Europe | United Kingdom (UK), Great Britain | Scotland – Day 13 – Scourie

Europe | United Kingdom (UK), Great Britain | Scotland – Day 13 – Scourie

Crossing a causeway just outside Tongue where it’s reputed that you can see seals, I again ascend into fog… after plodding along with my own thoughts for a while I hit Loch Eriboll, more of a fjord really as it opens to the ocean. Towering rocky hills on one side with ferns and stunted excuses for trees clinging precariously… the grey loch on the other. I’m beginning to wonder if there is any other colour for sky and water in Scotland?! Maybe I could do and artistic study into different shades of Scottish grey?! The shore is strewn with grey speccled rocks becoming a solid dark grey by the water. Golden brown seaweed near the shore, two more rows of the stuff higher up, one a deep orange, the other a rusty red. See! I’m starting to find the colours of seaweed interesting!

Stopped in at Laid for a hot chocolate, mmm… getting soft in my old age! Further on there are what appears to be (hard to tell! It’s foggy!) several nice sandy beaches bound by small, rocky cliffs on each side. I stop off here to take a look at Smoo Cave… hardly exciting as far as gaping holes in the earth go. What was interesting was the hill to the side of the cave, grassy and criss crossed with sheep tracks looking almost like mini rice terraces. people had written stuff with white stones and I had to take a pic of the one that said MCFC (come on the blues!). I cross a section of moorland with big brown scars in the heather where peat had been cut, further on there are great big piles of the stuff left out to dry… in the sun?! He he! I hear some of you asking, who the hell is peat?! Since I’ve mentioned peat a few times now, I thought I’d better explain…

Peat is formed from the accumulation of dead plant material over thousands of years. It fails to rot away as it would normally, due to the wet acidic conditions provided by high rainfall and poor drainage. The stuff is then chopped up, dried out and burned on fires instead of wood… it also lends it flavour to the water of life (AKA Whisky) when the barley is dried over a peat fire… or something!

Toward Laxford Bridge and on to Scourie the hills look like piles of large boulders with grass and fern growing on the lower slopes… there’s the occasional small loch and the sky brightens a little to a light grey. Camped at a nice site at Scourie… tiered, flat and grassy overlooking Scourie Bay. there is a moral to todays story and that is ‘don’t let your food stocks run low on a Sunday in this part of Scotland!’ (I actually forgot what day it is… again!) I’m off to the pub for dinner… don’t think I could stomach plain boiled rice… urgh! Had a couple of pints of Old Speckled Hen, a couple I was chatting to who’s names I didn’t get bought me a drink… they had passed me three times today and felt a pint was small price to pay for that kind of entertainment! Chatted with another cyclist, Peter from Reay (those names again!) and it’s for the second time someone has suggested I read Josie Dew so I’m on the lookout…

Category : Europe | United Kingdom (UK), Great Britain | Scotland , Uncategorized