Saturday, December 29, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
It seems a little strange to be thinking about the summer, while the wind buffets the house and freezing rain lashes at the windows...nevertheless, now that winter is here, the time has come for the summer blog!
This year, we decided to go to Scotland...
Leaving the house, dogs and Piggy in the capable hands of Gwyn, we picked Ben up from his last exam, and started the drive up. We stopped at Mathrown of Mabbe near Dumphries and Galloway, and stayed at a wonderful converted outdoor centre...the complex of which included several bunkhouses, a tee-pee, a campsite and a huge yurt. And also a wood-fired hot-tub...great for getting away from the midgies in the evening. We stayed there two nights, before carrying on with our journey.
Mathrown of Mabbe
Cuaig Croft (Top right)
It was an idyllic location, with views of Rhona, and the isle of Skye in the distance. There was a small, hidden (and very cold) bay five minutes walk down from the house, where we were told Otters were frequently seen... paw-prints were as close as we got.
Traversing round the coast from Cuaig bay.
View of Torridon.
Beinn Dearg in the background.
The next day, we went for a few gentle walks near Applecross. Here visiting Ardban..
Clear water with views of Rhona in the distance.
On the same day we also visited the walled-garden in Applecross: an oasis of colour...
Mum with the ferns
There were numerous bogs in the heathland around Cuaig, which were all dried-up and crisp. They were dotted with half-submerged ancient tree-roots...some of which were too irresistible to leave...
...much to dad's annoyance!
Our next stop was a campsite at Old Shore Moor.
We stayed one night, and the next day walked down to Sandwood bay.
On the ferry to Orkney, passing the Old Man of Hoy.
Ben and I then headed off to Kirkwall where we caught a small plane to North Ronaldsay (to be joined a couple of days later by mum and dad, who, in the meanwhile, explored mainland Orkney by bike, and then Hoy on foot)
We spent the next couple of days exploring the island...rock-hopping and walking around the coast. This was quite a hazardous occupation, as we had to be wary of fulmars, which lurked around each corner, threatening to throw up on anyone who got too close. We were also dived on by terns, and bombed by alarmingly close Bonxies!
North Ron Lighthouse.
One of our reasons for visiting North Ron was to see Rich.E, a previous observatory assistant here on Enlli.
The inhabitants of the island included some rather scratty looking sheep...who spent their time wandering back and forth along the rocks on the coast.
And so our time in Scotland drew to a close, and we drove through the night to catch the boat back home to Enlli the following day :)