Friday, July 3, 2009

Riding the Wee Mad Road

For the first 6 days of our trip we'd had typical highland weather - windy, cold and intermittent rain - so on the first sunny morning we decided to drive the length of the Wee Mad Road - turning off the main highway to the town of Drumbeg and then along the coast through Lochinver and down to Achiltibuie. The road to Drumbeg is wild and beautiful and the Wee Mad Road is as we remember it -
except that the sign is gone and if you didn't know where it was you could easily miss it.
The day was perfect - cool with sun and dramatic clouds casting ever-changing shadows over the mountains. The road would disappear completely over the top of impossibly steep hills and on that very narrow road you'd have to take it on faith that you wouldn't reach the top at the same time someone else was coming the other way - and that the road would actually be there somewhere on the other side. The gorse in full bloom cast a golden glow all along the roadsides and the sea and mountain views were spectacular. I still get the old thrill - I love every turn and twist and never tire of the beauty of familiar scenes!

A few miles down the coast from Lochinver is Inverkirkaig, a small settlement where the Kirkaig River runs down to the sea. There is a charming book store and tea shop there and we stopped for tea and scones and to deliver some books to the owner, Alex Dickson. His wife, Agnes, was also there and we found that she is a Gaelic singer and used to sing with our friend Pete Taylor at the Ceilidh Place in Ullapool. They both were very gracious and Agnes was kind enough to give us a copy of her latest CD, Ceol, Mo Chridhe - she has a lovely voice and the recording is a treat. If you're ever lucky enough to be in this area, be sure to stop by to enjoy browsing through this delightful shop - I love their selection of books.
Then back to the welcoming view of the Summer Isles spread out in the sunshine - and at the end of the road - home.


Kylee Brand said...

The road from Lochinver - one of my favourite drives anywhere I have been in the world so far, and no matter how many times I have driven it my heart is always in my throat as I come to the top of one of the crests! I have loved reading about your trip and your opinions of how things have changed/remained the same. Kylee

Eileen said...

Beautiful photos! Hard to understand why they would take down the sign - now that people might actually be looking for it, you'd think it would be a useful Landmark!