A Life in the Slow Lane

The Back of Beyond

7th June 2018

Our overnight wildcamping spot was not very far from the main road across the north of Scotland, but our night was peaceful. It must be the quietest night we have ever spent next to a main road, presumably because about 95% of traffic is tourists, who don’t venture out after dark.

We had decided to stay tonight at what must be the Motorhome and Caravan Club’s most remote site at Altnaharra, but first we had to drive fifteen miles or so along the main coast road. Because we had no connectivity last night and as slaves to the internet, when we suddenly realised we had 3G near the Kyle of Tongue, like a pair of teenagers we quickly urged Basil into a layby and stayed there for half an hour while I published my blog, we updated our newspaper apps and Sarah downloaded some Radio 4 programmes which she likes to accompany her 10,000 step regime.

Once we satisfied our electronic addiction Basil turned his nose south and we headed into the back of beyond. The scenery did not change much, except instead of sea we drove along large fresh water lochs.

The Motorhome and Caravan Club site at Altnaharra (58.295764, -4.373687 £10.50 without electricity, £14 with) is situated next to Loch Naver. It is 25 miles from the nearest shop, has no TV signal, water comes from the nearby brook and there are no facilities. What it does have is peace and quiet and a great location right on the edge of the loch.

Loch Never from our pitch

The weather is still perfect and so although we have been for a short walk in the hills we have also lazed about a bit. I, of course, have met another birder who has been coming here twice a year for nearly 30 years! He and we were a little embarrassed in the late afternoon when, while Sarah and I were having a little “rest”, he came racing round to tell me he had just spotted an Osprey. Despite racing out as quickly as I could, to be met with my new birding buddy’s apologies, I was only able to see the tail end of the Osprey in the far distance.

No decision has been made yet on what to do tomorrow, but certainly in the next day or two we will head up towards John O’Groats to spend a couple of days in that area.