Highland Roadtrip 2016
Another mad adventure to the far north beckoned, with a selection of the normal crowd meeting at 9am at Drumnadrochit. Needless to say Matt was a little late, finally catching us up at the other end of Skye, but with blue sky and sunshine, we set off with hope...
After Glen finally joined us, and we had found some breakfast, we headed south and west along the A82, A887 and A87 to Kyle of Lochalsh and the Skye Bridge. A run down the stunning, snow lined road to Kylerhea allowed us to watch the Glenelg - Kylerhea Ferry in operation. After another run down an unclassified road to Heast, Haydn left us as the bumpy roads were making him travel sick. He blamed the driver.
Continuing west, we drove the pot hole riddled old line of the A87 through Luib and around Moll, to Sligachan. From there, it was the A863 out to Dunvegan, with numerous detours along side roads, some of which used to be the A road. Beyond Dunvegan Castle, some unwitting tourists held us up a bit as we took the minor road out to the end, but with little to see we turned back east and made our way to the island capital of Portree, from where it was north to Staffin, via a detour to look for evidence of the old mineral railway at Lealt. From Staffin we crossed the Quiraing road to Uig, where we rejoined Haydn who had found Matt.
Having eventually persuaded Matt out of bed, we sneaked out from the bunkhouse just before the ferry started unloading, and hightailed it across Skye, back to the mainland. A good fast run (impeded only by a pair of motor homes) took us north up the A890, A832 and A835, not forgetting of course the diminutive A893 to Ullapool for lunch.
Heading ever northwards, we ventured out to Achiltibuie on the way to Lochinver, but it was not until we reached Scourie, past the Kylesku Bridge that the weather started to improve. Kinlochbervie at the end of the B801 was explored again, with glorious skies and biting cold winds, before we eventually reached the bunkhouse at Durness. An evening stroll around the headland was then followed by tea and bed.
The forecast was not good...But somehow we found some sunshine by heading east along the A838 and A836 to eventually reach Thurso. After a pleasant walk up to the ruinous castle above the Kyle of Tongue Causeway we wandered out across the dunes at Invernaver, looking at the cairns and ruined prehistoric settlement whilst Glen the Gazelle scampered up to the remains of a broch at the top of the hill.
After Thurso, we took the unclassified road used by NCN1 Back to Reay, and then scampered south on the A897 to Kinbrace, where we took the B roads through Syre to Altnaharra. Here Rob turned north on Telfords A836 Back to Tomgue, whilst Haydn braved the pot holed minor road to Hope. The winner of this race is obvious, despite the longer route back to Durness.
With the forecast bad again, the route home was under discussion. Eventually, it was agreed to head south from Durness along the A838, all the way to the A836 and so Lairg. After failing to find any lunch, we then doubled-back along the A839 and A837 to the west coast, where we turned south at Ledmore Junction for Ullapool on the A835. Despite torrential hail reducing visibility to the end of the bonnet, we found ourselves back at the same table as we had been 3 days earlier!
After a stroll down into the Corrieshalloch Gorge near Braemore Junction, we decided to head our separate ways, so Rob took the easy route back down the A835, stopping to see the sights along the way, whilst Haydn was talked into a mad drive around the A832 through Gairloch, then the A896 and A890, including the obligatory drive up the Bealach na Ba, before taking the A87 and A86 to the A9 and Dunkeld.
|Highland Roadtrip 2016|