In most parts of the UK saying that you're just popping out to the supermarket means a quick drive or a walk to the nearest supermarket, and nipping back to collect something you've forgotten isn't a big deal.  Alternatively it may involve "popping online" and ordering your weeks supplies and the biggest inconvenience is having to wait in for delivery.  But in large swathes of the Highlands stocking up on groceries takes a bit more planning.  Today was grocery shopping day, and our choice of destination for our "big shop" is Tain, over in Easter Ross.  We do quite a bit of our shopping in Lochinver at the independent butcher and the local Spar and Costcutter, but from time to time we head off to a larger centre for the bigger items that you need to run a household.  Today we were blessed with absolutely gorgeous weather all the way there and back, so we had sights like this along the way:


The view from the supermarket car park is probably up for a "best supermarket view" award - it looks out over the Dornoch Firth and towards the North Sea:


We try to cram everything in to our visit, so as we don't have to come across too often.  So a visit to Tain usually includes a visit to the chemist for store cupboard medicines, a trip to the vet to top up with supplies, hardware shop, horse supply shop - not because we have horses, but they stock the bedding we use for the hens, 2 supermarkets, and a wee independent shop which stocks the dogs favourite treats.  After all that we head home.  Today we had the luxury of a stop in Balblair Forest for fresh crusty rolls and cold meat:


After we leave the main Bonar Bridge to Lairg road we head onto single track for 25 miles, passing scenery like this:

[caption id="attachment_7654" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Oykel River Glen Oykel[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_7655" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Mile after mile of single track Mile after mile of single track[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_7656" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Oykel River Oykel River[/caption]

Until eventually we see the iconic symbol of Assynt, Suilven:


and Loch Assynt stretches out towards the coast:


Then it is home, unpack, and .......


A 7 hour, 150 mile round trip.  And yes, we always forget something!