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" Scotland - 5 - The journey to Gairloch "
Date & start time: Friday, 23rd September 2016.
Location of Start : Toscaig, Applecross. ( NG 714 390 )
Stayed at : Rubha Reidh Lighthouse, Gairloch . Scotland, UK.
Places visited : Applecross, Sheildaig, Kinlochewe, Gairloch Heritage Centre.
Walk details : A drive north to our next holiday location.
With : Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Overcast to start but going downhill fast.
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A week self-catering in Toscaig on the Applecross peninsula has drawn to a close
but rather than return home we have taken the opportunity to spend a few extra days
at the lighthouse complex at the tip of the Gairloch peninsula.
To get there we take a seventy mile drive north around the coast of western Scotland.
Saying goodbye to Toscaig and Camusterrach Bay.
Here we had seen the seals in the harbour and the otter on Airde Baine Bay across the headland.
A quick photo of Milton slipway as we head round Applecross Bay.
These two harbour sheds probably hold a wealth of memories for local fishermen and families.
Passing Sands Bay that we visited earlier in the week.
The building is the naval survey station concerned with sonar testing in the Inner Minch.
The tarmac road from Applecross was only built to this location in approximately 1974.
The remainder of this coastal road around the northern end of Applecross peninsula was not completed until 1976.
Ahead are the hamlets of Lonbain and Callakille.
The fields show evidence of strip farming and "lazy beds" where crops would have been grown.
Now the area is only used for grazing sheep and cattle.
Loweswatercam viewer Margaret Barrett, who sent me a photo of herself cycling the Bealach na Bà,
also included these two pictures, one of the youth hostel at Lonbain and another of the track we are on before it was widened into a road.
Many thanks Margaret for sending them so promptly.
One of the old croft houses now apparently abandoned.
Classic Highland cattle on the side of the road.
A close encounter of the first kind . . . except it isn't an UFO.
Up to the north of the peninsula then turn right at the hamlet of Fearnmore . . . before you fall into the sea.
Around the corner . . . with the prospect of the Torridon Hills ahead across the expanse of Lower Loch Torridon.
The village of Kenmore looking across to Lower Diabaig as we head inland.
Looking across the head of Loch Sheildaig at the village that gives its name to the area.
This is a side branch of the sea, the Upper Loch Torridon continues inland behind the village headland.
Bird watchers seated on the seafront of Sheildaig Village.
It was getting a little cooler by this stage, hence the warm coats.
For one moment I had a vision of a salmon in a tin with a Dracula-type steak driven through its heart !
Reality was a lot more normal.
Here we are at a viewpoint just after the village admiring the sea out to the west.
It was lunchtime with coffee . . . courtesy of a flask of hot water prepared before we left Toscaig this morning.
Looking across Upper Loch Torridon to the Munro mountains of Beinn Alligin on the left and Beinn Dearg on the centre right.
The stony summit of Sgurr Dubh ahead . . .
. . . and the white quartz-like summit of Beinn Eighe on the left, as we head towards Kinlochewe.
We stopped to admire the classic view back to Liathach,
now seen as a sharp ridge along the side of Glen Torridon.
Round the corner after filling with fuel at Kinlochewe, Beinn Eighe now assumes a totally different shape.
In this part of the world filling stations are few and far between.
Our road passes alongside Loch Maree with another famous mountain, Slioch, on the opposite side.
The weather has deteriorated to the point of having to get the waterproofs out to take this picture of the Gairloch Heritage Museum
Inside the museum the exhibits are well displayed and well explained.
Then it was the final mile or so along the rather narrow road.
to our next destination . . . the Rubha Reidh lighthouse.
We arrive at the same time as another heavy rain shower.
It is tough on the non-driver as there are two gates !
Very kindly the owners had seen us arrive and had come out to help Ann open the gate.
At night the light shone out over the Minch
and would be visible for 28 miles up and down the shipping channel.
Rhu Reidh Lighthouse now flashes four times every fifteen seconds.
Hold your cursor over the picture to see the rotation if you can . . . sorry it was too dark for video !
The weather seems to be getting worse once again . . . time to head back inside before the camera gets even wetter !
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's new Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 Compact System Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . gales and rain to add atmosphere !
Previous walk - 20th - 22nd September 4. Sands and local
A previous time in the area - 8th to 18th May 2015 - Durness and Northern Scotland
Next walk - 24th September - Flowerdale Walk and Sunset