Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Old Schoolhouse, Altandhu

Altandhu.

Holidays! Last week HB and I were joined on holiday by Egor and Lee. We had hired The Old Schoolhouse in Altandhu, on the Coigach peninsula up the North West of Scotland. I've been visiting the area for most of my life. Its one of my most favourite places to go.
Usually I would be going up on the GS, but Egor is currently between bikes so we loaded up the Crazy Bus and took HB's pushbike and the Pugsley.

Setting off.
Packing our stuff.

On the way up the road we stopped into Bothy Bikes in Aviemore as they had a pushbike I wanted a shot of. A long cargo bike called a Kona Ute. I thought cycling it would be had work but it was surprisingly easy. Just imagine how much beer you could carry on it! After a wee chat with the guys in the shop we carried on to Achiltibuie, the scenery getting better and better.

Kona Ute at Bothy Bikes.
Kona Ute Cargo Bike

Nice Norton
Nice Norton we seen in Aviemore

The Crazy Bus and Stac Pollaidh
The Crazy Bus and Stac Pollaidh

The Old Schoolhouse was awesome, really old worldy and full of character and much bigger than we were expecting. I took a wee video and some photos so folk could see how cool it was. Wait till you see the surprise in the big hall!


The Old Schoolhouse, Altandhu

The Old Schoolhouse, Altandhu

A model of the Old Schoolhouse?
Using the tilt shift feature on my wee Ricoh.


Rather than give a day to day account of what we did I'll just post up the highlights and plenty photos.
The first nigh we at in the local pub, The Am Furan which is beside the campsite you'll have seen in some of my earlier posts. The second night I was cooking. I got some local hand dived scallops from the appropriately named Andy Diver. I also clambered about under the pier for a while and got loads of mussels. The scallops were fried with a wee bit bacon and served with a salad. The mussels done in white wine and cream with some garlic. I even made proper home made chips without burning the house down.

Egor and Lee at the Furan.
Egor and Lee at the Furan

Gathering mussels at Badentarbat Pier.
Gathering mussels at Badentarbat Pier.
Gathering mussels at Badentarbat Pier.
Gathering mussels at Badentarbat Pier.
Gathering Mussels

Mike and Egor cleanin' mussels
Cleanin' mussels.


Andy Diver's scallops.
Andy Diver's scallops.

Badentarbat Mussels.
Badentarbat Mussels.
Badentarbat Mussels.
Eatin' mussels. Braw.


Most of the time we just chilled out. I tried to get out for an explore on the Pugsley every day, sometimes meeting up with everyone else somewhere. Here's some of the pics I took while I was out on my own.

Pugsley at Reiff.
Reiff Beach
Reiff Beach

Pugsley and the Sumer Isle.
Pugsley at the Summer Isle

Surly Pugsley on Meall an Fheadain
At the top of Meall an Fheadain 

I climbed Meall an Fheadain  twice while we were away.Half cycling, half dragging the Pugsley along with me both times. Its not a big hill at 203 metres from sea level, but the view from the top is amazing. The first time I went up I was on my own. I came up the road to the radio mast you can see in the photo above and rode down the other side through the heather. the second time was a bit more eventful. I went the opposite way, heading up the Peat Road then aiming for the radio mast and Meall an Fheadain, only this time I was joined by HB and Egor who were walking a route a bit more as the crow flies. there was a wee boggy bit I had encountered on my previous trip and coming from the opposite way I was a bit disorientated. I found what I thought was the boggy bit and attempted to cycle through it using the excellent flotation that the Pugsley's tyres give. Big mistake. A few metres in the Pug's front wheel sunk up to its axle. I jumped off and sunk up to my waist! Brown trousers time, in two ways. I tried to crawl out but something was dragging me down. that would be the Pugsley. The front of the seat had got caught in the back of my drawers. After a mild panic I was out just as Egor and HB came over the hill. A long detour round a wee loch later and we were at the top of Meall an Fheadain.

Meall an Fheadain.
Meall an Fheadain

Achiltibuie from Meall an Fheadain

Egor takin a dram on top of Meall an Fheadain

Mike and the Pugsley on top of Meall an Fheadain

Mike and HB on top of Meall an Fheadain

We visited the beach at Achnahaird and HB and I went on a couple of cycles around the place. On one of these cycles I broke the Pugsley's chain and I'd left the chain splitter back at the Schoolhouse. That led to a bit of a walk back for me. Luckily though the walk led me past the Furan where HB had got the beers in.

Achnahaird Beach.
Achnahaird Beach

Coigach views.

Richard on his VFR
On the way to the beach I bumped into Richard, out on an epic ride around Scotland from Bristol in only three days. He was taking the Outer Hebrides in too!

VW
VW
Seen this lovely Split Screen Kombi at the beach car park.

Buick at Badentarbat
This guy and his dog were touring in their Buick.


Fox Point
HB at Fox Point

Fox Point

HB at the old fishing bothy at Fox Point.
HB and the chainless Pug at the old fishing bothy, Fox Point.

Beach View
Beach View. A proper beach shelter complete with balcony.

HB on the Culnacraig trail.
HB on the Culnacraig trail.
HB on the Culnacraig Trail

Old guy on the Pug at Achinver beach.
At Achinver I went down onto the beach while HB to the high road. I bumped into two older couples, one of them was pretty excited about the Pugsley, especially when I offered him a shot. He even took a dram from the hipflask.


Piping School Cafe, Achiltibuie
HB and I met up at the Piping School Cafe in Achiltibuie. They do really good food here way cheap.

HB and the big dug at the Furan
HB and the big dug at the Furan

At the Am Furan, Altandhu

Me and HB

HB at the Furan

Pugsley Wheelie

At night we'd usually play board games. Eventually Monopoly will rear its head. You do not want to play me at Monopoly. I rarely lose and I'm a terrible winner. A really smug ungraceful winner.

Monopoly

Monopoly
Awesome.


Everyone really enjoyed themselves on our week away. If you are wanting a chilled place to visit in Scotland you can't beat the Achiltibuie area. The Old Schoolhouse was awesome I hope we visit again. there was even a wee cat that came to visit us every day.

Le Chat




On top of Meall an Fheadain


I took a fair bit of video on the Gopro but I decided to combine the results with other footage I've got. So here's the first month or so of my Pugsley.




Let me know what you think.
And get yer arse to Achiltibuie.





Pugsley at the Old Schoolhouse, Altandhu.

15 comments:

  1. Mike~
    sweet sweet sweet!!!
    That last pic with the pug over your head, awesome!!!
    The FatBike patented smile from ear to ear!! Classic!!
    Pedal On!
    and don't forget Pug U!! ;)

    Peace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that Joboo. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  2. Good blog Ya big Oaf , cracking photos from that wee camera.

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    Replies
    1. Aye the wee Ricoh is pretty good!

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  3. Good blog, ace pics of a lovely wee corner of Scotland
    Looks like a proper NW holiday!
    Love the pic of the beach hut!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers! The holiday was awesome! Thanks again for the help with the Pug.

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  4. Love the Minke skeleton. Bookmarked that!

    Looks like you have decent weather too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was sunny all week - pretty normal for the north west in summer though.

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  5. Awesome!! What a great week away. Stunning views from the school house.

    Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.

    It looks like you had entirely too much fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that!
      It really was great fun, awesome scenery and weather.
      Glad you enjoyed my post!

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  6. Excellent Mike... great read and pics and the scenery looks brilliant too. The tour video made me laugh, as always :)

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Gav! When are we heading out for a spin again?

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  7. what camera do you use? also what tyres u got on the surley?

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  8. Hi! The cameras I use are a Nikon D80, a Ricoh PX and an Gopro HD. The tyres on the Pugsley are Surly Endomorphs.

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  9. Awesome good photos ,dis someone catch a skate of that pier which was a British record ?

    ReplyDelete