Knoydart, Knapdale and the Northwest
Last week I indulged in an extremely risky activity - I allocated a week's precious annual leave to holiday in Scotland in October. The gamble paid off; my week coincided with something of an Indian summer. The photos accompanying this post give a flavour of the highlights.................
The week kicked off with trip to Glen Pean for a bothy weekend. This leaves Kinbreak as my only outstanding Knoydart bothy. It was a fine weekend, echoing a similar trip last year, only this time round all of us had abandoned young families and the morning lie ins were that much sweeter as a result.
On leaving the bothy I made directly for Kintyre to meet up with my own family. We took a trip to Knapdale in an attempt to seek out another young family; I was aware from the excellent beaver blog that some of the recently re-introduced beavers have produced kits this season. We didn't spot any but were very impressed by the huge dam they have built (below). I'll definitely be back in the hope of clapping eyes on the beasts themselves.
This photo of pounding sea and perching shags was taken during a stroll round the Coves near Kilberry Head. I can't quite bring myself to take advantage of the opportunity for double entendres provided by this unlikely combination of beaver and shags, feel free however to add your own as comments below.
The paps the paps are calling me.......... The paps of Jura from near Kilberry.
The Islay ferry from the same vantage point. I have started plotting an adventure that will take full advantage of the presence of willing babysitters a stone's throw from the ferry terminal at Kennacraig. Watch this space!
The icing on the holiday cake came on the last day. I returned home slightly ahead of family and livestock and on finding a fine forecast for the Sunday I headed for An Teallach. (the photo shows the view over Strath na Sealga to Beinn Dearg Mor with the Fisherfield and Torridon Munros beyond).
Despite living very close to this fine peak I'd never climbed it before. There is some fine airy scrambling to be had on the ridge which renders it a poor choice for dogs. Many's the time I have planned to bag it, but finding myself unable to leave my four-legged friend behind, I've changed plans and tackled more canine friendly hills instead. My fisherfield trip earlier in the year was dog-free specifically because I intended to tackle An Teallach on the last day, but when it came to it I couldn't muster the energy to take on the pinnacles while carrying a heavy sack. It was, therefore, unfinished business. With a distinct chill in the air it felt like it may have provided a fitting end to the summer season.