North Coast 500 tour – Days 17-18

21st May (day 17)
Didn’t plan a long drive today as we knew we were going to visit Inverewe Gardens owned by The Scottish National Trust, which would take up a few hours. What a delightful garden, particularly this time of year the Rhodedendrons were at their best. Although I’m sure there is plenty to see all through the main flowering season.

A plant
A spent rhodedendron – still beautiful in the flowers absence

The garden is sheltered from the ravages of the sea by mature trees and benefits from the relative warmth of the gulf stream, a plantsman’s paradise.

Unfurling fern

The main house which burned down was re-built in 1937 and has been restored sympathetically of the same era. Walking around the small house the exhibits were marked in a contemporary and informative manner – a really refreshing way to show off the house and its history, something for all ages.

A Heronry at Inverew Gardens (6 nests)
Chaffinch at Inverewe

After the garden we went to the CC site at Kinlochewe (we had booked ahead a couple of days ago) to replenish water and get rid of other non-pleasant water stuff. The more I think about it the idea of an extra toilet cassette would perhaps be one of our future purchases in order to extend our wild camping opportunities. My guess though is in France (when we eventually get there later this year) an extra cassette would not be necessary as they are all set up for black water disposal having many Aires (someone correct me if I’m wrong as we are fairly new to all this).

Loch Maree en-route to our night stop

22nd May (day 18)
Checked out the weather on the notice board and the mountain forecast was for a bright morning with rain later. It was decided then, off we tootled on our bikes down a glen following the river Abhainn Bruachaig (no idea – don’t ask, you’ll have to learn Gaelic).

Janette putting on a short spurt

5 miles later we reached the end of the track (although it did continues as a footpath) at a derelict cottage, just how these people survived the harshness of the environment and scraped a living is beyond us in our modern, comfortable homes. Even Hilma is better equipped than these old cottages were.

End of the track

The river has a small hydro-electric scheme being built with 5 individual stations along it. When finished (this year sometime) they will produce 2.4 MW of electricity supplying some 2500 homes for more than 50 years.

Hydro power plant

The whole project seems to have been done sympathetically with the environment being high on the priority list – lets have more I say. Cycling back in sunshine the water glistening, totally alone it was one of those reflective moments again, totally humbling in such a beautiful environment.

The road back
The river running along our cycle track

We got back just as the rain started and booked a meal in the Kinlochewe Hotel and glad we did. That evening it was absolutely packed. The new owners (David & Karen) have only been open 6 weeks and are putting their mark on it being members the ‘slow food’ movement (no microwaves, no deep fat fryers). I had the venison stew and Janette had the smoked fish platter – yum, yum, thumbs up from both of us. Be sure to book if you want a meal as during the main season this will get busy. Oh, I nearly forgot, they have 75 single malt whiskies for you to try (we managed 3 and stumbled back to Hilma).

Me trying to be artistic after a wee dram

2 thoughts on “North Coast 500 tour – Days 17-18

  1. Great photo’s.
    We carry a spare Thetford cassette and keep it in the boot inside a suitcase just big enough to hold it. The suitcase is just in case one of us (or even both of us) wants to jump on a plane/train or take a trip away from the MoHo, as we did in Feb this year. We have used the spare cassette about 5 times in 2 years, mostly in Spain. In my opinion, as long as you have stuff like Campercontacts, searchforsites, park4night and ACSI Campingcard and a few others…you should be ok, but it’s great to get off-grid for a week or two and not be thinking of the loo. I also pack a folding shovel, but haven’t need to use it yet.

  2. Hi Wayne,
    Back home now so intend to write a summary soon. We will be off to France later this year so probably won’t go for 2nd cassette yet as we will be well catered for there.
    Good idea about suitcase for longer term travelling.
    Now have a ‘follow’ button for you :-). Looks a bit clunky at the moment and doesn’t fit with the theme style so need to work on it. Try it 🙂
    Wondering – I set this up with MailChimp but don’t like the idea of an address being sent out every time someone registers. I know it’s the law in the US but don’t know about the UK. I note on yours there is no address. Plug in?

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