Sunday, 22 April 2012

Day 9 - Dunvegen Isle of Skye to Oban

Actual Miles Driven Today - 215

Dunvegan Sunset
Change of Blog Strategy as I am now 3 days late.
Tables in the Mirror
I will catch up Day 8 & 9 gradually after completing today's (Day 10) loaded.
Ready to leave Tables Hotel
Most of the Photos are of Mountain Passes, Beautiful but maybe a tad monotonous for you all????

A Number of times during the planning stages for this trip I have toyed with the idea of returning from Skye using the Ferry to Mallaig rather than using the Bridge. 

I eventually rejected the idea and am I glad that I did.

Buzzed by a Buzzard that I disturbed.

In order to maintain my Anti Clockwise direction I had already taken the long route going to Dunvegan yesterday. 

The short side going back to the bridge is absolutly spectacular as you pass between the highest snow capped mountains on skye.

The Cuillin Mountains come into view
Off to climb some hills
My 'Lived In' Morgan

Back over the Bridge to Kyle
Once over the bridge I stropped for fuel and then noticed the sign to the Railway Museum on Kyle of Lochailsh Station.

 Expecting a Car Park I turned in only to find myself on the platform, immediately drawing intrest from the passengers about to board the next train.

One enterprising man asked the station master if I could stay there which he agreed to so they could take photos and I could visit the museum. Excellent and a few more donations in the can.

I had already planned to make an extra stop by doubling back to the villiage of Plockton on Loch Carron.

This pretty villiage was used in the filming of the Television Policeman Soap called Hamish McFee played by actor Robert Carlysle. 

It was also the location for the Wicker Man with Edward Woodward playing the Incomer Policeman.

As I drove into the village I tried to spot the places with no joy. My drive through took me to a back corner of the town where I found a very small parking place alongside a very busy Jetty.

 It turned out that a yacht owned by The Gordonstoun School (of Prince Charles fame) was being prepared to take a group of pupils on a three day trip.

The Gordonstoun School Boat heading out.
The pupils where loading on enough food for a fortnight.

A Lady resident who was painting her wall came over to tell me all of this and to quiz me about my drive. A few more bank notes were put into the tin there as well as the few pounds donated by some workers there.

I said my farewells and drove to the opposite end of the town where I met more people who were also happy to donate.

Fun over, I returned to Kyle and onto the A87 for the long windy drive through more spectacular mountain passes to Invergarry and then onto the A82 for Fort William with a Snow Capped Ben Nevis looming over it. Everywhere in Scotland the Gorse was in full flower.

The down hill run into Invergarry is particularly spectacular and was also a fabulous driving road as well as scenic. On the way I passed the Cluanie Dam

At a viewpoint half way down, I met two elderly gentlemen who were having a touring holiday away form ill wives using a rented campervan. 

They were loving it. That was unlike the other couple I met there who had rented 'Stan' the elderly blue VW Camper Van which had problems starting.

Dennis Oneil had suggested that I look out for the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge. 

I missed it somehow, probably due to the heavy traffic and the lashing rain with my hood up. I also passed through Fort William which did not appear to be that special.

I was also to go for a drive up Glen Coe. I parked in the Glen Coe village and spoke with an Ambulance Driver Lady who told me that the best part was in the run up to the Ski Runs.

I duely followed her instructios and had a wonderful drive if in the rain through more spectacular Mountain passes. The ski school offices and cafe were all closed unfortunatly.

Glencoe Village
Entering Glencoe

The Ski Lift

The rain started again so the hood went up for the rest of the drive down to Oban. 

On the way we reached the Connel Bridge, famous for the strong current conflicts that take place just below the bridge as the tide is turning.

I stopped in the car park after the bridge to take photos. 

The rain was so heavy that I decided to sit in the car until it eased and then I would use the rain water to wash off the dirt from the body and wheels which had accumulated on her during the day. 

This would be a good as my camping bucket job. I got wet but the Mog was happy.

I arrived at The Queens Hotel in good time just after 6pm ready for a relaxing evening just as the rain stopped and the sun came out again. 

The rain cover going on was wetter than the car underneath it.

It was here after dinner that I met Alan & Veronica Hedges from Australia who were touring Europe and the Uk for three months. 

 The Queens is the first biggish hotel I have stayed in run by Best Western. It was a pleasure staying there with friendly staff and lovely food. 

It is nice to relax for a few hours and get a very solid 7 hour sleep.

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