We set off on our longish journey from Clachtoll down to Shieldaig, a beautiful village on the southern reaches of Loch Gairloch in Wester Ross. Before we left we saw a Coastguard helicopter flying over the bay and wondered whether it had anything to do with the RNLI boats we had seen at Lochinver yesterday.
Our route took us down beside Loch Assynt, surrounded by majestic mountains and home of the ruined Ardvreck Castle.
Onward towards Ullapool (see header photo) – we needed to get a few supplies in the local Tesco. Not nearly as good as the Scottish Co-ops but supermarkets are few and far between in this neck of the woods.
Then on down the Wester Ross Coastal trail, past Dundonnel, Poolewe, Gairloch and Charleston…
Eventually, after a long journey, the little lochside village of Shieldaig came into view.
It’s quite isolated but a remarkably popular little place with a hotel, quite a few B&Bs and a field, managed by the Grazing Committee, allowing people to “wild-camp” for a small donation. Two years ago it was packed by young people in tents who had been watching the Iron Man competition taking place nearby. But it was even fuller, on that occasion, with the dreaded midges! People in the know wore special midge nets over their heads but we just had our Avon Skin So Soft! Having gone to the trouble of buying a couple of mad camouflage hats with attached nets this year, we were all prepared for an invasion. But this time no crowds and, mercifully, very few midges.
There were a few motorhomes already there but, after booking a table at the Shieldaig Bar & Coastal Kitchen as before, we easily parked Bessie in a suitable spot,
got changed and walked down the hill to eat. A cheerful Australian waitress served us and behind us was a jolly but noisy family of Americans. Word gets around internationally it seems.
We both chose the haddock and chips and it was enormous! This was Peter’s – he was pleased to see the bottle of Heinz! I was impressed by the tartare sauce served in a shell…
Anyway, it was delicious and probably the best fish and chips we had ever had – the batter light and crispy. I think it is a speciality of the house, along with other fishy dishes.
It was a long walk back up the hill afterwards and already the sun was beginning to set…
By the time we reached Bessie, the sun was very nearly disappearing but, as two years ago, we were treated to a magnificent display.
A night with no electricity followed – batteries uncharged and certainly no internet! We wouldn’t want to do it too many times but this place is worth it.