2050 Miles to Scotland and Back Pt. 2

23 07 2010

The journey to Applecross was one that I was looking forward to.  Not only would we be travelling past Eilean Donnan Castle but we would have to travel over Bealach nam Bo (Cattle Pass), the only true Alpine Pass in the country according to the Applecross website which rises over 2000ft within 6 miles.  As someone that loves driving it was an exciting prospect especially as we had been warned against doing it.

We left Oban early to avoid the rain and stopped a few times on the way, once so that I could take some photo’s of the Balachullish Bridge and another time so that we could look at Castle Stalker, a tower based castle on its own island, that you can only visit 4 days of the year.

We travelled onwards down Glen Sheill past waterfalls, peaceful Lochs and towering mountains until we came to Eilean Donnan castle, situated on a small island at the meeting point of 3 Lochs and accessible only by footbridge.  The castle was partially destroyed by the Jacobite Uprising in 1719 and lay in ruins until it was rebuilt by Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap who restored it to its former glory.  After taking lots of photos (I would say too many, but I don’t think that there is such a thing)of the outside we went about touring the castle.  It led me to ask the question, ‘How do I become a Laird and live somewhere like this?’

Still day dreaming about living in a castle, we headed for the dreaded “Cattle Pass”, which I have to say I loved driving over.  Even though I dislike H’s car it did very well on this road proving nimble and lively round the hairpin bends, even allowing me to catch and overtake a few people while they stopped in passing places.  The weather was grey and foggy which meant that there was no view, but what little glimpses you could get were spectacular.

 We arrived at Applecross in the sunshine and set up our tent before having a walk down to the beach and a couple of pints in the Applecross in before deciding that we would eat there.  Once we had decided to eat the food was excellent, well worth the awards for its seafood.  I have never had oysters before, but these were good, as were the Applecross Prawns. 

The following day the rain was torrential, but we still decided that a walk would be a good idea, so we had a walk around the Applecross estate and sat by a lovely waterfall for a while as the rain stopped.  We were in good spirits though as in the afternoon we had a camping pod booked and we could be dry for the evening.

Once the sun had come out we decided to go for a drive around the peninsula where we saw the Mesolithic cave dwellings, a Druids stone and some spectacular scenery. 

I really do recommend Applecross, but only if you can guarantee some good weather.

Off to Skye next, but you will have to wait for Pt. 3



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