Day Seven – Fixing Ruby/Torridon Inn

As you can guess, being required to spend time outside fixing Ruby, the lovely Scottish weather that we had enjoyed the day before abandoned me. And so I moved the van onto a piece of tarmac in the hope that it would be dryer… It really wasn’t!!

We have decided to remove the part of pipe that had cracked, and re-insert it into the cooling system shortly after the engine, rending the front heater system useless. Well it didn’t actually render it useless, as it would of actually had to work to begin with. We had brought a few tools with us, and decided to try and use our mini soldering iron/blow torch, to heat up and remove the pipe. We would then undo some jubilee clips that connected the engine to the piping that led to the heater matrix located at the front of the van. Nice a simple right? NO! There were two reasons why I couldn’t remove the pipe. I have obviously mentioned that it was wet, but being so close to a loch meant that it was also pretty windy, and so every time I turned the blow torch on, a shard wind hastily blow it back out again. What made the task even harder was that there was still some coolant in the pipe and so I really would have needed to get the joint incredibly hot. Being stubborn, I carried on lying on my back, in the cold, wet, windy day and tried desperately to heat the joint enough to separate it. After an additional five minutes of failure, we moved on to Plan B – Hack saw! I ventured off down the road in search of a tool that would do the job. Two minutes in, I came to a house, and as luck would have it, the elderly couple who lived there were in (and slightly confused by this strange soggy brummy who was asking for a hack saw). After a quick search of his shed, the man who I would later find out was called Albert Campbell return with just the tool. So I toddled back up the road and set off hacking at Ruby’s cooling system. Plan B worked a treat and thirty minutes later I was walking back down the road, still soggy, but beaming with my achievement. After a long chat with Albert, who spent a long time telling me of his enjoyment of living in Skye, I set off and we were back on the road.

With the morning lost to the repair and the afternoon weather still as horrid as the morning, we made the decision to head back inland to Torridon, where we would spend the rest of the evening looking for a warm bar/restaurant to see off the rest of the miserable day.

On the drive back inland, just before leaving Skye we drove past another bay window van that was heading into Skye. Annoyingly I didn’t spot it in time to take a picture. But that is now two classic VW’s that we have seen.

Arriving in Torridon, we popped into the local store for some more supplies. There we was a flier for a Scottish folk band who were playing in the local Torridon Hotel. With the potential of live music, and some nice food and drink we popped in and asked if we could stay overnight in there car park, so long as we spent money in the restaurant. Fortunately this was fine, and so we settled down to a nice evening spent in the company of others.

We ordered the two vegetarian mains which were a potato gnocchi, and macaroni and cheese. Both meals were slightly underwhelming considering the venue and the price. The hotel did make amends with a large variety of whiskey to sample.

When the band had finished playing, we walked back to the van and called it a night. Considering we were in what I believed to be a fairly sheltered car park, sleeping that night was almost impossible due to high winds that battered the van for most of the night. We were both looking forward getting back on track tomorrow, with a nice walk that promised castle ruins. We would then make our way to Applecross, weather permitting.

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