Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Day 8 - Inchnadamph to Dunvegan The Isle of Skye.

Actual Miles Driven Today - 251

Inchnadamph - Meadow of the Dear 
In a Field of Hornless Stags the Horned Stag is King (or so he thinks)
The forecast snow fortunately did not arrive. It rained and blew all night instead. 

When I opened the curtains, there were a herd of Male Red Dear grazing in the meadow next door. These were the first I have seen so far. 

Apparently they come down from the hills when the weather is bad.

The Road Eater and her Garage for the Night

Mog was nice and dry having been in the garage all night, so after a hearty breakfast we prepared for the Trip ahead to the Isle of Skye. 

No wash today. Hood up and suitcase loaded, Bill Paid and ready to go.

Chatting to owners Richard and wife Jammie, the hotel is frequented by fishermen after the Massive Trout found in the five lochs where they have fishing rights. 

Their massive collection of Cased Fish caught over many years is testament to the size of these fish.

Leaving the Inchnadamph Hotel

Today was about driving in pouring rain so most of my photos are of rain drops on the windscreen.

Here are a couple so you know what I mean.

As I approached Knockan Crag it began snowing. I wasnt too worried as the roads were just wet and it was not long before Iwas out of that and back into just rain.

I was back down at sea level soon as I approached Loch Dubba, and then on past Morefield as I was approaching Ullapool.

Ullapool Harbour & Lewis Ferry Port

Being a Ferry Port to the Island of Lewis, Ullapool is fairly big and I was able to find both a Phone Box to phone home (still no Vodafone signal) and a very welcome cup of coffee in a large mountaineering kit shop. 

I also donated to the Gurkha Welfare Trust in the cafe and earned another wrist band to wear.

That Worrying Sign

It was just after Ullapool that I spotted the electronic sign saying that the road was blocked at Stromeferry. At the time I had no idea where that was but would need to investigate at the next stop at Gairloch.

The road from Inchnadamph runs through spectacular countryside and was a fabulous drive despite the rotten weather. Here are a range of photos to give an idea of the beauty.

The run on over the hills gave me some great views

I had a mission here to try and find the Gairloch Hotel run by a friend of my boss back in 1978. When I got there I discovered that the hotel was under the management of Shearings, the Coach Tour Company.

My plan to have lunch there was scotched by a hotel full of tourists. I found out later that I should have been looking for a Pub, not the Hotel, However, my bosses owner friend had sold up and moved away years ago. Well, I tried!

Reg & Maureen Pritchard who gave a generous donation to H4H
My first visit was to the Police Station to get the latest news which turned out to be goo in that as long as I got to the landslip there would be a Convoy going through the roadworks at 4.20pm.

At the back of the Police Station someone has aquired a complete Lighthouse Lamp and built it into their cottage.

It was lunchtime at the local school and these enthusiastic youngsters gathered to find out what I was up to. 
I explained the task to them and why I was supporting Help for Heroes. I presented each of them with a wristband and made a donation on their behalf.

Kieran, David & Ian from Gairloch High School
Just as I was leaving I took on fuel whereby I heard that there was a second roadblock. An Army Truck had slipped into a ditch just outside of Gairloch.

Army Lorries in the Ditch ahead.

A Second Army Lorry was the one blocking the road when I came along.

As soon as I was allowed to pass, I had to get on with the long drive down to Stromeferry where the road block Timed Convoy would be leaving at 4.20pm. 

The scenery through the mountains was still spectacular despite the weather. here are more images. 

A rough piece of road.
Beinn Eighe in the distance

It was not long before I was arriving at the road block just as the convoy was about to set off through the road works.
The begining of the road works

Heading for the tunnels

The Crumbling Rock face

Once through I could relax and take my time with a stop for my sandwich lunch in a lay by.

 While here I took a photo of my failing rear chip guard. The constant soaking caused the material to fail despite the many coats of underseal. 

An extra row of bolts near the top would have prevented this happening. 

Later on in the journey through Wales I would stop and remove them due to the zinging sound as they curled even more.

Just up the road I stopped again in a better spot overlooking Lochalsh. I would soon be running along the Lochside towards the Skye Bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh

Shooting the Isle of Skye Road Bridge
No sooner had I entered sky than the weather improved and the sun came out and the sea turned a royal blue.

I had decided to alter my plan to go straight to the Hotel as it meant driving clockwise around Skye. My mission was go go Anticlockwise so I set off for the longer journey.

Before offering  a choice of direction the town of Portree has to be visited.

Then it is back to remoteness and more mountains

The seascape is spectacular around the northeast.

The Kilt Rock comes into view. A feature of Skye Mountains it would seem.

Kilt Mountain

A Ferry Leaving for the Outer Hebrides
I was soon pulling up in the car park at my Hotel for the night. The mountain and hills over the loch resemble a reclining figure of a giant thus the locals call it Giant Rock.

Giant Rock in the background
It was not long before Mog was unpacked and tucked up for the night at the Tables Hotel where a welcome meal was waiting for me.

The sun was just setting for the night so I took a short walk for some sunset photos along the lochside.


  1. I have just spend an enjoyable 10 minutes catching up on your trip. You certainly are getting the hang of writing a Blog (With hyper-links as well I see now).

    Well done Frank.

    Steve A11OGE Red 1989 4/4 4 seater

    'A Morgan is for life, not just for Sundays'

  2. Wonderful account. Needed the extra fuel?

  3. Hi Tony, The extra fuel is still in the tank as I have managed to plan refills where there are multiple stations.

    I see in todays paper that the Tanker Drivers may be disrupting so I will hang onto the 10 ltrs until I know the outcome.

    Scotland did not need to panic buy, I weas told, the last time as their supplies are non Esso/shell, but even Tesco & Morrisons seemed not to be effected?