Stoer, Scotland Week 50 17th April 2012
Just a few km north up the coast towards Stoer Head.

We saw a few deer. This is the nearest to capturing one through the lens.

The single track road passed fresh water and sea lochs.
And a few more deer.
And Lochinver.

Where we stopped at the tourist info place and checked the internet - occasionally we strike lucky and have 3G.

Then further north with a detour to Achmelvich.
A wide bay and beach. And a caravan park which we didn't need.
Thus, to Stoer Head Lighthouse and the view north.
And as we walked north the lighthouse behind us.

We used the small car park for a night.

The Old Man of Stoer.

It seemed strange that in among all the Gaelic place names was a very English sounding one.


Looking south east from the lighthouse. Inselbergs lined up waiting to be climbed - or just looked at.
We moved up the hill, onto Sidhean Beag, site of a WWII radar installation and a radio tower.

A short dirt track up from the lighthouse. No traffic and only a couple of people in the distance.

So quiet we stopped for two nights. We needed a rest.

Just nice watching the sun go down.
Ideal washing weather.

Occasional stroll outside to take a photo.

Also fitted new door lock that Jennifer carried from Aus. Of course it didn't quite work like the old one and will need a bit of "adjustment" even though there isn't any.

There is no longer the 10mm of play in the catch that lets the door rattle, but the little springy widget thing that allows the lock to be locked when the door is shut doesn't quite get pressed reliably .... grrrrrrr! Worked in the end though.

One of two flocks of geese that flew over.

Not sure where to. There are a couple of islands to the west then nothing until Iceland.

Maybe we'll see them there.

We were visited by a few birds.

This one stayed still long enough to be photographed.

From the top of Sidhean Beag. Looking east.
And a bit north east.
and south east.

Couldn't resist watching the changing pattern of the sun on the mountains.

Looking south.

The weather forecast is for a cold front to pass through bringing rain and winds. Then wind and cold for a few days.

A good day for driving.

And so it was. A grey, overcast, windy, day.

Not good for a day at the beach.

There isn't much land that isn't covered by heather. What there is seems to be next to beaches.

So the people and houses are at the sides of the bays. And the animals in the middle.

But of course the middle is where the tourists want to be. And where the caravan parks have been planted, though this bay is still grazed.

Pinkish sand from the pinkish sandstone.

At least it made sense when I wrote it.

A bit sheltered from the southerly wind.

But not from the rain (and a bit chilly).

The tide is out. And the cover is off the engine of this boat.

We see a few people in cars and the occasional walker, but not very many else.

Even when its dark and grey its a beautiful place.
Even the deer think so - I think.
Occasional fish farms. Presumably salmon.
We average about 30 km/h on the single width roads.
Stopped for the night in a bit of track that looks like its used by people harvesting peat.

Used recently as there are a couple of cigarette ends on the ground. But no sign of campfires.

Scotland's highlands, almost like Mongolia, is a land mostly without fences.

We've seen the occasional deer fence and lots of dry stone walls near the crofts.

But unlike Mongolia the land is peat bog which means we can't just drive off the road into anywhere.

Probably just as well or everyone would want to do it.

The peat is dug out with long "L" shaped shovels.

Dried and used for heating and cooking.

Sail Gharbh (808m) overlooking our camp.
A few hundred meters from Loch Unapool.

At the end of the day the wind has died to nothing and the cloud is lifting.

The waters are stained dark brown from the peat and reflect well.

Sail Gharbh (808m) on the left, Sail Ghorm (776m) on the right, and Quinag (704m) behind in the middle.

We collected a bit of water from the truck roof (clear cool water) and completed filling our tanks from a creek (coloured brown from the peat)..

The cold front has moved through overnight.

The sound of running water has faded.

Just left the sun and the bitterly cold wind.

7am and 6 amps charging the batteries. Even on the grey days there is more than sufficient solar power to keep us self sufficient. Daylight now lasts for about 14 hours.

Since the max temperature is about 10 deg C the fridge uses almost nothing, there's no tv signal, and if there were the Aus tv doesn't like the UK signal, minimal mobile phone and internet, which leaves computers for blogging. We have far too much solar!

Sheigra to Durness, Scotland Week 50 20th April 2012

John Head Sat, 21 Apr 12 19:18:35 +1000
Just to let you know I am still enjoying your blog and remain in awe of your achievements.
John & Vronwy

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