A TOUR OF THE WEST COAST ON THE MOTORBIKES Part 3
A good night’s sleep was had at the Applecross Inn, that’s for sure. I must admit though, when I woke in the early hours of the morning,I was a bit confused! I turned over to see Ed’s feet, where his head should be. Hmmm. The normal fight for covers was a bit unusual that night…. As it turns out (so he says) when he went to bed, he felt that his head was below his feet. Not good. So, he turned around. Ok, too much beer? Daren’t ask!
The next morning was once again sunny. There were, thankfully a few fluffy clouds as we headed away from Applecross by the coast road. The road was positively stunning. Such a contrast from going across the Bealach na Ba, that’s for sure. This is another one of those roads you daren’t miss on your west coast tour! Watch out for the crazy sheep!
A stop at the beautiful village of Shieldaig was needed. An ice cream was never so welcome. I had just had a very close call with a tranny van towing a caravan. I met him on a corner and I had nowhere to go. If he had not stopped, I would have been wallowing in the bracken, feet in the air and bike down the banking. Luckily enough, I was able to blip the accelerator, keep the bike straight and fire through the un-feasibly small gap that white-van-man had been generous enough to leave for me. I know Ed must have been worrying; he was in the lead at this point and must have been fully aware that I was going to meet the van on a tight corner. There was a massive sigh of relief when we stopped for a break!
Wee single track roads are one thing, hard work. I have so much more respect for them now, that’s for sure. Many miles I have driven in my car on these roads without REALLY thinking about it. Now, all I can think about is ditch-gravel-ditch-verge-car-oops-gravel-bracken-aaargh-camber-gravel-oh cr@p!! It takes much more out of you going along those roads on a motorbike, that’s for sure! The concentration needed is just phenomenal!
In all honesty, I was really, really blown away when I realised that the road I had driven on that day, I had driven last year (in haste) with my buddies when we were on a wee summer tour of Scotland in our cars. Everything was so different! Granted, we had started on the road at a different spot, so not recognising it to start with is forgivable. When I got to the end of the road to the t-junction to turn left, I found it hard to believe that it was the same one that I had driven last year, and the year before at Mach 3 with my pants on fire!!!!
Shielaig is a stunning wee village, very picturesque and tranquil. Lovely sitting beside the loch having a chill! Here’s your ‘school day’:
Shieldaig village was actually built to ‘raise’ and train sailors to fight Napoleon. Grants were given for boats, and £2,700 was spent building the three main streets. Building started in 1810, but then Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, and the brave men of Shieldaig were never asked to fight.
By all accounts, it looks like it is still only 3 streets!
We then followed the road to Ullapool. Nice. I do like Ullapool and have had one particularly memorable night out there. We were flying a bit by the seat of our pants for accommodation and I was slightly concerned when we got to Ullapool, to see all along the front ‘No Vacancies’. Oh well!
We parked up the bikes and had a beer. That’s essential. One beer and back on the bikes, and had a wee tour-aboot to find a bed for the night. To say we landed on our feet is an understatement. Just a short walk from the main street and harbour area, we found: West House. This is owned by a lovely couple, Richard and Colleen. They could not have been more friendly and welcoming. Sometimes the ‘welcome’ in Scotland in places can leave a lot to be desired. Not like that here! We have been really, really lucky this holiday. West House was formerly a bunkhouse and they have created a fantastic B&B with a difference.
In your room, you have a fridge, kettle, toaster, and your ingredients for a lovely breakfast – bread, jam, cheese, orange juice, banana & chocolate loaf, little ramekins of yoghurt and fresh fruit, cereal, filter coffee…. Everything you need to fill your face in the morning! It means that you didn’t have to drag your tired ass down to breakfast – you can just eat it in the room and take your time. It really works, and the quality of the room, beds (comfiest bed on the whole holiday!) was really top notch! Well done Richard and Colleen! Good luck with your new venture, and I know for a fact if I am back in Ullapool and looking for accommodation, I will be booking into West House.
Dinner was seafood again! Surprise, surprise. After, we had a wander round the harbour, a stroll along by the caravan park and gave myself a kick for not having my camera and the energy to sit and watch what was going to be a glorious sunset! Bed was calling zzzzzzzzzz. Big day the next day…. well, I can say that now! I am glad that I went to my bed early, because if I had known what was about to come, I would have missed dinner (not likely) and have gone to bed at 8pm!!!
Look out for the next instalment…. 🙂