We headed west from Loch Ness and found
a nice B&B in Inverinate on Loch Duich.
The next day we continued
westwards on our way to Gairloch and the west
coast. The sun was
showing signs of coming out of the still heavy clouds and we could even
begin to see shadows. In the morning,
we visited Eilean Donan castle (pron.Ellen
Donan) which was a
more than a ruin. It had been wonderfully fixed up with furniture and
the kitchen and dairy room were populated with eerily life-like wax
figures representing the numerous kitchen staff, viewed as busy tending
to their various tasks. The whole stage set was pretty amazing. The
very old bridge leading out to the castle was a monument in itself.
Donan castle from far away and from close up.
trip was not, however, going to be a castle visiting tour. We
more intrested in the natural beauty of the Highlands, its prehistoric
monuments and the multitude of 'lochan' (= not just lake but also
inlets) along the western coast.
After Eilean Donan we followed the
beautiful Plockton on Loch Carron. We had a leisurely lunch from
a take-out food place called Grumpy (where you were told you were
usually served with a smile) and had a long chat with a very nice
The sun was all out now and it was
to be with us for the rest of the week, alternating with
We decided to make a beautiful
side trip to a much visited mountain pass. "The
road passes the infamous Bealach-na-Ba or
'Cattle Pass', at a height of 629 metres." (from Highlights
"The road from Tornapress (on
the A896, north of Kyle
of Lochalsh) to
Applecross is most
dramatic, with steep gradients up to 20% and
turns like those in the Alps." (from Highlights
of Scotland )
you can guess from the pictures, we
fell in love with the place and had a hard time tearing ourselves away
from the gorgeous Bealach na Ba cattle pass.
We drove north again from Tornapress along the
gorgeous valley of Glen Shieldaig. We arrived in Shieldaig
on the Loch in the evening and were lucky to find a friendly and
comfortable atmosphere at
the Rivendell Guesthouse, and even a good dinner that evening. I had my
fill of big shrimp (scampi) in their shells. You eat them in about the
same way as we eat crayfish in Sweden, with your fingers - and not to
worry about the way it looks.
Shieldaig on Loch Shieldaig
The next day we continue north
along beautiful Glen Torridon
and then westerly along the Loch
Maree towards our first three-day goal, Gairloch.
short walk from the Beinn Eighe (pron. Ben Ay) National Nature Reserve
takes us on a
round trip - where we first realize that there are oodles of different
varieties of heather.
"Two walks on Beinn Eighe, with
stunning views of Loch Maree and Slioch. Both trails are on good paths, so stout
shoes or boots are adequate for these walks." ...
"Beinn Eighe Woodland Trail: This walk takes you through one of the
most important nature conservation areas in Britain. It was established
by the Nature Conservancy Council to help preserve the natural
Caledonian pine woodland on the south-west shore of Loch Maree. The
path is a circular one, with a viewpoint overlooking Loch Maree, Slioch
and the Letterewe oakwoods."(Walking in Scotland)
Mount Slioch seen
across Loch Maree, with the gnarled Scots pines on the south bank of
the loch in the foreground.
|A view of
beautiful Loch Maree from the edge
lake, across from the 'Visitor Centre'. The south slope of Mount Slioch
and Beinn a' Mhuinidh
in the background.
Siv is resting down by the lake.
And here we are arriving in
on Loch Gairloch.
We got to the house where we had reserved a room, up the hill from the main street. The
most wonderfully nice lady greeeted us. She showed us around and told
us we would be welcome to have a cup of tea in the living room after we
had gotten installed in our room.
What a welcome! That's a B&B for you!
Next - Part 2
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