Saturday, 28 May 2011

Rivers in spate; waterfalls raging torrents. This is Scotland at the end of May. I hear Suffolk had a drop of rain recently. Lucky you. Today was slightly better; persistent rain was replaced by showers. Mind you, a shower up here is one to reckon with. It's almost always worth finding somewhere to shelter, because they're accompanied by high winds.

This is the end of the road over Bealach na Ba (626 metres), from Applecross. Note all the warnings. With freezing temperatures forecast above 2000 feet, I'm certainly glad I missed that one out.

I met Toby Speight as planned at his house in Lochcarron. He kindly drove me the three miles down to North Strome, where prior to the 1970s a ferry ran across to Stromeferry. When the road was constructed on the south side of the loch, the ferry was no longer needed. The slipways on each side are still used by local fishermen.

The planned finish today was Plockton, but having arrived there before 5pm, I decided to continue on to Kyle of Lochalsh, effectively gaining about seven miles on my schedule. Kyle was full - I tried every guest house, hotel and B&B; and there's no camp site, or even a good place for 'wild camping'. The receptionist at the Kyle Hotel kindly phoned ahead to the Balmacara Hotel, four miles down the road; they had one single room left. Phew. After seven nights of camping a bath was a welcome sight.

I'm about to consume a plate of pasta at the hotel bar. Then I will have to go back to the reception area to get a wi-fi connection.

Tomorrow I'll be heading for the Glenelg/Kylerhea ferry and on to the Isle of Skye! I do hope the weather improves: Skye in the sun is a delight; Skye in the rain can be horrendous...

I took quite a few photos today - whenever the sun came out. See them on Facebook now.

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