Monday, 24 November 2014

A road trip to beat all road trips.


This really was a road trip to beat all road trips visiting the Cuillins of Skye, then over the Skye Bridge and on to the mainland before taking part of the Wester Ross Coastal Trail to Loch Maree, my home for three nights.

There isn't much point in me describing it in too much detail as the names and places will mean absolutely nothing to most people, I'll just let the photos do the talking for the most part.

A few highlights on the way though were the stunning views over Loch Carron as I climbed out of the Kyle of Lochalsh.

Then it was up the Beallach na Ba (The Pass of the Cattle) at 2,054 ft which must be the closest thing in Britain to an Alpine pass. There were plenty of laybys where you could pull over and admire the view if you wanted to - and believe me, I wanted to! From the summit (which is rather a disappointmant) I made a  more leisurely descent to Applecross where the landscape opened out to give fantastic views westwards to the Isle of Skye. Applecross itself was a delight as well.

The narrow road then followed the coast before going overland to join the main A road coming up from Kyle at the coastal village of Sheildaig. A stop for a leg stretch and a pint and then it was on to Torridon. The first view you get of the Torridon Hills and Upper Loch Torridon really does take the breath away and it's a view that once seen, you will never forget. I've just realised I haven't included any photos of this view in this blog; they will be in the next one so you will just have to take my word for it for the time being. There were many stops for photos and midge attacks in Glen Torridon.

Torridon is the most wonderful, if at times overpowering place. 

So then it was on to Loch Maree, again another beautiful stretch of water with the munros of Beinn Eighe (pronounced Ben Ee) on one side of the Loch and Slioch (pronounced Shleeok) on the other side before finally arriving at my hotel which couldn't have been better placed, being slap bang on the shore of the Loch.

To cap off a tremendous day, I was rewarded with the most beautiful of sunsets. I felt truly blessed...

Loch Carron

Wester Ross Coastal Trail

Achintraid, Loch Kishorn

Beallach na Ba

Beallach na Ba

Beallach na Ba

Applecross

Skye from Applecross

Upper Loch Torridon

Upper Loch Torridon

Upper Loch Torridon

Loch Maree

Loch Maree

Slioch

Loch Maree

Victoria Falls

View from Loch Maree Hotel

Sunset, Loch Maree

Sunset, Loch Maree

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...