The worst bit was where a convoy system was in operation, with long tails of traffic following a ditzy little vehicle at a very sedate 30mph. Still, once we've crested the last hill, the view down to the Moray Firth opens up and it is so spectacular it always makes up for any delays. I didn’t take pictures because I was driving, and anyway we were dithering about stopping for petrol. As it happened, we didn't and I continued on across the spectacular bridge where the Moray Firth becomes the Beauly Firth, and took the A835 to Maryburgh and on through the soft green fields to the wooded hillsides of Garve.
Somewhere here we changed drivers again, and it’s at this point that the land starts to rise through the forests and the bulk of Ben Wyvis looms ahead and then falls behind us. The railway line follows the road at this point, but it soon branches off down the Strath Ban to Achnasheen and on to Kyle of Lochalsh while we take the right fork towards Ullapool. For a while the land is bleak and barren, though at this time of year the land is covered with the rich golden brown of bracken and heather. The contrast of such colour against the blue sky is wonderful.
Ahead the mountains are rising. Excitement rises with them.