Monday, 29 May 2017

Scotland Update | Midge therory | NC 500

I am sitting in the sun by a freshwater loch. The sun has returned, though there is a soothingly gentle breeze blowing, then falling away again. A very pleasant afternoon following a run of colder wet, and grey days.

A bad cold has kept me from work for a few days, so I picked a place where I could rest up with plenty of supplies, and where Rio can run out for his own exercise with no traffic or other reasons for me to have to go outside. Diesel heater on thermostat kept me warm at night, but I'm glad to be feeling better now and the sun's returned too!

I've been back in Scotland since mid-April, and back at work since May began, having returned to my seasonal job with the local council. Living and working here means I can wild-camp at places like this (of which I have seven favourites) within ten minutes drive of work.

We are entering what can be the most enjoyable time of year here - end of May/beginning of June when the weather can be at its finest, and I have yet to be bothered by midges; the odd buzz, but nothing biting.

I have a theory, after a few years of wild camping here, that the midges are not as bad as people say. They are only active for limited times on certain days and the certainly don't enjoy any breeze, rain or cold. I'll keep a record of how many days they actually bother me this summer. If you know where to park up, and avoid damp places, they can be avoided. Still, I wouldn't be in a tent once June's in full swing!

There is a steady stream of campers and motorhomes on the roads here, though it's nothing like on the roads further south near Fortwilliam and out to the Isle of Skye; always some wheeled living company if I so wish for the weekend or an evening, as visitors pass through.

It'll be interesting to see if the numbers increase this year, with the rising popularity of the 'North Coast 500' circuit and an increasing number of TV programmes and popular press articles about it. Already many car and bike clubs are following the route, and everything from supercars to very strange and eccentric vehicles are seen daily passing through these parts. Maybe the strangest I've seen so far was a mo-ped club, remember the red & white mopeds from the 70's? Well they where emphasising how awful they really are - one rider even had a toilet seat for a front mudguard!

Thanks for following along!

Get in touch if you're passing through NW highlands.

Have a good one!