There is a song called 'Grannie's Heilan Hame' translated into English for those not in the know as 'Grannies Highland Home' which speaks of a wee hoose in the Heilands where two little boys used to go on holiday. The writer must have known people would be drawn here for one reason or another. Grannies was our first holiday together in the first flush of youth and romance. This was way back in the early 70's and was a lot of fun but not in the luxury of the now giant static caravans and all the inhouse entertainment this place provides today. Our caravan then could best be described as an upside down loaf tin with no heating and gas mantles for lighting - I don't remember too much but do remember the many bruises I received due to the cramped conditions and the visiting hens when we left the door open in the mornings. Nostalgia tasted sweet on our return as we re lived the memories of the not so sunny skies from the previous trip but warm sunshine awaited our long return.
In 1956 the two chambered burial cairn was excavated because the landowner wanted to make a car park. Because it was such an interesting site, the cairn is now still there, in the car park. It was a small irregular , almost innocuous, site , a turf and sand covered oval mound.
On excavation there was found to be cist burial, one at southern end and the other central . Nine cremations were buried there . A food vessel and fragments of a bronze razor and blade were uncovered.
At present only the central chamber and capstone survive.
You would wonder what took ancient people to such a bleak remote spot.
still, it's interesting to see and free.
Embo is just a tiny hamlet with little or no choice for places to eat so we decided to take a break at Boston House and have a drink and a seat outside in the sunshine. It was late afternoon and we had already had lunch in Dornoch so decided on afternoon tea.
Favorite Dish: Our afternoon tea consisted of a round of sandwiches, scones with butter and jam and of course tea but coffee was offered as an option. The service was good with friendly waiters. I did have a look at their main menu which seemed to cater for all tastes including a good choice of vegetarian meals and kiddy meals too.
I well remember trying to buy some milk in Embo on a Sunday Morning way back in the 1970's We went to the little shop at Grannies Caravan Site, then just a little wooden shed which sold a meagre variety of food items but they had sold out of milk. We then took the short journey into the village and tried Mackay's Shop, which incidentally is still there. Surprisingly for the Highlands it was open. No matter how hard we tried to buy the milk which we could clearly see displayed beyond the counter we were met with the same answer 'Go to Grannies' the shop keeper rarely lifted his head from the newspaper he was reading but did explain he was not allowed to sell perishable goods on a Sunday. He further expained we could buy shoe laces, boot polish and newspapers - none of which you could add to your cornflakes!! I'm pleased to add the Costcutter is now fully stocked seven days a week and yes fresh milk is available daily.
What to buy: Any every day groceries are now available :) but we didn't see any shoe cleaning stuff of laces!
What to pay: Prices are on a par with other small supermarkets with no hike in prices.
I'm always interested to see where towns, cities and villages are twinned with. It came as a pleasant surprise to find tiny little Embo twinned with anywhere! On entering the village we saw a sign post declaring Embo twinned with Kaunakakai, a little place in the Hawaiian Islands. I don't suppose for one moment these two places have a lot in common but I would say they do share blue skies, blue sea and golden sands - three perfect pointers to a picturesque place to visit. We didn't see any Hawaiin influences such as grass skirts or flower garlands but I'm sure the Islands would welcome the sight of Cuileann running free, ears flapping in the breeze enjoying the golden sands both places share happily
Favorite thing: We passed the sales office during our walk around here and were stopped in our tracks and nearly left speechless. The price ticket in the window of the new static caravan - or as the Park owners like to call them 'holiday home', was a staggering £36,995. Bearing in mind the park is only open from March until October even renting it out would bring little return on your money. I just couldn't imagine spending this much on a caravan and I did a little daydreaming of how far this amount of money could take us.