Video diary – wet and wild in the far north

by backpackingbongos

I have just got back from a ten day trip to Sutherland in the far north of Scotland. To be honest the weather was rubbish and I did not get to climb many big hills. Thankfully I had my faithful Bongo to provide shelter and I made use of a couple of superb MBA bothies. I recorded a few video clips in which I babble into the camera whilst the wind does its best to drown me out.


21 Comments to “Video diary – wet and wild in the far north”

  1. Great video.
    Did you leave the Bongo at Skelpick when you went to Stathy? I went that way back in ’07 and visited Achanlochy – which was an experience.
    Have you tried sellotaping a bit of foam rubber over the microphones? It cuts wind noise massively. Low tech but works. (does get soggy in the rain but drys out readily enough.)

    • Thanks Alan. I left the Bongo at Rhifail to the south of Skelpick and walked due east across the moors. It’s direct but very wet, a couple of hair raising moments where I thought that I could disappear without trace. Sadly there are already a couple of large turbines up on the moors just to the south of Bettyhill. They can be seen for bloody miles, god knows what the Strathy north is going to look like, the turbines go up next year.

      I might buy an external mike to clip onto my beard to cut out the wind noise……….

  2. It did look rather soggy in places! Nice and cozy with the bothy fires going, though. I take it you’ve visited those bothies before, in a previous post a few years back???

    Reuben’s not very talkative to camera, is he? Don’t think you’re going to get me babbling on next year, either…..

    • It was so soggy that Reuben developed web feet by the end of the trip! I have visted the Loch Strathy bothy when I went up with Pete a few years ago, a cracking place it is.

      Next year I will be doing a fly on the wall documentary called ‘Chrissies does Sarek’, already booked in at the Imax………..

  3. Was also up north last week James, just for a couple of days to go visit Canisp via Cam Loch.
    If I’d known you were about I would have tried to pop by to say hello!
    It was indeed a very wet week, hence my short trip! .

  4. You win some you lose some with the weather. I enjoyed your video, there’s something about Sutherland (‘Soderland’ – the southern lands as the Viking’s called them, it’s the far south of Scandinavia really!) for sure!

    • It was good in Sarek so the weather got its payback this time round. There is a different feeling up in Sutherland to the rest of the UK.

  5. Cracking stuff James, some majestic wild land there until the idiots from Edinburgh agree to **** it up with more pointless wind folly.
    Now, listen to Reuben when he says he doesn’t like WIND & RAIN

    • It’s great up there Andy, lots of options for a far north coast to coast!

      I also don’t like wind and rain but I keep on putting myself through it!

  6. Thanks – I really enjoyed the video. I was up here a few months ago in my Bongo as well 🙂 I also visited Strabeg bothy – very nice it is too with the loo! It is such beautiful wild country up in the far north – so sad it may be decimated by wind farms. Here is an article by the MO of the bothy you visited. Very sad reading. (Actually he has written some fantastic books on his outdoor adventures up here – he lives in Caithness I believe. ‘Ralph’s Far North’ is one – I found them this year and they’re cracking reads).

    • Greetings fellow Bongo owner! There was a big pile of Ralph’s books in the Strathy bothy which he has left there, I spent a very pleasant night in front of the fire reading them. As you say it is such beautiful country up in the far north – lets hope the strathy south wind farm does not get permission. Not read the linked article before, very sad reading.

  7. You’re getting quite good at these. I had an awesome week up there back in 2001 based from Kinlochbervie. Foinavon and Arkle are cracking mountains and Sandwood Bay is a treasure. I climbed Cranstakie and the other one with my one year old son in a carrier. Didn’t put him off as he’s well into his mountain climbing now

    • Cheers Andy. It really is a most excellent part of the world, would like to spend more time there, bit of a trek from the Midlands though. I bet the roads are a bit better now than they were in 2001!

      • It was a 2 day drive in them days! I once went from the Midlands to Gairloch for a weekend. 5 people, camping gear and a dog in one car. Got back in daylight on the Monday morning and went straight to work. Great weekend in hot sun at Big Sand campsite on the beach

      • It was a 12 hour drive on the way up this time, I was a little bit frazzled in the end. Reuben is rubbish at small talk on long journeys!

  8. The video certainly gives a better representation than photos would’ve! I spent a couple of weeks walking around Sutherland in September, mainly west of here though. I also had some interesting weather and fun with bogs (I believe you guys just call them moors!), although was lucky to have dry weather for the last week, so much easier walking. I loved it up there, so thanks a lot for taking me back there with this video. It’s also great to see Reuben out hiking with you. I would’ve loved to take my dog with me.

    • Hi Helen. Great to hear that you had a great time in Sutherland, an excellent area to spend a couple of weeks walking. I’m sure that your dog would have loved the hills, I have to say that mine was not too impressed with the wind and rain though!

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