Our night just outside Durness on the banks of Kyle of Durness was once again very peaceful, and what a beautiful view it would have been to wake up to in the morning Sadly the weather had taken a turn for the worst and the snow topped peaks were shrouded in mist. We went through the usual morning ritual of taking the dogs out one by one, tea and breakfast, and then put everything away to make a move.
The journey down to Ullapool would be over yet more single track and twisty roads and, at 67.5 miles, should take us about an hour & forty minutes in one hit. However, going by yesterday, the twisty roads would take their toll so we decided it would be best to do the journey in two one hour sessions.
We set off around 9.30 down the A838 which took us through quite a lot of moorland and as I suspected lots of narrow and twisty bends with passing places. We caught up with another motorhome heading in the same direction and we passed them as they stopped at the side of the road. At 10.30 we stopped for a break just before Scourrie and sure enough the motorhome we had passed went past us! It would be like this all the way to Ullapool.
The next leg of the journey was, to put it mildly, simply stunning. With the road now widening to two lanes the barren moorland gave way to some spectacular views over lochs and bays, with snow capped peaks in the foreground and the distance. Sometimes as we turned a bend which opened up to another spectacular view it almost took your breath away. To top that off we even saw a couple of wild deer standing by the side of the road, completely ignoring the vehicles passing close by. They really looked a bit scruffy but I believe it is almost time for them to shed their winter coats, so it’s no surprise really.
We made good time along this leg of the journey arriving in Ullapool just after midday. We made our way to the lorry park as usual, which happened to be right next to a small Tesco store, certainly a lot smaller than we are used to, and no fuel! We were doing well for fuel really as Irene’s Granny was just under half full and Bessie was just over. With so few garages between destinations it wouldn’t do well to run out of fuel so we never let the tanks get less than half.
We stayed in the lorry Park for lunch and despite there being several unhitched lorry trailers, other wagons and a Caravan parked in the lorry park, we didn’t want to risk staying here overnight as the signs were clearly not very welcoming. After lunch and a short shop for some essentials we decided to get some fuel and find our stop for the night. Gary was desperate for the toilet so we followed the signs to the public conveniences which were open, as indicated on a board in the lorry park. We were getting short of water too and Gary wanted to scout out where we might re-fill our 5 lite bottles. The toilets were of no use but he did spy a tap next to the Fish and Chip shop, but it wasn’t convenient at this moment.
We headed for the Petrol Station which was on the main road out of town and was pleasantly surprised the fuel was only a couple of pence a litre dearer than when we had filled up at Tesco in Wick! Our friends had warned us that some of the more isolated places would charge considerably more for fuel, but this obviously wasn’t one of them.
Our wild camp spot for the night was a large lay by about 1 mile out of town on the main A832. Although it was on a hill there was a level spot up one end where we duly parked. By now it was 3pm. We realised we didn’t have enough water to carry us through tomorrow so Gary went back into town to fill all four of our 5 litre bottles. Parking outside the ‘chippy’ he nonchalantly filled two of the bottles, placed them in the Granny and went back with another two empties. I don’t think anyone even noticed him, let alone what he was doing, so our 4 bottles were filled without issue.
Back at the van we made sure everything was still okay for us to stop here and this is where we stayed. As a write this it is now 7.20pm, it’s dark outside and we are settled for the night. The weather is surprisingly mild and lacking in wind, which is just as well for those passengers onboard the ferry that arrived and has now left for Stornaway!
Tomorrow our plan is to head back towards Fort William taking such time as is necessary. We will then make our way back to the Moffat Site for another couple of days stopover.