August 19 | Tuesday

Nae cup o’ tea ere we went tae bed,
An’ we hadna the stove that ane could be made
Next morning milady knocked an’ said,
“Breakfasst iss in !”
An’ porridge an’ bacon an’ egg were laid
On the table within.

Feeling gey disgruntled we packed oor gear
An’ shopped an’ mailed cards in the village near;
Met the Connons an’ stopped fur a word o’ cheer
By Laxford Bridge –
An’ knew that the chewing champ o’ the year
Was the mighty midge !!

We reached the north coast at Durness
An’ t’wards Loch Eriboll left the west,
In drizzly weather on we pressed
Through Tongue – guy wee
On the Southward journey Ben Loyal’s crest
We couldna see.

On the better roads we made gude speed,
Fair “trinklin’” along we were indeed
Altnaharra – 800 miles we read
As oor distance din.
Nae traveller e’er rode a better steed
Than oor dark handsome yin.

We ate in the car because o’ the rain,
An’ sune had oor horse on the road again.
Hurried on tae Lairg at ae end o’ Loch Shin
An’ there we stopped;
Saw pony trekkers soaked tae the skin,
Dauner’d and shopped.

On by Bonar Bridge tae Dornoch we gaed,
An a’ stop fur the nicht wi’ the Skenes wis made.
A new bungalow, faith, an’ the tea wis laid
Near a roarin’ fire
We couldna dae better than we said
In the whole o’ the shire.

Oor run tae Brora must be recorded.
Yon rhymin’ game! – ye should hae heard it;
Deid seed! Freezy peesie! they a’ afforded
Us muckle laughter
An the meenister’s cat!! Let’sstop before it
Gets ony dafter.

At a Highland shop we got oot tae stare,
An’ wha should we fin’ beside us there
But the folk wha’d followed us here an’ there
Black car, JAG, four females! The pair
Hailed us wi’ glee.

It seems we were fower Yanks on the loose,
Weel-off, in a hired car forsooth!
Wi’ a’ the gadgets an’ hear tae this news!
Slicker forbye
Than the average English That’ll amuse
Each family.

We talked an’ talked fur a gey long while.
They guessed we were teachers. That raised a smile.
Then we parted, hoping similar style
Tae meet again,
An’ buried away tae oor new domicile
Fur “tea at ten”.

August 20 | Wednesday

Journal Extract

Distance Today: 175 miles
Distance Total: 891 miles

To Kyle of Tongue – many peat stacks on road side. Tongue – new bridge being built just before it. Tongue very small. Road rose out of Tongue – Ben Loyal shrouded in mist – ran alongside Loch Loyal  – broader road, made better speed (trinkling along). Altnaharra 800 miles on bridge. Went through Altnaharra stopped on flat patch for lunch. Wet – ate in car – midges bad! Sardines, cheese, tomato, apricots.

Highland Holiday
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