Saturday, October 08, 2011

Holiday in Gairloch - Day 1: Journey up, Dunkeld, Inverness, Arrival at Glendale House

We left home just after 9.00 am on 1 October 2011 for our 6 - 7 hour trip north, to South Erradale, near Gairloch.

At lunchtime, we stopped at Dunkeld and ate in Palmerston's Cafe (interior and exterior shown below).

We both ate baked potato with cheese and chutney, served with very nice salad garnish, which included mixed, possibly home-grown, salad leaves, salad dressing and toasted seeds. We both drank green tea. Everything was good, and the bill came to under £17.00.

Tescos at Inverness was our next stop, for petrol and a bottle of wine! It was absolutely packed: I think everyone in The Highlands must shop there on a Saturday afternoon! As we drove west, and neared Gairloch, the scenery changed, to look boggy, sparsely populated with heather, small, scrubby trees and shrubs. The mountains dominate the landscape, with picturesque lochs and rocky outcroppings around every corner. The road gradually dwindled to a single-track road with passing places.

We arrived at Glendale House, where we had booked a self-catering cottage for a week. It was completely locked up and dark, but we could hear voices from an upper apartment. Not being able to make ourselves heard, and with no mobile phone reception, we couldn't even ring anyone, we decided to explore the rocky shore 200 yards from the hotel. Our first disappointment was to discover that the beach was completely unreachable with Henry in his buggy. There was a high, steep slope, rough ground and fence to negotiate. Our dreams of early walks on the beach every morning with Henry were shattered. (The beach shown on their website is several miles away, and also reached via a rough field.) When we returned to the Hotel, the manageress appeared and showed us to our apartment (the cottage we had booked was still occupied by a long-term tenant). This proved to be another upset, because instead of being at ground level, the flat was up a flight of stairs and poor Rob was to spend the next 6 days carrying Henry up and down every time he needed to go out. (Which is quite often in a 16 year old dog!)

The view from the apartment (above). The main hotel (below.)

The apartment was fine, with comfortable bedroom and sitting room. The kitchen was equipped with a dishwasher and washing machine; but on the downside, there was no shower in the bathroom and someone appears to use the downstairs entrance lobby as their personal smoking room :(
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