Life at the end of the road

April 30, 2009

How do they do it ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:55 pm

I’m not long in after a very long day in a Land Rover and off to bed so I’m just going to stick today’s pictures on here and you can use your imagination for now and I’ll add the text tomorrow, probably around 5:00am πŸ™‚

5:00am, well that was a laugh, I had to be dragged out of my bed this morning at 7:05 and it’s now 20:00 so I’ll get on with yesterdays effort which started as usual with feeding the ‘wee darlings’, 4 of which will be going to the abattoir on Monday 😦 With  two of those fine ginger beauties heading for
shortly afterwards so if your anywhere near Kyle, Portree or Mallaig why not ask for some ‘serious free range’ Raasay pork. It might not be cheap but you won’t catch swine flu from it and your taste buds will thank you for the rest of your life πŸ™‚ Anyway after the usual early start it was down to the ferry for the 7:55 sailing to Sconser. We had a long day on the road ahead of us in the ‘Old girl’ my 1986 Land Rover, which whilst I love her dearly is not a long distance cruising machine by any streatch of the imagination. The first port of call being Fort William a mere 115 miles away to go for a medical. It was not until 13:00 but we’d various bathroom tiling and plumbing fittings to pick up as well as half a ton of pig food from Harbro in Fort William.

Me fit!

I’ve been for more medicals than most people, the insanity of which never seems to amaze me, I used to have to get a medical for diving, a medical for fostering, a medical for working on the ferry and the odd one for insurance purposes. I’ve even had two different ones by the same doctor on the same day! All these have had one thing in common, well apart from generally leaving me inconvinienced or out of pocket and that is that the doctor who ever he or she is always tells me how increadably fit I am. One doctor asking me if I played the bagpipes because my lungs were huge! and the doctor yesterday asking me if I excerscised alot because my BMI was perfect! All I’ve got to say if I’m a fine specimin of the human race with my sore joints acheing back, poor hearing, bad eyesight and shocking memory then we are all well and truly doomed!

So with my ego boosted I jumped into the ‘Old girl’ at 13:45 and raced north eastwards up the ‘Great glen’ past lochs Lochy, Oich and Ness to our next destination, B and Q in Inverness. I use the term raced in the context of an almost veteran vehicle of less than 90hp with half a ton of pig feed in the back thundering up the A82 at around 50mph. We were having to increase our average speed by some 10mph to enable us to cover the extra 70 or so miles that going to pick up floor tiles for the bathroom would involve and catch the last ferry back to Raasay at 18:45. Whilst I love driving up and down a deserted ‘Calum’s road’ on Raasay I hate driving in traffic and despair at the way that driving seems to bring out the worst in people, fortunately the roads were quiet and once in town my intimidating old truck which would loose half a BMW, Audi or GTi under an axle without even noticing means that people generaly give way πŸ™‚

Loaded up with even more cargo in the form of tiles, adhesive and shopping we headed westwards for home. Once past what must be one of the last single track major A roads in Britain at Glen Morriston I asked the swineherd if she’d take over the helm.

Wishing I’d done it sooner I settled back in the passenger seat, relaxed and took some photo’s, the previous two being of Glen Shiel.

Wild goats at Kintail

Kyle of Lochalsh from the Skye bridge Ashaig

Ben na Cailiach and the red Cuillins from

Ben Tianavaig on the left and Dun Caan on the right from Ard Dorch about 10 mins before Sconser and the Raasay ferry which we caught with about 15 mins to spare. By the time we arrived home at Arnish we’d covered 298 miles and 11.5 gallons of fuel and I was wrecked. I might be fit but I really have to take my hat off to people who spend their whole day at the wheel because I certainly could not do it!


  1. hi paul. iknow what you mean. left for dundee this mornin at half 6. picked up a tender for the golden dawn then home by 4. when i think back to some days in the garage when i drove to ness twice in the same day and that was when i was on slave labour rates.


    Comment by neil w — May 1, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

  2. 298 miles. Not bad. I clocked some 600 miles in one day the other week from London to Glenbrittle. It takes about 3/4 of a tank in my Pug 306 to get to Cumbernauld on the A80. I was going to pop in and see you on the good ship Striven but couldn’t figure out when you were on or off when I was passing 😦 I was up there for the hillwalking but on one of the poor days I took a ride out across The Minch to Tarbert from Uig on The Hebrides and finished off with a visit to the old turntable ferry at Kylerhea.

    Comment by Phil Cook — May 4, 2009 @ 12:33 am

    • Hi Phil,

      just clocked another 250 up today in the old girl and I’m whacked!

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 4, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

  3. Well if you would drive an old landrover!!
    Seriously though these modern trucks are easier than a landy, think of the old days of men in Matadors etc!!

    Did Arisaig to Lossiemouth and back at Christmas, leaving 0700, back at 0100. Although theres nothing like being on watches with clocks advanced every 2/3 nights on ship to mess you up.

    Comment by Luke — May 19, 2009 @ 10:32 am

    • Hi Luke,

      anything is easier than a Landy! seriously though I would not recommend one to anybody, they are less reliable than your average Lada, are the size of a Sherpa van yet have less space inside than a mini, mine has less horsepower than a Fiesta but uses more fuel than a Porche, they are as noisy as a tractor without the ‘off road’ capability, and usually leave an oil slick the size of the Exxon Valdes behind them πŸ™‚ My wife unfortunately had the loan of an ’05’ L200 for a week or so and I had to prize her out of it kicking and screaming so you have no need to tell me about the luxuries of modern trucking as I got it in the ear for weeks πŸ™‚ However my ‘Old Girl’ just had her 23rd birthday this year and has many years left inside her. The parts are cheap and whilst she may not be the most reliable machine on the planet she’s always got me home even when the snow plough has been unable to get up here for a week. It suits my ‘Luddite’ mentality πŸ™‚ Matador, I’d love a Matador πŸ™‚

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 20, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

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