Unable to find one locally, I ordered a new collapsible water carrier for collection from the post office in Thurso, the existing one having sprung a leak. This meant spending some time in the area while awaiting delivery.
It did give me the opportunity to sort out some of the photos I’d taken over the last few weeks.
After collecting the water carrier I decided to visit Altnabreach railway station. “Why?” you ask. I can only offer the same reason as George Mallory when asked why he wanted to climb Everest, “Because it’s there”.
There are, or were, a number of stations built at the request of the owner of the land the fledgling railways wished to cross, Altnabreac is one. It stands in the middle of a private estate and the nearest house is Dalnawinnan Lodge some 3.75 miles to the south.
The trip started with a pleasant drive across open farm land on single track roads. As expected it became a decently maintained dirt road. After a couple of miles I turned a bend and found a gate that allows pedestrians, horses and bicycles to pass but not motorised wheeled vehicles unless one a key. I think that’s just mean.
I retraced my steps and visited Loch More which was built to capture the waters of the River Thurso.
On the way back to Thurso I stopped at Scotscalder. Another very pleasant spot with little to detain one. The station won an award in 1993 for the restoration of its building.
Some other items I’d ordered were still on their way so I needed to stay in the area for another couple of days. Determined to visit Altnabreac I found the time of the first train and found a place to stop overnight opposite Thurso railway station. Not really recommended as my beer glass kept trying to slide off the table.
While I was wandering around Altnabreac station, a young dog came out of the former station building to see what was going on. He was wary of me at first but made friends eventually. When I sat on the platform to wait the train he kept a very close watch to make sure I didn’t get up to any mischief.
It actually stopped raining in Thurso this afternoon so I took the opportunity for a brief walkabout.
The first series are Shore Street, High Street, Rotterdam Street and Traill Street (A9).
These next are Old St Peter’s Kirk. One the graves is that of Benjamin Davidson, born 16th June 1793; wounded Waterloo 18th June 1815; died 16th October 1875
I was in need of gas for cooking, the fridge and heating and the nearest place I’d found was at Evelix, on the A9 as it passes Dornoch, so I left Thurso getting as far as Brora for the night.
It was a pleasant start to the morning in Brora so I took a wander round.
Like so many places, it was once a very busy place with coal mining, salt extraction and other industries. Whisky is still made though.
The town still looks reasonably prosperous. I saw no run down buildings and only one shop boarded up and that for a considerable time by the look of it.
From Brora I carried on to Evelix and filled up both gas and diesel, the second gas bottle was down to fumes as well. I’ve got two 11Kg cylinders one of which ran out about three weeks previously.
It was time for an early lunch in the restaurant attached. The venison burger was very tasty.
From there to Ullapool via Bonar Bridge and Elphin. Much of it on single track roads but through very scenic country.
I was intending to stop in Ullapool the following day (Sunday) but there was a music festival which seemed intent on deafening the entire town. Thus I made a beeline for the ferry terminal and the next sailing.