Life at the end of the road

September 19, 2019

A different sunset :-)

Not even 20:00 and I’m ready for my bed, a different one right enough in another place but it’ll be the same wee dug that’s keeping me warm.


With a good forecast and me making a determined effort to practice for retirement I decided to have a day or two away, out west. Well north west actually up at Firemore on the shore of Loch Ewe. First though, I’d have to fix the clutch on the WiFE, me 2001 Disco II. In retrospect I’d have been better off leaving it alone cos it’s worse now than it was before Sad smile

Discovery II slave cylinder

The clutch pedal has kinda gone a little spongy of late and when depressed for a while it gradually starts to bite. Normally this is a sign of a poorly bled system or seals failing in the slave or master cylinder. Normally when the seals fail (as they often do on Land Rovers) there’s a tell tale leak. Usually in the cab if it’s the master cylinder or bell housing if it’s the slave, WFE was showing neither of these symptoms but I went for the slave cylinder anyway. Well a genuine TRW one was only £20 so I figured it was a good place to start.

Now, by all accounts these Disco II’s can be a right PITA to bleed so I started by making it as easy as possible.


Before I even started removing the slave cylinder I filled the reservoir to the brim, dried all around it carefully and stuck some really, really sticky tape over the top. This wouldn’t stop the fluid running out when I removed the cylinder but it would slow it down a lot, hopefully giving me time to get the new one in place before air got into the upper system.

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It’s actually pretty easy to remove with on 10mm headed bolt accessible from above and one below. Before removing the bolts I loosened the 13mm hydraulic pipe then gently nipped it up again. This was to reduce fluid loss and all went quite well, the hardest job being to remove the slave cylinder boot which stayed on the pushrod when I extricated the cylinder. I was reluctant to just pull it off as I didn’t want to pull the pushrod off the release arm as that could well turn into a gearbox out job Sad smile Anyways, with a pair of Mole grips holding the rod and pliers holding the boot I got it off and all back together ‘damn fine splendid’. This is where it started to develop into a bit of an epic, I just couldn’t get a good pedal Sad smile

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Even pressurising the reservoir with a latex glove and sucking the fluid out the cylinder with a pump failed to remove all the air. I had read lots on the Internet about folk struggling and I think I know why now. The pipe that goes from the reservoir to the master cylinder rises slightly and traps air as this is on the ‘gravity side’ of the cylinder. So, I got me a cable tie and just strapped the feed pipe to another pipe so there were no high spots in it, result, clutch bled and no air in system. The pedal still creeps right enough but I guess a new master cylinder will sort that Smile


So, that was it, off on the 12:15 ferry with wee dug and my soggy clutch, the clam diving boat Donna Marie INS17 picking away as Hallaig passed by.

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Sure it’s a bonny drive to Poolewe, I did it many, many times when me Pop was in the care home at Aultbea and never really found the 100 mile journey a chore. Sure it can be full of eejits in the summer but today it was a pure joy, perhaps cos it was me that was doing 40mph Smile

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Methinks that’s Benn Eigh at the other side of Loch Maree,


and that’ll be Molly checking out the ‘shrooms.

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There were plenty of them but most were either inedible, poisonous or just plain ‘trippy’ Smile


We arrived at Poolewe at the head of Loch Ewe around 16:30 and took the single track Cove road up its western shore to Firemore.


No doubt it acquired its Anglicised name on account of the large AA battery that once kept watch over the anchorage there, a major marshalling area for the convoys to Murmansk and Archangel in WWII.

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The site there has absolutely no facilities bar a bin, is £5 per night or £20 a week and worth every penny.


The money going towards stabilizing and reinstating the beautiful dunes there.

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The old AA battery and ‘wee dug’ having a great bounce on the sands.

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The ‘Convoy Stone’ and observation post just up the road past Cove.

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The roof of one of the 6” gun emplacements and on the horizon, well in range of the huge cannons that resided there is the MV Loch Seaforth just out from Ullapool Smile

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And just a half mile or so to the south, the lovely sheltered Cove Harbour,


just the place for launching a Searider Smile

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Not as good as a Raasay sunset but no bad hey Smile


  1. Always good to get away from home for a bit and you probably have a long to do list when you get back home. Cheers, Morgan

    Comment by Morgan Will in Northern California — September 20, 2019 @ 1:42 am

    • Aye Morgan, the list can wait a wee while hey 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 20, 2019 @ 5:56 am

  2. The mountain was Slioch 🙂 Beinn Eigh would have been behind you. Keep Up the posts!

    Comment by Ross Maclean — September 20, 2019 @ 4:59 am

    • Cheers Ross, I knew someone would put me right 🙂 Google Earth and Maps are not very good at mountains 🙂 Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 20, 2019 @ 5:55 am

  3. Good luck with the clutch when you go back to it. Mine needs replacing, it judders and the spigot bush groans as well when it’s cold. I’ve bought all the bits Inc a new DM flywheel but I think now it’s going to the local independent as they ‘quoted me happy’ to fit my parts and as I’ve moved and haven’t got even a shed at the mo it’s too tempting. Think I might add in a new master cylinder after reading your blog, I’ve already got a slave and they can bleed it😀

    Comment by David Brodie — September 20, 2019 @ 6:44 am

  4. Great pics, Paul, but sunset not as good as the ones from Arnish. I bet you’re glad you weren’t going over Bealach na Ba with that clutch!



    Comment by Sue — September 20, 2019 @ 7:41 am

    • Aye Sue, the clutch is quite challenging when you meet Muppets on a single track road whilst towing a caravan, I speak from the experience of several encounters 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 24, 2019 @ 6:27 am

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