A good nights sleep in the Van. Got it sussed now with sleeping bag and blankets – it’s quite cosy now. It’s rained overnight and squalls of showers come through, the raindrops bouncing noisily off our roof.
We dozed until about 8:30, when we think it’s polite time (and at least somebody will be up) to enter the house for breakfast. The mountains on the other side of the loch are dark and scuffed by low cloud, but a little while later, it all lifts and the sun pokes its head out, albeit briefly and makes a rainbow. We have seen so many rainbows since arriving yesterday – really vibrant ones, full ones, half ones, double ones and faint ones. The full spectrum of rainbows and a wonder to watch. Three of the gang go off to bag another Munro (one of the team left early this morning to head home) and wrap up for bad weather walking. Our four other remaining friends decided to drive up towards Gairloch, so we bunged The Dog in the boot of their car and joined them. The sky is heavy with cloud, but high enough for us to admire the mountains and the jagged rocks, staring high up to their summits. We retrace the road back to Kinlochewe and turn left alongside Loch Maree. The clouds parted to let the sun out and to showcase this beautiful valley, the heathers dark brown and golds covering the mountainsides. White fluffy clouds and brilliant blue sky make a stunning backdrop as we drove to Victoria Falls and parked up. We walked up the rough track, then the little path leading to a wooden platform. A small, but impressive waterfall plunges down the rock into the pool below, bubbling and gurgling. After a few photos, we walked further up to an outcrop of rock where the river flows before channeling down towards the waterfall. The small window of fine weather soon disappears as a black cloud appears over the mountains and gently rains on us. We have a wander further up, admiring Loch Maree and the countryside beyond before the rain cloud catches it, making us retreat back to the cars.
We drove a few more miles further up towards Gairloch before we branched off left down a small road and to the Badachro Inn, nestling on the waters edge of a little pretty bay. Small boats tethered to buoys, bobbed in the choppy waters as we searched for otters and seals. We had to wait for the pub to open, so lurked on their wooden patio admiring the bay until the dark menacing cloud crept in from the west made us seek shelter under pub awning. Finally, the landlord let us in and we grabbed seats in the conservatory, ordered beer and six Cullen skink soups with a roll. Three beautiful little Spaniels bounded in and said hello to The Dog, who sniffed and greeted them without fuss. It’s now raining permanently, the background disappearing in mist. The skink is delicious and thoroughly enjoyed. We finished our beers and feeling satisfied, headed off for a brief visit to a little gift shop and a general wander before going back to the cars – think we’ve exhausted what Badachro has to offer. Not wanting to go into Gairloch, we decided to head back to the house. We have to take the same route back whether we like it or not – it’s the only road. The weather is closing in and deteriorating as we drive back – the winds are picking up and it’s raining constantly now.
Once back, we make a cuppa and have cake, settling in the sunroom. Hubby and The Dog go for a walk along the bay road in the rain, while I pulled down the pop up roof of the Van due to the gusty winds. We’re not quite sure of its tolerances and don’t fancy being open topped for the rest of the trip – it’s expected to be 45mph winds this afternoon – rather be safe than sorry. The Loch has white topped waves, the bushes are bent in the wind and the clouds are low and scudding. An afternoon of curling up, reading a good book and chilling. Hubby and The Dog return, slightly damp and we wonder how the Munro baggers are getting on.
The three walkers finally return looking happy if not slightly bedraggled. They hopped into hot showers while we get ourselves ready. About 6pm, we jumped into cars and headed to the Torridon Hotel, some 5 miles around the other side of the Loch, to the Bo and Muc restaurant where we’ve booked tables. For some reason, they have put us on two separate tables which isn’t very conducive for chatting and enjoying a good meal together, but it’s not a real problem. We order some excellent food and wine and enjoyed a convivial evening before driving, with stomachs like large beach balls, back in the dark along single track, unlit, potholed roads.
We relaxed back in the sunroom while others starting packing – their holidays finish tomorrow and they have a long drive home back to Leeds. So there’s a little activity, The Dog crashes in the middle of the carpet, making everyone step over her and gradually one by one, we hit the sack.
With one of the party left this morning, we bagged his now empty twin bedded room and take the opportunity to sleep in a proper bed for a night. We raid the Van for our sleeping bags, pillows and bottom sheet and set up in the bedroom – we’ve only brought in our bag of clothes, but the room looks a real mess – stuff everywhere. Perhaps because we have to be super tidy and organised in the Van, we’re making the most of the spare space while we can! It looks like we’ve been burgled. It’s also been bliss to have a shower albeit a dribbly one – isn’t the most powerful shower, but it’s hot and does its job. With The Dog on her bed in the corner, also appreciating being able to stretch out properly for the first time in days, we all settle down for the night.