The next day on the campsite got off to a leisurely start. I let the hooligans out of their travel crates and while Beanie went for a snuggle with Susan, I got a head-end cuddle with The Bigglet. Then came breakfast, a jump onto the worktop, a stay in the naughty room, and a short local walk to see Inchree Falls. Whenever a campsite boasts about local attractions such as a waterfall I always expect it to be a bit of a let-down, but that wasn’t the case here. The light wasn’t quite right to let me do it justice, but trust me: Inchree Falls is well worth seeing.
If you’re prepared to do a bit of scrambling you can get to the bottom without breaking anything!
Soon it was time for lunch, another visit to la chambre de naughtie for Beanie, and whole lot of preparation for our first proper adventure of the holiday: a ride on the ferry and an overnight stay at Ardnamurchan!
Although Ardnamurchan is very much part of the mainland, it’s so remote that little inland Corran ferry is by far the quickest and cheapest way to get there.
The Corran ferry is quite unlike any other I’ve encountered. Once it’s in motion, it crosses from one side to the other in about two minutes. There’s no time to get out of your car and stroll about the deck, let alone pay a visit to the galley for an exorbitantly priced coffee. Nope, you queue a bit, you drive or walk on and a few minutes later you’re on the other side, having saved more than an hour on the road. Despite this huge saving there’s still a lot of driving ahead to reach Ardnamurchan. There’s pretty much just one road along this remote piece of western Scotland, and it’s mostly a winding narrow single track with a nominal speed limit of 60mph. Piloting the car through all the twists, turns and blind summits is like playing a really intense video game, except that you don’t get any spare lives if you mess up. It’s made even worse by the locals who (presumably) know the road so well that they can go barreling along at 60 leaving the tourists to stop appropriately at passing places in the hope of avoiding a head-on collision.
It took about 90 minutes of sweating, breath-holding and underwear soiling to reach Ardnamurchan point, but somehow we made it. Following the signs to the lighthouse, we turned up an even narrower road and encountered the largest Highland cow I’ve ever seen. Another driver who was coming down the road in the opposite direction reached it first. He was in a fairly tall vehicle and I’m not exaggerating (much) when I say that the cow’s spine was nearly level with the roof. Sensibly avoiding using his horn, the driver steered around the mutant at slower-than-parking speed. Just as the passenger side window drew alongside the back of the creature’s head it turned to have a really good look at the puny human inside. From the look on the driver’s face, I’d say his underpants were now in a worse state than mine. But he’d made it past the monster and now it was our turn, but unlike him we had a pair of Beagles in the back.
If there’s one thing you can count on with Beanie and Biggles (especially Biggles), it’s that they’ll always open their gobs at the worst possible moment. If I nip behind a bush during a run to discretely answer nature’s call, there’ll be a baying frenzy. If we’re leaving a campsite in the dead of night for a sunrise hillwalk – desperately trying not to wake anybody – they’ll kick off for sure. This time however, the two of them both kept very, very quiet. Perhaps they realised that even the car wouldn’t give them enough protection if this ginger behemoth decided to “have a go”. People say Beagles are stupid dogs, but they’re not that stupid.
Safely past the walking roadblock, we got to enjoy the lighthouse in all its glory, and for the time we were there Beanie and Biggles could legitimately claim to be the two most westerly doggies on the entire British mainland.
Part 1: http://www.fourleggedpal.com/2015/04/23/a-tale-of-ice-and-fire-and-bogs-part1/
Part 3: http://www.fourleggedpal.com/2015/04/25/a-tale-of-ice-and-fire-and-bogs-part3/
Part 4: http://www.fourleggedpal.com/2015/04/26/a-tale-of-ice-and-fire-and-bogs-part4/
Part 5: http://www.fourleggedpal.com/2015/04/26/a-tale-of-ice-and-fire-and-bogs-part5/