By in Holidays

Yes, we are back in the land of the wifi signal!

OUR TOURING HOLIDAY of Scotland is almost over. By the time we get home tomorrow we will have covered about 950 miles over some of the most scenic routes we have ever driven. The weather was very good with only the occasional drop of rain. The midges were fierce (read this article to find out about them: Midges - the Highland Terror! ) but, on the whole we managed to avoid them. Our hotels were excellent and the only real complaint we have is the diabolically poor internet access in the highlands. In fact, it was so bad yesterday that I simply couldn't post anything about our day - and what a day it was!

We motored over what has been described as one of the ten ''most scenic routes in the world'' and it certainly lived up to its reputation. The Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle) is a very old cattle drove road into the peninsula of Applecross and was, until surprisingly recently, the only road into this remote area. It is rumoured to once have sported a sign at its beginning which read No more than three sheep abreast!

Starting at sea level the Bealach (a gaelic word for a mountain pass) twists and turns its tortuous way up to a summit level of over 2000 feet. It is a single track road just wide enough for one vehicle at a time but there are numerous passing places to allow ascending and descending traffic to pass each other safely - although some of them are perilously close to the edge!

My dashboard camera was working overtime and I also got a few still shots of the route but the summit was quite misty and only a few turned out OK. Here's one of them looking back on the route we had just driven up:


This is the closest Scotland comes to an alpine pass and is a very popular tourist route although we were lucky in that it wasn't very busy when we drove up it. Once the summit is reached going down the other side back to sea level and the small village of Applecross itself is much easier and less scary!

We are currently staying in the village of Boat of Garten just a handful of miles north of the highland town of Aviemore which is a very busy tourist town full of hikers and backpackers who come to walk and climb the nearby Cairngorm Mountains where Scotland's 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th highest hills can be found. Tomorrow we go home but here is one final photograph for you. It is a backwards look at a distant Loch Maree (where our hotel was) taken from the top of Glen Docherty on our way to Inverness, the biggest town (city almost) in the highlands where we stopped for coffee (the header image is a view of Inverness - open in a new tab for a better view):


Image Credit » Kasman

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MegL wrote on September 4, 2016, 4:12 PM

Wow those photos definitely look like Alpine passes. I suppose they close in winter?

Kasman wrote on September 4, 2016, 4:18 PM

The Bealach na Ba certainly does which meant that in days gone by Applecross could be cut off for days at a time with the only way in or out being by sea.

VinceSummers wrote on September 4, 2016, 7:57 PM

Back here in decidedly un-exotic Virginia, USA, my right arm and other assorted body parts have been eaten alive by some critter or another.

lookatdesktop wrote on September 4, 2016, 10:02 PM

I like the pictures. The last one is very picturesque.

j2jworkz wrote on September 5, 2016, 8:00 PM

Very scenic ! What a lovely drive w the winding roads !

allen0187 wrote on September 5, 2016, 8:05 PM

Thanks for sharing those lovely photos!

PriscillaKing wrote on September 10, 2016, 6:06 PM

What happened, Vince Summers? Virginia's not exotic to us but the mountain road pictures reminded me of scenic Wise County. (Though as some commenters remind us, Scotland is much further north, colder and snowier.)

Last Edited: September 10, 2016, 6:07 PM

VinceSummers wrote on September 10, 2016, 6:48 PM

I'm being eaten alive in the form of rashes. Some may be due to critters, some to hormonal issues... It's hard to say. My body chemistry is different since acromegaly surgery.

luisga814 wrote on December 13, 2016, 4:21 AM

Your pictures are amazing. Good shots and angles.