The overall experience was good. The van supplier was in his first year of renting and there were things that you would expect to be included in the van that were not. Including glasses, coat hangers and other things which we passed onto the owner to make the experience of renting more enjoyable.
This is one big _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ but if you’re looking for a comfortable MotorHome then this is it.
Before setting off, Paul cheerfully took my niece and I through the essentials but there’s a lot to take in when picking up this van (and this was our first time doing this type of holiday), so laminated cards with instructions for reference would have really helped later in the journey. Itching to getting go, we pulled out of Paul’s driveway and we were off. Drove the beast up from Edinburgh to Glen Nevis where we overnighted before tackling Ben Nevis. What a delight to return from a long exhausting hike to the welcoming & very comfortable beds at the rear of the vehicle - fabulous.
The following day we drove to Kyle of Lochalsh where we picked up a rental car from Kyle Taxis - speak to Kenny, he allowed us to overnight the Motorhome in his Garage Yard at no cost whilst we tackled the Bealach na Bà
to Applecross. We travelled clockwise which we found spectacular - too many switchbacks & a steep climb to even think of doing this in the MotorHome.
Overnighted at Hartfield House & took supper at Applecross Inn - great food, especially the Langoustines which were fresh from the bay - don’t miss but be sure to book in advance. Note: Hartfield House is listed as a hostel, but it’s definitely at the superior end of hostels and each room is self-contained.
The following day we completed the circle back to Kyle but not before talking lunch at the pretty little town Shieldaig (Shieldaig Coastal Bar & Kitchen). A worthy stop - good food and view - before continuing on and taking in a spectacular view to the Torridon Mountains. OMG! Drop dead out of the world!
Back in Kyle and glad to be back in the MotorHome (yeah, we really loved it at this point). We overnighted at Auchtertyre Farm where we took on water and got rid of some waste (a tenner well spent). Wonderful place. We were the only ones there. No electrical hook up here but all good as we were able to go remote, that is until we tried to use the control panel. We struggled and struggled - thank God for that hot water bottle I brought (only one though but my niece looked super warm in a sleeping bag she had brought. A call to Paul the following morning didn’t quite solve the issue (he’s got a broad Scottish accent) however we finally managed to work it all out. [ A quick note: a simple laminated instruction card would have sorted this so hopefully you’ll now find one in the van, demonstrating how to use the control panel.]
Breakfast, and headed up the NC500 on the A890 to Achnasheen, then left onto the A832 to the Beinn Eighe National Reserve where we took a short hike. Another great view of the Torridon Mnts on the A832 - these mountains really do have to be seen to be believed. At Beinn Eighe we parked in the designated car park - there was a notice saying it wasn’t suitable for large motorhomes, but there wasn’t much traffic (early in the season I suppose) so had no issues. Be aware these roads we were on go from good roads to single track - it’s a big beast on these roads but the van handled well & fortunately there were enough passing places that we never once had to back up (phew!), and by now I was fairly confident with the vehicle. A few more short stops on our way up to Guinard Beach were we wild camped in the van for the night. [ Don’t miss Gairloch Beach on the way - spectacular beach (and good parking). ]
Guinard Bay - what a place to wake up in. This is where a MotorHome comes into its own. You can’t buy views like this. Wow! Wow! Wow! After breakfast we began our journey back continuing along the A832 to the A835. On route we stopped at the Corrieshalloch Gorge - really worth taking a moment to take in this deep tear in the rocks, truly fabulous! We then headed to Dingle and overnighted in Pitlochry before heading back to Penicuik and delivering what we now thought of as our home to Robin.