A Life in the Slow Lane

Team Basil says No

6th June 2018

Yesterday evening the team were treated to an sad spectacle. Two middle aged couples pitched relatively near to us, one in a tent and the other in a camper van. They started drinking together in the late afternoon, which is not that unusual on camping sites, when the weather is nice. As tin after tin of Tennant’s finest were consumed all four of them were “effing and jeffing” worse than Frankie Boyle. Finally we were treated to the unedifying sight of one of the men being so “merry” that his attempt to walk from his tent to the toilets could only be completed with the physical support of his wife! Clearly Scotland’s new minimum unit alcohol pricing still has a long way to go!

View from today’s route

We bid a fond farewell to Clachtoll camping and made our way along a tortuous but spectacular single track road beside the rugged Assynt coastline until we hit the main road at Kylesku. The one and only time Sarah and I have previously done this part of the journey, and in the opposite direction, was thirty eight years ago on our first ever holiday together. In those days the loch crossing at Kylesku could only be completed using a small ferry. Today we flew over the loch on a smart modern bridge, gazing wistfully at the long abandoned landing jetty on the loch side far below.

Once again the weather has been superb today. Clear blue skies and temperatures up to 22 degrees. It may be for this reason that we both felt the scenery on our journey up to Scotland’s north coast was far more spectacular than we remembered it to be. Our recollections of the far north were of a flat, grey, boggy and dull landscape. This turned out not to be the case. We saw beaches that could have been from anywhere in the Mediterranean, deep blue inland lochs and soaring, isolated mountains. Every scene is enlivened at the is time of year by swathes of bright yellow gorse.

View from today’s route

Basil took us on a slight detour to Kinlochbervie to investigate a spot for camper parking organised by the local community, but we were not impressed with either its situation, on an old abandoned fishing dock, nor the charge of £15. So we pressed on to our second choice, which was the campsite at Sango Sands on the north coast. There was nobody in reception until 4pm and so we found ourselves a pitch on a cliff top with superb views over the coastline and the lovely looking beaches far below. There was one big problem and that was the wind. It was strong and blowing off a still extremely cold sea. Sarah having unsuccessfully to erect a windbreak we eventually decided that it was too cold and windy for us to enjoy the sunshine and so after lunch the team had a quick discussion and decided to say no to Sango Sands.

View from Sango Sands campsite

View from Sango Sands campsite

A few miles along the coast we found a large area off the road, with views over a Loch Hope and the mountain Ben Hope and a walk for the dogs down to some woodland (58.499015, -4.631748). So we pulled off and decided to wildcamp for the night. Ben Hope is the most northerly of the Munros. Those are any Scottish mountain more than 3,000 feet. There are 282 Munros and “bagging” them is a popular occupation for experienced walkers/climbers who aim to climb all of them.

Ben Hope with Loch Hope in the foreground

Tomorrow we are heading for the most isolated Motorhome and Caravan Club site in Britain, which we aim to reach tomorrow. In the meantime we have a peaceful and picturesque spot for the night and all for free.

I suspect there will be no connectivity at tomorrow’s site so it may be 2 days or more until my next post.