To test out the new truck, we headed down to the Cowal peninsula in Argyll at the weekend. It’s a place that seems unfairly overlooked by those visiting Scotland, and we highly recommend it. The car worked well too: the opening sides makes it easier to get the wine from the fridge.
The observant amongst you will notice it’s not a Land Rover. Alas, while Land Rover isn’t making Defenders, life goes on. And so must we. We’re looking forward to seeing the new Defender – whenever (if ever?) – it arrives, but in the meantime we’re branching out.
You’ll know the Toyota Hilux from TV footage of war zones. When Overland Journal (our favourite magazine) traversed Antarctica, they used these. So it should be capable enough to tackle the Isle of Skye (even when raining).
We’ve gone for the very basic UN Peacekeeper / rebel insurgent specification. Easier to clean, less to break, and we’re just not that keen on chrome.
Now to figure out where to fit the tent, fridge, storage units, procure the gear, get it photographed, the instructions written, add it to the website…….
Recent clients of ours keep an excellent food and travel blog. The full report of their month-long trip in one of our Land Rovers can be read here: http://kraut-kopf.de/scotland-road-trip/?lang=en.
Scroll past the many superb photos for the article, where they make many valid comments and give lots of tips about camping in parts of Scotland.
Beneath the article, there is also a map of their route.
Overland travel isn’t always about driving. Sometimes you need to get out and walk. When Britain’s remotest pub – The Old Forge Inn, Inverie, Knoydart – opened for 2017 last weekend, we had to be there. Though on the mainland, Inverie has no roads connecting it to the rest of the country. Your only access options are the ferry from Mallaig, or a 16 mile (26 km) walk. We chose the latter.
• We started by wild camping at the end of Kinloch Hourn. Britain’s longest dead-end road, it took an hour to drive to the end of its 22 miles. During which we saw just 2 other cars.
• A good night’s sleep was needed for a long hike ahead…
• …as was a decent breakfast.
• You have been warned.
• The path was often simply a case of following the puddles.
• The trees often added to the feeling of isolation.
• This was the most life we saw all day (until we got to the pub).
• It didn’t rain.
• Halfway along we came across this very early (and tidy) Defender. Only 38,000 miles on the clock. Probably because it’s spent life stranded on a completely isolated mile-long road that connects 3 houses.
• Something was creating these weird bubbles beneath the surface of the sea loch, but we’re at a loss to tell you what.
• There was no telephoto lens used here; just a cheap compact camera. He really was that close.
• The few buildings we saw were all empty.
• Even the rocks were unusual.
• As dusk drew in, the Knoydart partying really got started.
• Having recently watched ‘The Wicker Man’ again, we were glad of the confirmation that Inverie isn’t pagan.
• Apparently, there is 1 Land Rover to every 3 people in Inverie. The proof was outside the pub.
• The best-tasting beer is always that drunk after an 8-hour hike.
We can highly recommend TURAS – a free new online magazine dedicated to camping and 4×4 adventures.
“We took a Land Rover with friends for a 9 day adventure: was probably the best holiday we’ve had. We love sun, beaches and bars but never done something like this and wow, was amazing. The Land Rover is full kitted out: beds comfy and the views and where you can go are brilliant. We camped on beaches, drove down a river to a lovely private place. Highly recommend it. Thanks, see you again soon.”
You can see this and other reviews on our Facebook page.
“Spent a fantastic 4 days in Scotland with wall to wall sunshine. The Landrover was superb, fully equipped with everything you could possibly need. Couple that with the brilliant service from Scotland Overland and you get a perfect holiday. Thank you to all involved and if you’re wondering whether it’s for you then give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.”
We love this stuff: Fabsil Universal Protector. We’ve been plastering it all over our tents in readiness for the new season, and after a little test can confirm it works. We painted half a tent with the Fabsil, left the other half untouched, and then waited for the rain. You could see the water beading on the treated half, whereas it started to soak into the fabric on the untreated side.
But hopefully it won’t be too heavily tested this summer!