…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menotouring; Showing off The Bonny Land #6

We left the YAMster and blogbuddy Kay on the morning of Friday 28th Oct, having had a 'make-do' brekky at the 'FBI'. We were out and on the road by 0930h and it was important that we keep our focus; this was to be the day where we hunted out the farming/crofting community of Culkein.

As far as Kay could trace, this was the 'family seat' for her branch of the MacKenzies. Right from the very start of our serious planning, this was high on the list after Skye and Eriskay... (the latter was never gonna happen in our four-day window. There is but one ferry, three times weekly, and it's an afternoon-outbound, morning-inbound journey (each way 5.5 hours), which means staying two nights to get any sight-seeing done. Expensive in dollars as well as time. It will be encouragement for a return, more dedicated visit!)


We drove North from Ullapool towards Lochinver. (Do you need that map link again? It's scrollable.) As we drove down towards Loch Assynt, Ardvreck castle stood proud before us. Photo stop!

As we drove down towards it, there was a perfect parking area with information boards. How thoughtful of Highlands Council. In case you can't biggify this to read it, the essentials are this; The MacLeods of Assynt were the original owners, since 1490. After the execution of Charles the 1st, they were requested to provide asylum to the the marquis of Montrose, a Royalist; however Mrs MacLeod was a Covenanter and betrayed him, causing quite a scandal.

In 1672, the castle was stormed and won by Kenneth MacKenzie, Earl of Seaforth; his wife, however, was not happy with castle living and had her hubby build the nearby Calda House. Eleven years later, Calda burnt down and couldn't be rebuilt, because the government seized the lands as punishment to MacKenzie for his Jacobite loyalties.

Whilst I was aware of the castle, I had actually forgotten about the house, or that there was any MacKenzie connection, so this proved a very serendipitous addition to Kay's trip - note she is wearing the plaid stole bought at Lochcarron!

You will also note that the day was filled with sunshine! Yes we were being blessed for this trip - especially gratifying as, from the driver's point of view, it was to be the most 'acrobatic'. This was the main day for stop and start. Also the main day of 'sheep track' roads.

The wind was bitterly cold and very strong - but it was also exhilarating and rejuvinating... and it wasn't raining!!!

From here, we cut to the right, up A894. We were enjoying the drive so much, that I completely missed the turn off and we were at Scourie before I realised. Not that either of us minded the lost hour; coming back down to the Nedd/Drumbeg turn off at the North end brought the landscape into relief... cue another gratuitous and ethereal image of Suilven... (NB - actual colour, no fiddling!)

So it was Westwards via Ardvar and Nedd... This was where things got very interesting and just a wee tad hysterical - worthy of a menokakkuls post, so keep coming back folks!!!


  1. Looks to have been a sweet little house, and much easier to keep warm.

  2. My goodness Yam if any one was/could find this for Kay it was you.
    Seeing her with her plaid stole walking near where her roots began was very touching.
    Hugs Cecilia

  3. Gosh, Yam, I am so glad I found this entry! I love to travel on the shoulders of others, so I was so glad to see these pictures :-) I'll keep coming back, too. (And thanks for the heartfelt card)

  4. I am sooooo enjoying this meno-tour!! How wonderful to see the sunny pictures!!

  5. That last shot is a show stopper for sure! janice xx

  6. Sort of reminds me of an area not far from called the Palouse and or the Columbia gorge. Which was hallow out by a masic glacier dam. How was this land form.
    I like it when bloggers sharing there community.

    Coffee is on

    1. Hari OM
      Excellent question! Some Volcanic, some glacial, some by asteroid - yes! I shall see if I can get our resident 'boffin' in Blogville to expand on this... Yxx

  7. OH MYYYYYYYYYYYYY what a GORGEOUS day you two had... and that Castle is really something. We are LOVING this tour with you ladies. THANK YOU for bringing us along. Seeing sights we would NEVER see an learning things that are so Interesting and Historic. THANK YOU THANK YOU

  8. I would love to see all this wonderful traces from the past... even with cold wind... it's here too now and because I know the most things around me, I will stay inside today :o)

  9. More more more! Can't you just tell us all now?

  10. You must have had so much fun! What a pair!!!

  11. It looks a wild and windy area but the sunshine is always good.


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