Sunday, 24 July 2011

Weekend in Beauly

We had a trip to Beauly on Saturday and a walk in Glen Affric in the afternoon. Below is the Glen Affric Lodge estate.
The river running out of Loch Affric

And looking west into the Glen
More of the river

Climbing on Friday

Lovely day and Andrew invites me out for some local climbing, only a couple of miles from home and a crag known as Aztec tower. Here is the view from the foot of the crag looking back to Gairloch and the sea.

As I'm new to this Andrew goes first to put in the protection, I go second and take it all out as I climb past it. First climb set ready for me to go up.
At the bottom of our third climb, it will be my hardest yet, glad I go second, can't see many good hand or foot holds here.
Ready to go again, my first HVS  (hard very severe), not really that hard in climbing terms these days, but I would not want to do anything harder until I'm more experienced.

The top, just need to abseil to the bottom again. A grand afternoon out and so near to home.

Friday, 22 July 2011

The Tall Ships come to Ullapool

Last Saturday we drove to Ullapool after Margot had finished work and mingled with the large crowds who had also come to see the tall ships pass through. We had a few big storms, rainbows and a nice chippy tea.
If you enlarge this pic, look at the crew draped over the ?crossbars? of the masts, colour co-ordinated with the flag at the back.

Last few days of Hols

Excellent weather, we got a tan and had an air display right of the tent

We had a last day on the island of Berneray which is now linked to Uist by a causeway, it rained for the first half of the walk but then the sun came out and we had huge white beaches and more machair. If we had stayed another day we could have run the Berneray 10k race. Last night back at the B&B we used earlier then a ferry to Skye and home by 6pm. Holiday over but who minds when you also live in such a wonderful place anyway,

Off to Uist

After our first week we got the ferry to Berneray then drove south to North Uist.

Our last night on Harris saw some good rainbows.

After a night in a B&B we arrived early at our 2nd campsite the Morecroft was lovely and we had a prime spec by the beach

On our first walk in Uist we saw a mother and baby seal.
We saw lots of wild flower on the sandy meadows, its known as the Machair and white sandy beaches.

And a lovely old graveyard

More St Kilda

Busy week and both working again this last week, so finally more blog. Below is a local resident of St Kilda a Soay Sheep, more goat than sheep and not too bothered by humans.

Below is the bay with the 3 boat waiting to take us home to Harris, on boat had come to collect several BBC reporters who had been there several days making a programme for BBC Scotland radio, we heard it several days later
The trip home was very impressive as we visited the island of Boreray and its 3 sea stacks.

There were lots of birds about, the sky was full of Gannet's and the sea full of Puffin                            

Saturday, 16 July 2011

On St Kilda

We had about 4 hours on the island, below are the old stones walls and enclosures, the last people left the island in 1930. The army have used the island since 1958 and have a small base there to this day.
Such a lovely day, the island of Boreray in the distance about 4 miles away
Most of the island is surrounded by steep cliffs, don't go too near the edge !

The old village of traditional Victorian houses that could not survive the weather, the roofs doors and windows just got blown in. The old blackhouses that existed before were better suited to the winter storms even if they were very primitive.

Off to St Kilda

Our focus for the trip was to go to St Kilda, the weather forecast for Thur was good so the trip was good to go. Two boats make the trip several times a week if the sea safe, its 50 miles in the Atlantic and takes 3-4 hours. You feel very small in such a big rough sea.
St Kilda comes into view, with its own cloud, still over an hour to go.
As we head for the bay a large sea arch can be seen
To get ashore we all had to be taken in a small inflatable, this is to stop rats getting on the the island and causing problems for the large seabirds breeding areas.

Off to Harris

On Mon 4th July we set off the Western Isles. Our first port of call was Harris and a campsite called the Lickisto Blackhouse, it was on the Golden Road on the East side of the island. The CalMac ferry sailed from  Uig on Skye and we had a great view of the Cullin Hill (above).
We set up camp and enjoyed the view over the sea loch
Even at 11pm we still had a lovely view.

We walked up Toe Head, the 2 hills in the distance, the sea was so clear and the beach almost white.