The relationship between the cliff top and the sea has always fascinated me. The space that divides the two is somewhere we rarely venture. I’m not a rock climber and even then you’re still grounded, all be it to a near vertical incline.
We woke to rain, nothing unusual about that, but the van wasn’t shaking and it just felt stiller. Looking out to Handa was just too much, we had planned to move back south today but being opposite the island and now with the possibility that today the boat just might run, we had to give it one last shot. We could move down south a little quicker it was a chance we had to take. It had even stopped raining!
We knew that Handa was a ‘no goer’ today but we still went down to Tarbet where the boat leaves from in more hope than anticipation. Met the boatman coming back in his van, “not a chance today, tomorrow not looking good either”
Leaving Ullapool we travelled up to Scourie and another impressive site, one I’d not stayed on before. You couldn’t really get much closer to the sea here and overlooking Handa, which was to be our last hope of visiting a single off shore island on this journey to Scotland.
We then started the return journey back towards Ullapool and again the weather closed in but was so blustery there was a chance that we could get the odd break in the clouds before the next downpour.
Ardmair was to be our base for the next couple of nights. The last paragraph of my diary entry for our first day sums up what was to be another long but ultimately rewarding day,
…so all in all saw a great sunrise, a magnificent sunset and 16 hours in between which gave very occasional glimpses of the sublime.
Much of my work over the years has been coastal, it’s somewhere were so much is going on; so many processes and changes, it’s continual and in constant flux and has the capacity to take you into a different space and time.
The hour and a half Brendan and I spent on the beach with the tide pushing us back towards the cliffs took me back to my work at Druidston in Pembrokeshire (more posts to follow).
I’ve always been an avid collector of books and despite now owning a Kindle (they do have some advantages), I’ll keep collecting. You commune with books, they become part of you and immersion within them is an experience that is at times intensely personal.
There’s always a highlight to a trip like this and we were about to experience it here. Very heavy pulsing showers had accompanied us up from Kinlochewe and continued into the late afternoon when we arrived at Firemore.
This set of images takes us from Sheil Bridge to Kinlochewe. We briefly touched Skye on this journey crossing on the Kylerhea ferry. Again we had some appalling weather but it cleared for an hour at the very end of the day and Beinn Eighe slowly showed itself.
The next series of posts will all be about time we spent in Scotland during may of last year (2011) We had chosen to visit the high North West in May for a number of reasons.It’s generally reckoned to be midgeless, quiet, good for birds and wildlife and the most favourable time for weather that gives a clarity of light with fine visibility. On all those counts it never delivered. Birds were few and far between, in two weeks we didn’t see a single deer let alone anything else in the mammal line, the midges showed up earlier than usual and visibility was, on the whole, very poor! The Met Office weather summary for the time we were up in Scotland says it all.