News From the Road - Days Eight & Nine

 

Part Five - Written by Nick Taylor
Coach Owner & Driver

On the way to Gairloch we stop in a pretty village Shieldaig and spot a lady selling fresh langoustines and scallops.  I cannot resist these and buy a few expecting to have them cooked at our overnight stop in Gairloch.  We get to meet the langoustine fisherman who has seen us on TV and comes aboard the coach.  I think he was still recovering from a heavy previous night but he leaves with a smile on his face so he is added to the smiles per mile figures.  The Old Inn is a good choice of stop but the chef (understandably) declines to prepare food not sourced by him. Off to Tom's room and he prepares the scallops over a steaming kettle.  Delicious and we hope the next occupant doesn't complain about "fishy" morning tea!

We leave the next morning a little later as the weather improves during the day.  We overtake a group of lady cyclists who we saw the previous day.  Later they are in front again.  Are we really not able to keep up with cyclists?  Our only notable overtaking manoeuvre was a fork lift truck and now we face being outpaced by a group of ladies on their bikes.  We meet them again in Lochinver and Mike shouts "stop following us".  We hope to see then the next day but only hear that they are well ahead. Oh well.

We walk into town and have a pint of ale at the bar near the docks and notice a shop that sells pies.  We decide to investigate in the morning.  Tom cooks a BBQ in the garden of our overnight stop.  The view of Lochinver is breathtaking especially with Suilven in the distance (a conical mountain made of Torridonian Sandstone and apparently the oldest rock in Britain).  I feel smug that I can claim to have climbed it when much younger.  It's a little bit spooky and dominates the view.

The following morning we stop at the pie shop and each chooses their preferred pie for lunch.  It is an award winning pie shop so really we felt compelled to try these.  

Being an 'adventure' requires us to take a challenging route to Kylesku Bridge.  It is a single track road with ditches, no barriers, very steep hills and sharp bends.  It is the first time the coach has been in 1st gear up a hill. Not easy to engage while moving backwards but well done Ivan.  Scary doesn't fully describe these moments.  We have a great video clip from the passenger seat of the ride.  It's a must see clip but may have to be added to the web site later as its a huge file.  The sound of the gearbox will stir lots of memories.

We have a stop at Clashnessie and have tea on the beach.  Rev Michael even dips his toes into the sea.  Of course it is very cold and for a moment his faith deserts him.  

We are now looking north over the sea rather than west. Orkney is within sight and not long is left of our journey.  Elizabeth will soon be able to fill her washing machine, John will be able to put his beloved HGE 219 into the garage and I will get a good nights sleep.  

I guess my next blog will be from Shetland.  Bye for now.

Nick