Monday, 4 May 2009

Beinn Eighe

Yesterday, we went to Beinn Eighe.
As the crow flies (the black splotches are crows flying!) it isn't very far from where we are, but, being in the highlands, all journeys, (unless you're a crow) start in the wrong direction and involve a lengthy drive going the other way. Ten minutes if you're a crow, one and a half hours if you're not. But it's well worth a visit.  Beinn Eighe, A National Nature Reserve  
is situated just outside Kinlochewe. It has a visitor centre and two remarkable very well maintained trails. The woodland trail and the mountain trail. Both the walks pass through the remains of the great Caledonian forest. The Scotch Pines are of an outstanding beauty.
 
          We'd done the woodland trail some years ago, this time we opted for the mountain trail. It's a four mile route that climbs 1800 feet
      We had a lot of this on the way up! But sometimes the rain is a plus and combined with the sun produced the most amazing light and colours  
 
We climbed and
we climbed
and eventually, left the trees behind.
 
  But even here among the rocks there was colour. Rocks covered in vivid pinks and greens. The rocks were quartzite, but I read in my little pamphlet that the landscape  is also made up of  Lewisian gneiss (very very old) and Torridonian sandstone (just very old) The rocks provided shelter for tiny plants
Which way?
This wasn't quite at the summit, but here we noticed
the next dollop of weather coming along about to drop on us! At this point I put the camera away. My hands were too numb to use it. I'd foolishly left my jacket at home. The rain turned to sleet, I put my head down and  marched (to keep warm) to the top!
 Talking of heads! On the descent, Niel's head made a perfect way marker! I saw it from time to time, bobbing up and down in and out of the rainbows.
I don't know what he's got to look so wet and  miserable about - one of us isn't wearing a jacket!
 Intermittently the sun shone and the light and colour was spectacular
 The loch turned navy
and the newness and freshness of spring
shimmered and sparkled
"Look at us in our spring finery!" they seemed to say
It was difficult to know where to point the camera
everywhere was a photo opportunity. Another amazing bit of the highlands. It's all too easy to roll off  reams of superlatives when talking about the west coast of Scotland, but there is no doubt that the quality of light combined with the stunning scenery here is perfection for photographers, and artists.
And after the walk? A warm up in the car with a hot drink and a Tunnock. We steamed up the windows! It was a great end to an incredibly beautiful wet and sunny walk.

5 comments:

Diane said...

Fantastic! Hope you are dry now!
Di. x

annie hoff said...

Yes thanks Diane! Fancy forgetting my jacket!

Jackie said...

Thank you for taking us on the walk with you and sharing the wonderful scenery and colours.

Jackie.

Susan said...

Stunning is exactly the right word for these photos! I love your Scottish Highlands. What a lovely hike you had, even if you did leave your jacket behind. We are a family of hikers, too, and we spend much time in beautiful mountainous areas here in Oregon and the western United States.

annie hoff said...

It was a lovely walk (even without a jacket!) The scenery is breath taking and at times quite humbling. You realise how small and insignificant you are - mountains put things in to perspective, if that makes sense!

Susan I've been reading and enjoying your blog. Do you have an email address?

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