Last week we took the motorhome away for a few days, Mr Inelegant Horse Rider’s family are so sweet and let us borrow theirs whenever we fancy. It is a brilliant way to holiday, especially in the colder months and although it might not be considered as stylish as some of the vintage models I love the campervan. Of course I don’t have to drive it so maybe I should be quiet, on that front we had a few hairy moments as the wind and rain on the way back down the road was a little intense and scary.
We first went up to Durness, we arrived in the dark after an interesting route on a single track road for around fifty miles where a few huge deer decided to wander into the road, we were happy to wait for them to pass – the stags were truly magnificent. Luckily the pitch was pretty level (last time we used the chalks one of the them splintered and nearly took out my eyebrows) so we set up next to the cliffs and waited for sunrise. Even in the dark we knew we were somewhere special as the waves crashed off the rocks below the moon shone so brightly it showed us the big sky of the North. Durness is the one of the most north-westerly towns on the Scottish mainland, it is small and out-of-season it closes down a fair bit (totally understandably).
When the sun rose in the morning it showed us a stunning landscape and I will let the photos tell the story here. We wandered along to Smoo Cave and played in the surf for a wee while before darkness crept down around us and we retreated to the van for Maple White Russians and the Frozen Planet box set 🙂
That night was horrible, the wind got up really strongly and the van shuddered and shook constantly. The gusts coming up over the cliff side seemed to lift the van and try to prise the windows out of their fittings – at times we were shouting at each other to be heard.
The next morning we checked the forecast and when we realised the winds were going to strengthen we decided to head a bit further south. We stopped in at Ullapool on our way down to Aviemore and the drive between Durness and Ullapool was stunning, amazing landscapes but unfortunately due to the winds and timing we didn’t stop to take photos but I will say if you get the chance travel that road, truly breath taking.
We chose to stop for a night in Glenmore, the caravan park being out 2nd choice as the one at Rothiemurchus was closed for November. In the morning the light revealed a pretty campsite with ducks and birds hanging out around the van. We took our bikes around Lock Morlich for a jaunt and met some huskies out for a stroll with their owners. Finally it was time to head back down the road but not before a stop at the gorgeous Mountain Cafe in Aviemore – their cake is incredible. Hopefully it won’t be the last time I am up north this winter, I adore the north of Scotland – it feels truly wild but homely at the same time plus we spent many holidays here as a family when I was young although I do wonder how my parents coped with the car journeys from East Lothian to Ullapool – my sister and I were know to fight 🙂