Our hotel in Gairloch turned out not to be the greatest. Despite being expensive our room was cold and a bit miserable so we went to find the local Chinese and ate it in the car. Breakfast was nice though with waiter service and we set of for our last day of the NC 500 very full.
I had been looking out for a stag for several days with no success but we did find the famous heeland coos. They were photogenic and very cooperative, obviously used to the attention.
But the main focus of this day was the drive on the Bealach Na Ba or the Pass of the Cattle. We had driven the NC 500 anti clockwise while most people go the other way so we started with coffee and cake in the lovely little town of Shieldaig before the tricky drive.
This dramatic single track road was first built in 1822. Its full of hairpin bends and 20% gradients. It has passing places so sometimes you have to reverse on a gradient with a huge drop on the roadside. No way would I have driven this but I think JP enjoyed the challenge.
The scenery in Scotland rivals anywhere we have been including New Zealand and America, add this thrilling drive and you have one of the best places to holiday anywhere in the world.
One more planned stop (not counting all the “lets just stop to look at the view” moments) was at the clootie well. We have seen these abroad but we didn’t realise that they are actually an ancient Celtic tradition. You dip a rag in the well and then tie it to the tree. As it disintegrates you are cured of your ailment. A bit weird and very creepy.
Then back to Inverness as it got dark. We had finished the 516 miles of the NC 500.
Only one thing left to do – dinner in Wetherspoons.