IT’S the start of day two on the North Coast 500. I’m in Ullapool.
I left Cambridgeshire at noon on Friday 13 January and arrived by the beach at Fort George, near Inverness, at just past midnight.
The Garmin Camper satnav took me through Glasgow, along Loch Lomond (where I saw at least three moon rises over the mountains across the water). Glencoe was very dramatic. A weird mix of snow showers and moonlight but not fun to drive through.
I wasted too much time looking for a convenient campsite in the Inverness area. I’d been told about the Fort George area by ace photographer and graphic designer friend Steve Booth and it looked promising on the map. Turned out it was perfect.
Yesterday morning I filled up Fanny with diesel, set up a couple of vlogging cameras and set off for the west coast.
Last time I was in Ullapool it was hot and sunny. Today it’s dull and grey – exactly the conditions I was dreading. So I took three hours this morning to get moving. I studied some technical manuals, made a cooked breakfast and lazed about listening to the radio.
I parked on the harbour to write this but the internet connection was awful so I’ve moved to a Tesco car park. The van is warm and dry and I’ve got plenty to do: books, magazines, films on the laptop.
The problem is that the next leg of the journey (http://www.northcoast500.com/interactive-map.aspx), along the dramatic coast to Cape Wrath and Durness, is spectacular, and to drive it in the mist and rain will be soul-destroying.
Of course, it might be like this for the rest of the week. But I like Ullapool, I’ve got good internet access, a pot of coffee and plenty of time.