West coast, Mull, Ardnamurchan, Skye and beyond!

Discussion in 'Scotland' started by KarlB, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. There was a brilliant little shop up the road as well. I enquired about gas (I like to know for future reference!) and they keep all the usual stuff.

    I was chatting to the owner and some workmen outside who were taking a break from the heat. The lady made my day....

    "Is that your camper?"
    "It's an Applecross van, did you know?"
    "No! Why?"
    "The number plate 'APX' - that's how the locals write Applecross...someone would give their right arm for that number plate!"

    (Workman number 1): "Is it fixed on securely?"
    "Yes! It's screwed on"
    (Workman number 2 - deadpan) "That's OK, I've got a cordless drill"


    There is also a community owned petrol station.

    Loved it here!

    After 2 brilliant days (it was the Applecross Highland games that weekend so the site was busy setting up Marquees etc) we had to head on. We were meeting friends at Gairloch. We took the 'long road' from Applecross. This is the road you take if you want to avoid the hill road. The scenery along this road is jaw dropping. Stunning.


    This doesn't do the views justice...but hopefully you get the idea!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
    physiopro likes this.
  2. Loving the road trip and glad you met my good mates Andy and Julie (The Bobdogs)...The borrowed westy is mine and came back in one piece lol. Not sure if Andy has got in touch but he has tried to reply but for some reason he can't!...

  3. Hi @fugly76. He's managed to fathom it out now. Your Westy 2ltr made short work of them hills :) My girls are obviously brainwashed as my 6 year old asked why your roof went the 'wrong way' ;-)
  4. @KarlB Andy pulled a fast one on me, I knew he planned to take the 'Germans' to Applecross but said he was off round the easy and long way! Next time I see him I will be interested to know how the auto box coped with the pass. Its on my list to do now...
    KarlB likes this.

  5. Here you go...if you have a spare 37 minutes you can experience a driver's-eye view of the road to Applecross :)
  6. Absolutely brilliant this thread! Got to get up that way next year for sure!
    KarlB likes this.
  7. Really enjoyed that and very strange following my westy!
    KarlB likes this.
  8. It was a simple misunderstanding....and the mountain was irresistible!!
    fugly76 and KarlB like this.
  9. @fugly76 you can see from the video evidence that @The Bobdogs ensured your van was well looked after... ;-)
    fugly76 likes this.
  10. Like an out of body experience!

    If @The Bobdogs hadn't chickened out of trying to keep up with my mighty 1584cc of power you could have watched your van going up as well @fugly76 ;-)
  11. Now Im not sure I could of watched that :eek:
    KarlB likes this.
  12. Right, last two!

    We had a superb drive along to Gairloch where we were meeting up with friends in their Bay. After Applecross the site came as a bit of a shock. It's HUGE.

    There were caravans and statics and garden sheds (apparently these are called 'Wigwams' and folk pay to sleep in them) and tents and motorhomes everywhere.

    Staff were very helpful and as we didn't require a hookup we could park anywhere. We set off through the masses and pushed on the the dunes (campers and allowed anywhere whereas caravans aren't allowed part a certain point.)

    Found a cracking spot...


    It was properly roasting.....as this new message on my phone told me!


    We met with our friends and headed for the beach (which was all of 5 seconds away!)

    Now....we were due to be staying for 2 nights (our friends were heading off after 1 as they'd been there for a few days) but we upped sticks and left after one night. Location was lovely, facilities were OK, shop was incredibly well stocked.

    Why then? It was full of Neds (or Chavs if you prefer). It could be because it was high season but the place was teeming with folk getting drunk and being generally irritating. When we went to the toilets at night with my girls it was like being in a bad nightclub with drunk women crying in the toilets! Obviously these folk were in a minority but they were bloody annoying none the less. One women had a bottle of cheap vodka under one arm, some 'Rola-Cola' under the other arm was spraying the air with Raid fly spray!!!!! What?! There were plenty of 'normal' campers about in sea Kayaks etc but the minority spoilt it.

    Like I said, this is just our opinion. Location lovely, facilities great, weather fantastic. Some fellow 'campers' horrible. It was also Friday the next day and I could imagine what it would be like! The beauty of a campervan is you don't have to put up with it and you just head on :)

    So we did.

    Had a brilliant campfire on the beach before though! MMMM Marshmallows!


    And proof that I'm not a miserable party pooping sod....honest!

    I'm not raving here - I was making the campfire :) They sell logs in the shop for around £4.

    Oh - the midges were horrendous here. Normally heat and a breeze sorts them out. It was scorching but when the sun started to set they all came out....and lots of them.

    We use Smidge which is ace, but my wife is normally a magnet for anything that bites. Therefore we had also experimented with taking Thiamine. This is vitamin B1. You can buy it on ebay or in Holland and Barrett etc http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/holland-barrett-vitamin-b1-tablets-100mg-60001670

    Don't worry - my wife's a GP so your not going to grow two heads or anything!

    APPARENTLY it works in the same way eating marmite etc does -it stops you tasting nice!

    Anyway - anecdotally it worked a treat. My wife only got bit a few times, I think I was bitten once (and I live in shorts). Alas, children can't take them and despite the smidge my eldest was bitten badly. The blighters were even out in morning - in the heat and the sun!!!!

    Take them 2 weeks before you set off. Worked for us!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
    physiopro, carlot25 and Terrordales like this.
  13. So off we headed to our last site for a couple of nights..Rothiemurchus


    After the heat of the coast (which was fantastic) it was lovely to be in the forest. This site is a cracker!


    In the forest, great location about 2 miles from Aviemore. This is 2 hours from our house in the van along the A9. We'd camped nearby before in another site but we are heading back to Rothiemurchus very soon. If your into cycling this is heaven! There are trails everywhere! We walked into Aviemore along a footpath that takes you right to the centre. The girls were flagging in the heat so we grabbed an Ice-cream and nipped back in a taxi. It was 30 degrees!

    Top tip -La Taverna is an Italian buffet a couple of mins up the road - superb!


    We headed home (in the rain) back to Fife after 2 excellent days here and are suffering from post-camping-blues.

    We're away again soon!

    Hope this has been of some use to someone!

    So who's up for 'The Late Bay Applecross Convoy' next summer then?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    physiopro, kenward and Terrordales like this.
  14. Great pics
    KarlB likes this.
  15. Cheers
  16. Stunning trip/photos/write up pal!
    I've been all over Scotland over the years but only twice in a camper (rented Westy)z... Now we've got the Bruce, we're planning to go at the end of August, this thread has me almost literally salivating! I know some of the places you've been/photographed but some of the campsite stuff is a great help.
    I hope a) we get some of the weather you had and b) my photos are half as good!
    We'll have a shorter time up there though as we have trundle up from Notts first...

    Can. Not. Wait.
    KarlB likes this.
  17. Fantastic write up and piccies! This is a trip I am dreaming of doing! A real inspiration ! Thanks :)
    KarlB likes this.
  18. @The Bruce glad it's of some help to you. I'm sure your photos will be great...it's easy when the views are so good! :) I'll look forward to seeing yours :)


    @physiopro go for it. You won't be disappointed!
    physiopro likes this.
  19. Love Scotland! Was planning on doing islay or Arran this time as quicker to get to for us but you've whetted my appetite for mull now (even though been there twice)
    Decisions, decisions!
    KarlB likes this.
  20. Wow! Brilliant write up and photos - thanks a lot. Haven't ventured up there myself but would really love to sometime. Oh and @dog @hailfrank ... a few pictures for the 2015 calendar here (specially love the Rothiemurchus one!).
    hailfrank, KarlB and dog like this.

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