Life at the end of the road

July 10, 2011

Ten in a row :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, stonework — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:00 am

Well, it’s 6:30am on a fine Sabbath morn here at the north end and I feel that I’ve just got to scribble a few lines before I make a start. The last time i posted was Thursday and so much has happened that if I don’t write it down I’ll forget. To be honest, my memory is so bad that if I didn’t take pictures I’d recall little of past events.

I had a good nights sleep after an adventurous day with the boys on Thursday despite Friday being the dreaded MOT day. Anyway, I was up early(ish) left wifey to feed the herd and headed south on a fine summers morn to catch the first ferry for my 9:30 appointment at S. Morrison motors on the Portree industrial estate.

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The sea was calm, the sky blue and my early departure from Arnish had me stopping a few times to soak it all up. I don’t recall the Gaelic name for this reef just south of Oskaig but it translates as ‘the long rock’, is a fine place for scallops on the western edge and a good place to keep a boat on the inside. Indeed there has been more than one permanent mooring there over the years.

The gateway to the Cuilin’s

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Not having to be at Morrison’s until 9:30 I dawdled along the A87 and stopped at Sligachan to admire this dry stone wall there. Recently completed under the supervision of Sconser’s expert ‘waller’ Hector Nicolson, I think that much of the work was done by youth’s from the John Muir Trust

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Hector, who’s ancestors I think came from Raasay is running a short course on Raasay in September to which wifey and I are going. There are places still available and if anyone is interested contact Donnie Oliphant.

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That truly is beautiful stone 🙂


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Here’s the Sligachan hotel, the stopping place for many climbers and celebrities to make their base for sojourns up Skye’s premier mountain range. Their visitors book over the past hundred years or so was recently put on display and included the notorious occultist and climber of some repute  Aleistair Crowley


It’s also the start point for the Glamaig hill race which is held tomorrow (well yesterday actually 🙂 )

“Another notable event in Sligachan’s history was the ascent of Glamaig by a visiting Gurkha soldier. Glamaig is the closest hill to the Hotel and is 2537 feet (775 m) high. In 1899, a Gurkha by the name of Thapa ran barefoot, from the Sligachan Hotel to the top of Glamaig, and back again, in 75 minutes. On being told of this feat, MacLeod of MacLeod, the landowner, refused to believe it, so the luckless Thapa was asked to perform once more. This time he completed the task in just 55 minutes. This time remained the official record until the 1980’s. A race is now held each year in July and the record now stands at 44 minutes, 41 seconds, set by Mark Rigby in 1997.” from their website

The tenth straight pass

After that it was onto the dreaded MOT, which of course the ‘Old Girl’ passed with distinction and praise from the tester 🙂

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It also gave me chance to have a good look under her without lying on my back 🙂


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Having a little time to kill I went down to the harbour to do the tourist thing and get a bag of chips from Dan’s chippy

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Dan has his fingers in many pies 🙂

A new addition since I was last here was this fine piper that was going down great with the tourists 🙂

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Home for just after 16:00 I wasted no time in taking the boys out in the boat to check on the creels we’d laid yesterday.

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There was little in them other than velvets and a small conger but that’s to be expected on the first outing, they need to get ‘the smell of the sea’.

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Chopping the conger up for bait we found a mackerel and a wrasse in its stomach, they’re not great bait but it was pretty much all we had 😦

How can it possibly rain !!!!!

Once back home it started to rain,

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only on the west coast of Scotland could it possibly rain with a sky like this, I could not believe it, it only lasted a few minutes and almost halted the barbeque lighting, but where did it come from ?

Linhai 300 quad, saga

Whilst the barby was smouldering down awaiting the addition of Eddy’s ribs I had a quick look at my mates heap of cr4p from China. The Linhai 300 ‘Quadzilla is reportedly made by Suzuki, don’t believe a word of it. This pile of rubbish has given him no end of grief since he bought it new a couple of years ago.

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It may look the part but it’s falling apart and rusting by the minute, the clutch failed spectacularly at 241 miles, the ignition switch fell apart last year, the battery failed and it’s now running like a bag of nails at only 600 miles.


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The poor starting and huge ‘flat spot’ suggested the carburettor diaphragm but before checking that I removed the fuel pump as it was easier to access.


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It’s probably only had 15 gallons of fuel through it and already its perished 😦

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What a piece of 5h1t, anyway, I had a go at making a new one out of a bit of old inner tube,


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as the old saying goes, ‘the operation was a complete success but the patient died’ 🙂 The thing was still running rough so the carb diaphragm is probably goosed as well 😦

Anyway it’s time I did some work now so I’ll finish off later.


  1. I have an appointment with the Cuillin next weekend. I hope the weather stays like that. Fancy a trip up Sgurr Nan Gillean 🙂
    That is a nice wall, but i do get a bit bored of these “interpretive signs”, is a view like that not enough?

    Comment by simon — July 10, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    • Morning Simon,

      can you believe that is the first time that I’ve ever stopped there 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 11, 2011 @ 5:00 am

  2. Hi Paul. Once again a very informative report on your daily doings, I would love to get up in the morning walk down to my own slipway and just go fishing.
    Also glad to read that your pride and joy passed her M.O.T again, not many at her age would do so well. Look forward to more of your blog now that the summer is on us. Walter

    Comment by polite Scouser — July 10, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    • Morning Walter,

      It’s not all roses, I have to drive and sail for over an hour to buy a bottle of wine 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 11, 2011 @ 5:04 am

  3. That’s a grand peice of dyking Paul, pass on my words to the dyker!
    There’s some really fine work up on a hill not that far from me, obviously the work of a very good hand at work there too!
    Interesting that there are no evident “through stanes”, in this area there are throughs at knee hight and hip hight plus a layer of “cover stanes” under the coping, but thats regional variation for you!
    Nice to see the old girl looking in such fine fettle .. good work!
    PS, smoked eel….YUM!!!

    Comment by Mike — July 10, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

    • Good morning Mike,

      I really must try smoking some conger, the meat really does look firm and tempting. I’ve had it salted and I’ve also turned it into a soup and Pasta base but you really need a big one so you can use the middle, less bony part. It’s like everything else here, it’s ‘famine or feast’. Just now were awash with fish, shellfish, mushrooms and rabbits so the conger does not look so inviting 🙂
      I’ll tell Hector that you were impressed with his work, it really is an amazing skill and I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by it 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 11, 2011 @ 5:15 am

  4. Smoked ling makes a wonderful Cullen Skink!

    Comment by Mike — July 11, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

  5. i hope you will talk a little bit more about “the smell of the sea” on your traps. and velvets are crabs, yes?

    Comment by jeannette — July 12, 2011 @ 1:18 am

  6. oh, p.s., i’m excited about the stone walling class you and mrs. LATEOTR will be taking and hope you will report full details w/ pix. and no phone hacking, please.

    Comment by jeannette — July 12, 2011 @ 1:19 am

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