Wednesday, 29 July 2015

In these shoes?

I may have written last night’s blog a bit early – just after I finished it we were treated to a rather lovely sunset and a marching pipe band.  I don’t think pipe bands are a legal requirement up here, but there are rather a lot of them lurking around - I can’t figure out if it’s something they do because they it’s part of their tradition and heritage or because they’re entertaining the tourists (all of whom were most appreciative and gave generously to the charity bucket being shaken by the very pretty little 4 year old girl following the band, nothing like a spot of emotional blackmail to tug at the wallet strings.)

We’ve definitely taken a shine to this campsite – the beach and the loch are just over the road, the facilities are immaculate, the gardens beautifully planted and well maintained and the wardens friendly, chatty and enduringly helpful.  In fact we like it so much we’ve extended our planned stay by a night – we’re taking advantage of some rare good weather tomorrow and heading off on an 18 mile bike ride and I’d really rather like a shower at the end of that.  Delores may be big and a softer option than a tent, but it’s still smaller than most folk’s bedrooms and definitely gets interesting when occupied by 2 stinky adults and a cute but smelly cat.

(I hate to bang on, but if you’re heading for this part of the country in a caravan or campevan do NOT be tempted to stop at the campsite run by “the other lot” at Kinlochewe – it’s basically a large black gravelly car park right next to a busy T junction.  Trust me on this one, keep going to the Camping & Caravan Club site tucked away next to Poolewe and you’ll be SO glad you did.)

We’d planned to do the bike ride today but the wind picked up again so we took a drive to nearby Red Point instead.  A beautiful peninsula with 2 big sandy beaches either side of a rocky headland.  After parking up I slipped into my “hiking sandals” – I adore my Teva’s and live in them through the summer.   I’d never normally use them for a proper hike but today we were just visiting a sand dune and a beach – at least that was the plan...

Red Point

Compulsory paddle

Nice sandy beach

 After a quick paddle (compulsory) I suggested we take a potter around the headland to the other beach.  Steve readily agreed so off we went.  Have you ever had one of those times when you really should have looked rather more closely at the map?  The walk wasn’t all that long to be honest, and the views were spectacular, but underfoot it was a reassuringly consistent combination of bog, rock, bog, more bog, rock, a bit of grass, bog and the occasional stream – well beyond what I’d normally put my Tevas through and I found myself humming that old Kirsty MaColl classic as a slithered through yet another swamp.

The beach on the far side was noticeably calmer and a lot emptier (can’t think why!) and I justified another paddle to wash the bits of ingrained bog out from between my toes before I developed a nasty case of Trench Foot.

After tomorrow we’re back into the world of wild camping where the biggest headache is finding a suitable public toilet every few days to empty our loo before wellies become an onboard necessity.  There’ll be no wifi and, judging by Vodafone’s performance so far, naff all mobile signal.  If anyone needs me best to send messages via carrier pigeon, but make sure it’s a plump one as we’ll be running short of fresh meat by then too...

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