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Caravaning

Family Tour 2018 Day 9-10

Category: Caravanning
28 Feb 2019
Written by Andy Hits: 1486

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On Days 9 and 10, we spend some time around Inverness, and then drive down Loch Ness and take the bridge, over the sea to Skye


Day 9: 30/09/2018, Inverness (36 miles)

A quiet day today, starting off with a visit with our friends to their church, which was out in Culloden.  We headed back to their house for lunch, and while we waited for things to finish cooking, I got taken bird hunting watching.  I was lent some camo gear, and got my biggest lens out, a 170-500mm and stalked up to the unsuspecting birds with much success.  Even to the point that I was closer than the minimum focus distance!

Once the bird feeders were re-stocked, the birds came thick and fast:

There were a few spots where sunflower seeds could be tucked away to encourage "natural" looking shots where the birds were encouraged to perch for food:

Chaffinches were easier to get, as they tended to stay for a few moments to eat the seed, where as Coal Tits would land for just long enough to pick up a seed, and then fly off somewhere safe to eat.

GoldCrests could be heard in the tree tops, and once in a while a sparrowhawk tried its luck for getting a meal.

We also made sure we were ready for our journey to Skye the next morning, as we were not sure how many good opportunities there were fill up away from Inverness, and it is so much easier when driving solo

In the evening there was much fun as my 9 month old daughter was doing something, and waiting to be mimicked by our friends before doing another action and waiting to be copied! She also was taking advantage of quite a bit of solid flooring to practice bottom shuffling, as it was easier for her to move on than carpet!


Day 10: 01/10/2018 Inverness to Uig (125 miles)

This was our parking spot for the past few days.

Having seen hints of snow on top of Ben Wyvis as and when the cloud cleared on its peak, we got ourselves ready for the next big drive, down the side of Loch Ness, and eventually across and over to Skye.

On the track down, as I wanted to be slow and steady on the down hill parts I tried out the descent control bit of the "off road" mode.  The normal cruise control cannot be set at less than 20mph, and when the brake pedal is pressed is deactivated.  The hill descent works the other way round, and keeps the speed at what you "set" with the brakes.

Sadly Nessie was hiding from us as we drove most of the length of the loch, so we headed west, and headed through Glen Sheil.  Even with rain and the clouds bumping off the tops of the hills, the views were brilliant.

We paused for lunch near Eas Nan Arm, as there was space to pull off the road without getting in others way.  I also spotted an elderly couple with a very flat looking front tyre.  As I'd got a trolly jack for the caravan with me (just in case, as there is no easy jacking point for a scissor jack), I offered to help them change it.  But as is the way with most modern cars these days, the only thing they had to repair it was the tyre "goo" which more often than not is no help!

With my offer for help turned down, we continued to the Kyle of Lochalsh, and to the bridge to Skye.  We looked out for Eilean Donan Castle, as we had been told it was worth stopping at.  Sadly, in spite of signage suggesting parking for motorhomes and caravans, the parking steward was not interested in us stopping, so we carried on our way.

Over on Skye, we enjoyed the scenary as we drove most of the length of the island to get to Uig Bay Campsite.  It was a fairly sedate pace, as a bin lorry had got itself quite a following behind it, with us in the midst of that line.

It seemed to surprise the owners of the site that  although I'd made the booking, that my wife was driving when we got there, but they seemed glad to hear of people sharing the driving between each other, even though it meant both of us taking the B+E trailer test.  It was quite wet and miserable when we got there, but put the awning up as we were there for a couple of nights, and the extra space was useful.  

Once settled, we wrapped up to keep dry and went to find both the pottery and the brewery shop, which were both just a short walk from the campsite.  We picked up some nice little gifts at the pottery, and some interesting bottles at the brewery.

The next bit of drama with caravan problems started once we got back to the caravan

"Have you unlocked the door"
"Yes"
"Really? it didn't seem to be open"

At which I pulled on the door handle to prove I'd unlocked the door and checked on the dogs and the handle came come away from the caravan door in my hands.  Fortunately I had some tools easily accessible, and was able to figure out how to open the door with pliers or mole grips.  After that, we had to be very careful to make sure that we picked up any tools to open the door whenever we went outside without someone else being in.

As the evening went on, the wind and rain picked up.  Having experienced some pretty strong winds while in Wellington, NZ, we were glad to be in a caravan with corner steadies, rather than a motorhome, as they really do rock about in gusts of wind.  There were lots of loud clunks during the night, and fearing the awning might get damaged by the wind if it's pegs should be pulled out of the ground, a quieter moment was picked to take the awning down and bundle it in the car boot.
The clunks continued, as it wasn't the rear poles of the awning, but the wind finding some movement with the skylights and trying to open them.  We ended up with one of our dogs joining us on the foot of the bed as she was scared by it all.  The other dog, being deaf was quite unperturbed by it all! 

In the morning we heard from another couple who were staying in a tent, and had been re-pitching their poles every hour because of the wind!

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