Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Thursday 9 April 2009 - A Trip to Applecross, and a Dip in the Sea

Seaweed at Applecross

First, a note for Shona, the owner of this excellent 'cottage', Duilisg:

We are glad you are enjoying these tales from Plockton... this really is an excellent spot, Shona; we are in the lap of luxury. Sue is particularly impressed as:

1. Afternoon tea can be taken in the sunshine in the front garden with its magnificent Loch Carron backdrop.

2. From that same spot a swim in the sea can be enjoyed, followed by an immediate therapeutic hot shower.

The photos will follow after we return home. (Now below.) (As usual, Sue has forgotten her swimsuit, and as usual that has not deterred her.)

Secondly - hello Alan, thanks for your comments - we are having a great week here and have managed to test some of our (mostly leaky) gear much more thoroughly than in the entire year of sun dominated 2008. Really, whatever the blog may infer, we are happy to be in the mountains with our friends, whatever the weather and whatever the pace, so apologies to anyone who may be concerned about holding us up. If it's any comfort, I was the laggard yesterday.

Today's dire weather forecast proved accurate in the early hours as the rain lashed down. So it wasn't a difficult decision to opt for a rest day. Occasionally a leisurely day can be most rewarding, and so it was today.

Sue, Andrew, Bagger Martin and I rose slowly (except A, he still can't quite get to grips with this aspect of retirement!) and lingered at home before tripping off up the spectacular Bealach na Ba road to Applecross. On the way, coffee was taken at the posh café near Attadale Gardens. Neil Barlow's 'Painted Mountains' prints are on sale here, and very good they are too.

Our collection of jugs was boosted at the nearby pottery.

The weather was grey but actually much better than yesterday, with most tops clear. It was warm, dry and calm - the forecast was completely wrong.

Fuar Tholl's rugged outline failed to entice us though, and we headed as planned for lunch on the beach at Applecross.

Minutes after we rose to enjoy a beach/river stroll in the vicinity of Applecross House a helicopter landed on our lunch spot. We continued on to explore an ice house and an impressive walled garden.

Highland cattle near Applecross House

The view across Applecross Bay to Raasay

The ice house

It was a busy, if remote, place with much evidence of a vibrant community. Not least, the Applecross Inn provided excellent local beer and was serving good value food overseen by a stuffed otter. Two sea kayakers pulled in from the calm waters of Applecross Bay. They were Sarah and Loz, on holiday from the Lake District. (Sarah was my predecessor as editor of 'Chunks', the newsletter of the International Munro Pineapple Society.) They had kayaked in from the Crowlin Islands, and planned to spend the next week with their kayaks on South Rona.

It's a small world!

Our rather more mundane day continued with a spectacular return over the 600 metre bealach, followed by the afore-mentioned afternoon tea in our front garden,

and Sue and Martin's dip in Loch Carron

followed by a wet t-shirt contest. (The video may belong to a future posting.)

We had a bacon mountain, so invited the 'other cottage' for a dinner of spaghetti carbonara. They brought their own paté mountain, and our combined fruit mountain was utilised to provide a most enjoyable and convivial evening, with an excellent quiz - courtesy of Andrew.

This fine cottage easily catered for the nine of us (after all, we had ten on Monday) - our guests just needed to bring a stool. Everyone is very careful, Shona, we all admire your handiwork and 'outdoor shoes' are not allowed past the entrance mat.

We haven't looked at tomorrow's weather forecast - it's bound to be wrong - so we'll go up something regardless...

...we have a plan! In the meantime, here's today's 5 km 'wheelchair route':

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