my own company, my other half won't go away with me in it so in the end I sold it. However, when I eventually do get to retire I have vague thoughts of getting (a) a dog - either a cocker spaniel or border collie, and (b) a camper van like yours. I don't need the bigger vans any more and yours looks great. So do let us know how you are liking it. Anna

  6. We had a larger 4 berth van but sold it last year (too many things going wrong with it and not enough time to fix it ourselves!) This one is a 9yo Trigano Tribute, just 2 berth as our kids are now older and rarely go with us. It has a toilet and shower and is big enough for the 2 of us, although we do have a drive away awning. We love the freedom it gives us and OH says it's got better fuel consumption than his car!!


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