As expected, today has dawned wet and grey.  It’s Sally’s birthday today and we’ve had a quick skype with her already.  We’re planning another one this evening when the others are in as well.  That’s the only problem with being away at this time of the year – we  have missed no fewer than five birthdays in the family, plus had our own of course.

Whilst being here at Inverewe Gardens campsite, we have become increasingly amazed at how many caravan and motorhome owners here (mostly pairs of ‘seniors’) take their dirty pans/dishes in a bowl to the communal washing up area after each meal – even in the pouring rain!  There is a zombie-like, self-satisfied look on their faces – almost as if they have been programmed.  Remember ‘The Prisoner’?  Our Bessie, although not one of the larger vehicles, has a small but perfectly adequate sink and draining area for two people so it’s very strange and not something we have been aware of on other sites.  Weird…

While I was writing up yesterday’s blog, Peter went off to investigate the loch across the road (Loch Ewe) and found this lovely selection of flora and fauna.  Incidentally, the beautiful white flowers in the featured image at the top are called (rather unkindly) Common Scurvy Grass!


Sea Pink

Goldfinch amongst the seaweed

Goldfinch amongst the seaweed

A Red-Breasted Merganser having a wash!

A Red-Breasted Merganser having a wash!

He couldn’t resist this wooden carving of a Golden Eagle in a garden.  At last!!!


There seemed no rush to go out so left it until nearly lunchtime in the hope the weather would improve, but in the end decided to take a break from the constant comings and goings of elderly campers and have a drive out along a couple of smaller roads along the coast from Gairloch.


The first was the B8021 – about 12 miles long and leading to a community called Melvaig.  The last few miles were on an extremely narrow single-track road with sheer drops to the sea and I spent most of it with my eyes shut.  We turned around and headed back to Gairloch, picking up some delicious sausage rolls from the local butcher & poulterer (you don’t see that description often down south) on the way.

The second road, the B8056 to Redpoint was a slightly shorter (9 miles) and much kinder single-track.  There were some nice little bays and we ate our lunch in Bessie looking out onto the harbour at Badachro.



We drove on to Redpoint but the road actually stops before the point itself.  On the way back we stopped and watched as a couple of Ravens had an aerial battle with another couple who were obviously invading their territory.  It was very noisy but made for some interesting photos.



There was a glimmer of brighter light over the coast and even the moorland mist was showing signs of lifting so we decided to take a look at Inverewe Gardens themselves, less than half a mile from our campsite.


Inverewe is a large 100 acre sub-tropical garden built up over the years by Osgood Mackenzie who took over the estate in 1862 and, luckily for us, is now run by the National Trust for Scotland, which meant it would cost us nothing.  It was now 5.20pm and we found that, although the shop etc closed at 6pm, the gardens would be open until 9pm so we had loads of time to look around.

It is very beautiful and occupies a wonderful, sheltered position on the banks of Loch Ewe, which means it is sheltered for the most part from the sometimes harsh climate.  At this time of the year, of course, rhododendrons are to the fore and there were many examples of the gloriously scented Rhododendron Luteum, so it meant that there was a gorgeous scent in the air wherever you went.  There were plants from around the world as well as the shrubs and, of course, many different trees.




We let ourselves out of the gate and drove back towards the campsite.  However, we were stopped in our tracks when Peter spotted some Curlews on the shore.


Suddenly we were seeing lots of small waders so we parked Bessie and, while Peter walked along the shore, I was able to use the very big lens resting on the window frame from inside, thereby capturing some excellent shots of a nearby Grey Heron.


Ringed Plovers and Dunlins


So, what started as a miserable day weather-wise ended up as a day full of interest.  We caught up with Sally, Sean and the boys in the evening for another skype session.  Rob phoned and had a long chat as well, so another splendid day in Scotland.