Saturday, 10 October 2015

Going Home

This song by Runrig seems to sum up my feelings and emotions perfectly when I visit the far North West of Scotland and The Isle of Skye. I have just spent a few days in that area, staying at The Loch Maree Hotel for three nights and then two in Portree at the Rosedale Hotel.

In the distance, day was dawning
Comes to me the early morning
Something tells me that I'm going home

The brand new sun shining bright
From the darkness fields of light
Something tells me that I'm going home

Going home when the summer's coming in
And the moonlight on the river
Shows me where I've been

Soft, the rain is gently falling
Lightly cross the city morning
I get the feeling that I'm going home

Across the moorlands, past the mountains
O'er the rivers, beside the new streams
Something tells me that I'm going home

Going home when the summer's coming in
And the moonlight on the river
Shows me where I've been

As the train is rolling nearer
Ah, the feeling just to be there
Something tells me that I'm going home

Now the skylines reach my eyes
The ridge stands out in highland skies
I just can't believe I'm going home

Rory MacDonald,  Calum MacDonald.

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As soon as I turned off on to the Wester Ross Coastal Route I got the sense that I was entering a somewhat special land. I broke this section in two drives. The first part went round Loch Carron and over the Beallach na Ba to Applecross before taking the coastal road to Torridon and then Loch Maree.

After my long drive up, I didn't venture far on my first day. I kept to the local coast, visiting Gairloch, Red Point Bay, Melvaig and the beach at Mellom Uldrigle. The day started of beautifully but the showers soon came in off the Atlantic and I was drenched a couple of times. Once you get wet, it doesn't really matter if you get wet again. That's how I look at it anyway. Between the showers I managed to take some decent photographs for this blog.

My second day carried on up the Coastal route up to Ullapool. The weather was overcast so, as usual, I didn't see much of An Tealloch and surrounding hills. At Ullapool it had started to clear out which made the drive in to the Coigach peninsula quite spectacular. I like the way all the hills are spread apart and stand alone up here. You really get the feeling that you are in a wilderness.

My route eventually took me to the coast. No visit to these parts would be complete with out a stop and walk at Achnahaird Bay which is absolutely fabulous. Then it was back in land for a short while before hitting the coast again at Polnish where I got a stunning vista of the Summer Isles. This view never fails to excite. My last port of call was the beautiful Achiltibuie Bay. As the day was so clear, I could see right down to the Torridon Hills. I sat there in isolation for ages just admiring the beauty of the view.

The next day it was over the bridge to Skye. I had been lucky with the weather so far, I'd had a few showers but they can add to a photograph. My time on Skye was a rather gloomy time with blanket cloud. I twice spend ages waiting for some decent light at Sligachan before I got a five minute break in the clouds! I also turned around on the road to Elgol as I could see that it would be a wasted journey. However I always make the best of things and went round the north coast of the island to Uig and The Skye Brewery and followed that up with a visit to The Stein Inn on Watternish. Without doubt it's the best pub on Skye by a country mile.

The next day was a very long drive back down to Penrith where I had an overnight stay before heading home and to work. Despite the drab weather on Skye, I did have a very enjoyable week away.

The Buachaille Etive Mor
Morven

Loch Linnhe

Morven

Loch Linnhe

Onich

Glen Coe from Onich

Eilean Donan Castle

Torridon Hills.

Torridon Hills

Upper Loch Torridon

Upper Loch Torridon

Upper Loch Torridon

Slioch and Loch Maree

Loch Maree

Loch Maree

Mellon Uldrigle, Werster Ross

Mellon Uldrigle, Werster Ross

Melvaig

Red Point Bay

Sheildaig, Gairloch

Sheildaig, Gairloch

Badachro
Sheildaig.

Melvaig

Mellon Uldrigle, Wester Ross

Stac Pollaidh

Achnahaird Bay, Coigach

Achnahaird Bay, Coigach

Achnahaird Bay

Loch Osgaig, Coigash

Rush Hour, Coigach.

The Summer Isles

Achnahaird Bay, Coigach

Achnahaird Bay, Coigach

Loch Osgaig, Coigash

Loch Osgaig, Coigash

Achiltibuie Bay, Coigash

Loch Cill Chriosd, Isle of Skye

Loch Cill Chriosd, Isle of Skye

Sgurr Nan Gillian, Isle of Skye.

Sunrise, Portree

The Sound of Raasay

Loch Fada and The Storr


Glen Garry.





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