The day after conquering Ben Vorlich we headed further up north. First we held our breaths on the tiniest of roads through the Scottish countryside, before hitting a more relaxing road towards Glencoe. Soon we started to recognize the landscape of the famous glen and the flocks of tourists admiring the site from our previous trip. The Instagram selfies being born there that day were plentiful.
We didn’t bother to stop for too long. New sceneries in new parts of Scotland were waiting to be seen! We quickly passed the magnificent views to the sea and mountains as we turned towards Fort William.
The memories were rushing back on those roads. The three week road trip in 2015 had been our first real holiday together. Three weeks, stuffed with camping gear in one car. That can be quite a test for a young relationship. But Waffle and I pulled it through without major injuries. Now we were yelping at each other: “Do you remember this place!” “We had a rest here the last time!” “The sea was so calm then!” What a good feeling it was, revisiting the memories, looking back to where we had come from and how strong we have grown with the time.
We pushed through, towards Fort Augustus and then turning off to Dornie and the isle of Skye. This time we would skip the island and continue to Applecross, since a dear friend had told us it to be beautiful. We had also bought a Wild Scotland guide book and it had showed us the most amazing bothy at the shores of the peninsula; Uags. That would be our destination!
Further north we found ourselves on the tiny roads again, perched between the hills and the sea, leading us through picturesque villages and by the side of white sandy beaches. The last village with a shop was Lochcarron, there we bought some essentials, beer and water and considered some CDs of quality bagpipe music – those we left on the rack.
Then it was time to drive to Applecross. The small roads, winding around the calm waters of the lochs were fun to drive. Not a long way further, and we started to climb, very steeply up through a col, where a viewpoint opened up to the west, over the moor and sea. Quick pit stop for photos was needed, before moving on.
Applecross itself is a humble little collection of houses, sitting at a shallow bay, but the view they have to the Raasay island and the Isle of Skye behind it, is quite astonishing. When we passed, it was a mildly cloudy day, and the horizon was framed by the blue silhouettes of the islands. What a soothing sight!
We followed our Wild Guide, all the way to the pier in Toscaig, and from there we would head on by foot to the Uags bothy. Toscaig itself was already a very pleasant little community, with sheep, geese and chicken running all around and the sea washing down to the paddocks. At the pier, we packed our backpacks with the gear we would need for the night, and then headed back up to the town, where the route should leave for the bothy.
There was signpost in the beginning of the trail and it pointed the trail to the hills, through the moor and into the middle of nowhere. The landscape was brown, dotted by small lakes and sheep, with a superb view to the islands. Before long, the trail disappeared somewhere and we were struggling to find our way forward.
The navigation app from Wikiloc came in handy at that point, it had the exact route to the hut, we just needed to follow the orange line on Waffle’s phone. It really was a life saver, it showed us a safe place to cross a river and the right spots to wobble over the boulders and swamps.
It was a hike of about 3 hours, until we finally had the bothy in our sights. There was a small oak wood at the back of the house and a calm bay at its foot, the bothy itself was a stone house, perched on a cliff, overlooking the magnificent view. We were happy to find the place empty and to have it as a home for the night.
We started cooking as the sun was setting over the Isle of Skye. The wind calmed down and the sea was laying still next to us. The colors of the sunset were magnificent! The clouds were soft pink and that was reflected on the rocks on our small bay. A profound happiness was warming my insides, as I was shoveling the bagged meal down my face. What would be a better place for a human to be?
There was one lone seal, who was very much of the opinion, he could make our evening even better. So he popped his head up right next to us, in the shallow waters of the bay. We shared a moment with the creature. Both we and the seal seemed to be equally curious, until the hunger took him fishing. We took the cue and headed to shoot the magnificent sunset.
We left the nature be and crawled in to our bedroom as the darkness fell. There were plenty of sleeping places in the bothy, and we had selected one of the rooms upstairs. Our magnificent, super warm sleeping bags guaranteed a comfy night for us up there.
The next morning arrived with clouds but luckily no rain. The weather continued to be ridiculously good for Scotland. We would have loved to stay at the bothy for a day longer, but we had only packed food for the one night. So back on the trail we went. Through the same moor, swamps and rivers.
From there on, we didn’t really know, where we would like to end up, only that by the end of the holiday we would make a stop in Dundee, which is now a home to one of my dear dear friends. Before that, we needed to get off of the edge of the world, and back to the highlands. After quick googling the navigator was set to the town of Torridon, where we were hoping to find something to hike.
But that will be another story…