After a restless night’s sleep at the Tongue Hotel, we went down to breakfast but it was a mixed bag I’m afraid.  Peter’s porridge was wonderful but the bacon and eggs was a bit of a let-down.  His poached egg (note the singular) was barely cooked and my scrambled egg was over-cooked to a dry crumble.  Peter’s brilliant breakfasts in Bessie would beat theirs any day.

When checking out, Peter was asked if everything was alright and he took the opportunity of telling the manager what was wrong.  Surprise was expressed about the mattress – “It’s a proper hotel mattress” – as if that excused its complete lack of spring!  At least Peter’s toffee pudding of the night before got deducted from the bill because of his inability to chip the toffee off the plate (over-boiled).  We asked whether we could finish writing our blog, using their internet in the bar and he was happy to let us so that was something.  It’s a pity as the hotel has so much going for it.  We wondered what the many foreign visitors thought of it.


A fine collection of whiskies in the bar!

Back in dear Bessie (who we detected was looking particularly smug) we set off for the Strathnaver museum, which occupies an old Victorian church at Bettyhill (built by the notorious Duke of Sutherland who had instigated the Clearances in this particular area).


For just £2 (which seems to be the standard entrance price in Scotland for heritage-type museums) we were treated to a wonderful display, including these beautifully illustrated panels written by local school children.



Interior of typical crofters’ house

A Golden Eagle at last!  Only problem is he's stuffed...

A Golden Eagle at last! Only problem is he’s stuffed…

Fascinating story of the St Kilda mailboat

Fascinating story of the St Kilda mailboat

Outside in the churchyard stands the Farr Stone which, according to legend, turned up one night after a foreign vessel had been seen at anchor in the nearby bay.  Strange…


Germander Speedwell

Germander Speedwell


Sea Campion

We picked up a leaflet for the Strathnaver Trail which we would follow in the footsteps of on our way to our next campsite (Woodend) at Achnairn, close to Lairg in Sutherland.

Opposite the church car park a couple of Fulmar chicks squawked noisily from their nest high up in the cliff (see also featured image above).


The trail along the B873, which would eventually meet the A836 at Altnaharra, was interesting although most of the places of interest were off the beaten track and unfortunately time did not permit such excursions today.  We saw the cairn commemorating the raising of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders


and the little corrugated iron church at Syre which originates from the period before the clearances.


To go with our collection of sheep we have known, this buttercup chewing ewe made the final cut:


and this ewe and lamb waiting patiently at the kitchen door of a croft:


The lamb seems to be eyeing up the little bike with interest.

For some reason, this rowing boat (no doubt with men doing a spot of salmon fishing) on Loch Naver brings back memories of The 39 Steps (the 1930s version) but then so much of the scenery in the Highlands does.


We arrived at Woodend in late afternoon.  The lady who owns it, Mrs Ross, wasn’t around but we found a nice spot at the top of the field and settled in.  I like it here – no frills but plenty of space.  The loos were not brand new but were kept very clean.  A snip at just £12 a night with electric.  What’s more, I got a connection on my ‘3’ dongle!