We started early at 7am with a delicious breakfast of local eggs, bacon and sausages we’d bought from the friendly butcher in Castletown. We rolled into Melvich Bay to a cloud strewn sunrise and ventured down to the sand.
Walking off our breakfast at Strathy Point on a windy walk out to an operational lighthouse with views up and down the coast as the sun blinked through in bursts.
We rolled on down to Betty Hill and pulled into the Strathnever Museum, a fascinating exhibition fully using the small church space that hosts it. There was a model of pre-clearance township and some heartrending translation from Gaelic from inhabitants interviewed in the 1880s who had seen the landowners burning entire townships as children. There were fantastic life-sized replicas of the Black Houses in the 19th Century and items on display and their everyday use explained. We stopped at Torrisdale Bay to watch some surfers.
For next time: I would have loved to venture up to the Stathnever Trail to see the remnants of the clearance settlements but time did not permit and the B871 was closed for bridge repairs 😦
We drove on toward Tongue through some and turned toward Skerray before a local told us that it was a dead-end road. We peeked at Coldbackie through bustery winds that threatened to tear the car doors off! Then we arrived at the Tongue Hotel, an old shooting lodge, but the menu was not inspiring so we drove on down past Midtown to Craggan Hotel which served us delicious fish delivered to their door while we sat at our table. The view out to Eilan nan Ron was spectacular and looking back over Castle Varrich with Ben Loyal and Ben Hope looming through hundreds of sun shafts.
For next time: I would love to have visited Castle Varrich.
We followed the A838 past spectacular Loch Eriboll steeping down gneiss cliffs. We were completely blown away. We saw so many rainbows! The wind threatened to set us flying and thankfully the weather showed us the lake’s moods twisting between horizontal knives of rain and bursts of melting bronze sunlight that doused the water to a Byzantine blue. It left me breathless.
Traigh Allt Chailgeang, Traigh na h-Uamhag, Ceanneabeinne, Smoo Caves (had to hold onto the fence to stay on the ground) Sango Bay and Balnakeil Bay
The wind and rain was so fierce it stopped us from venturing down and enjoying a walk on the sand.
For next time: I’m hoping we can return and also see the Ceanneabeinne ruins.
The Lazy Crofter (Mackay Hostel), Durness