Day 8 – Gairloch to Applecross – 60 miles (100km)
Part 6 of the series can be found HERE.
Today was going to be a shortish drive through as we continued South. The views continued to be spectacular, and we strayed from the route several times to investigate things that interested us. We stretched our legs on the shore of Loch Maree and came across a couple of wild campers in a Ford transit who had spent a night on the shore.
Following the shoreline, we decided for an impromptu walk and lunch once more around Beinn Eighe and Loch Marre Islands National Nature Reserve. The mist and rain added to the atmosphere, but nothing a warm coffee couldn’t fix when we returned to the van.
Eventually, we turned away from the Loch and into more open countryside. We then spotted a magnificent Stag just off the road, and as luck would have it, there was a small car park very close. As I grabbed my camera, I assumed that the stag would be long gone before taking a photo or 2. Thankfully the Stag waited for us, and I was able to grab some shots. I had no idea a few days later, one of these photos would be in 2 national newspapers, discussed and smiled about on breakfast TV and later appear in other UK magazines.
As we started to head down towards Applecross, Louise pointed out a massive bird of prey circling overhead, I managed to find a safe place to stop, and we watched it for a few minutes before searching Google to find we had been watching a Golden Eagle before it soared off effortlessly into the distance. A few more stops on the way down were made to investigate the local cattle as Louise has a soft spot for a Highland Coo.
We arrived late afternoon at Applecross and treated ourselves to coffee and cake at the lovely Applecross Walled Garden before making camp in Applecross itself. Of course, if you are in Applecross, you have to visit the Applecross Inn, a characterful place full of locals and travellers alike. A warm greeting was made, and we discussed our onwards route with the locals to find our planned excursion to Skye would most probably lead to some lengthy delays due to some road works. The de-tour was along a single train track for some bizarre reason, so the barkeep advised us to expect a couple of hours delay as the road traffic was allowed in only one direction at a time, and the road was also closed often to allow trains to continue to run.
But tomorrow had us traversing the Bealach na Ba Pass, so an early start was planned to allow us to have the road to ourselves as much as possible.
Part 8 of the series can be found HERE.