Days 6 to 8, a little exhausting

We are in Huntly and on a hookup – with lots of lovely power for the lappie.

Now,  if the 23rd of the month was Day 5, today must be… gosh, Day 9? Three nights at Brahan whizzed by PDQ. We did rather more walking than planned and we got a little wet from time to time but it was almost as peaceful and relaxing as we had remembered – only this time with guns.

We parked in the same spot as last time, which was pretty much a year ago to the day I reckon.

The site at Brahan takes up to 5 vans and is ranged along an old  tree-lined drive, the ha-ha supplying an uninterrupted view across the field

The site at Brahan takes up to 5 vans and is ranged along an old tree-lined drive, the ha-ha supplying an uninterrupted view across the field

Our Saturday walk had to be re-planned due to a rough shoot in the area of the estate where we had intended walking. We decided instead to go and see the Red Kite feeding. Due to  a little map disagreement with the track on the ground and the presence of cows (Nell’s scared of them) we took the long route, got wet and missed the birds. A two and a half mile stroll turned into a 4 hour hike but it was not all bad. Nell found a beautiful ball to carry for about six miles and we had some fine views of Loch Ussie. On the down side, I lost the skin off three of my toes and my hips and knees were giving me gyp. Worn out, we hit the hay by 9pm.

On Sunday Mr Snail’s brother and his wife came to visit as they are on holiday in the Heilans just now. We took a stroll with cameras and that map and it served up anther measure of confusion whilst the weather gods served up further rain. We did see salmon leaping and a roe doe grazing quietly at close hand, oh – and a rainbow. So again, not too unhappy with that outcome.

Monday morning saw us leave Brahan early, without breakfast n fact. Mr Snail wanted to deliver Hank to the hands of the exhaust-fixer-man without delay. We were blessed with another fine day and good travelling. Even Inverness failed to ensnare us in its rush our claws and we were swiftly through, despite queues on the Kessock bridge. I took advantage of the delay to look for dolphins but spotted none.

The exhaust-fixer-man’s establishment was on the far side of Elgin and so we drove straight through. I cast a wistful eye over the M&S Food Hall as we passed…

Hank was left with the very nice man at Custom Crafts, who said he would need around an hour. I asked if the nearby snack wagon made a good bacon roll and he said that they were good but that Harry Gow’s were better. No contest! We walked back down to the main road to Harry’s shack and had a sausage and egg roll apiece with a very good coffee. It certainly hit the spot.

Back to two tail pipes at last. The new one is shiny-shiny

Back to two tail pipes at last. The new one is shiny-shiny

Hank needs a whole new exhaust system soon. The exhaust-fixer-man says we are looking at something like £1,200. Eep! But at least we know where we can have one fashioned and fitted and some time in which to save up. That’s better than having the thing drop off and not knowing what to do about it.

I did the decent thing by the way and suggested that it was daft to take Hank back through Elgin just to go to M&S when we did not actually need anything. So, we turned towards Huntly, stopping only to fill up with LPG at a garage just outside town. That was the plan anyway but after two attempts and with a painfully slow delivery, Mr Snail managed to take on just 66 pence worth of fuel. He gave up. We will try again at ASDA in Kircaldy.

Day 5

We paused this morning to empty waste and fill with water then drove up into the town and parked in order to buy ice cream supplies and morning rolls from Harry Gow’s.

I tried to buy a collapsible steamer basket in a hardware shop without success but was pointed across the road at the charity shop which had several proper steamer baskets. See forthcoming post on items that we forgot to pack.

Also forthcoming are reviews of Sea Breezes site and Sid’s Spice restaurant.

Today’s report is brief as we will be off grid for a while and the Macbook eats battery power like nothing ever before seen.

So, Brora was great, we will return.

The drive down was almost uneventful, apart from the loony caravan tower who shot out of a junction right in front of us at a speed designed to roll his van. He was lucky both not to do that and that we also managed to avoided ramming him in the process.

Our LPG had run out just past Wick. We normally fuel up at Skiach and that was the plan for today but we have been caught out before and found the pump dry. It’s OK coming North but not brilliant heading South, so we stopped for a quickie at Evelix, despite the price, so that if Skiach came up dry we would at least be running on gas for a while. Luckily we are now completely full on both auto and domestic tanks.

A further stop at Dingwall Tesco to ensure that we have supplies with which to entertain our weekend visitors and then we were here. Brahan  is as wonderful as we remembered and we plan to have  a very enjoyable stay. Tomorrow we may go out after some geocaches.

The camera has not been out of the bag today but there are a couple of phone snaps on Facebook, with the views from the front seats. Will try to do better tomorrow but it may be Huntly (Tuesday) before I can report again and upload photos.