25 March 2011

Methinks they doth...

Welcoming committee

 As I cross the Caledonian Canal - I wonder if these guardians of the north are placed there by the local tourist board

That's the great glen fault that is

Road to Applecross (road was open, Applecross was shut)

Something makes me think they don't want me to take Bealach na Bà 

No worries!

View from the top of Bealach na Bà looking toward Raasay and Skye (apparently!)

It is very wild country, stopping for a leak behind a... no bushes, no trees, I was joined by a pair of either Golden or Sea Eagles - being backlit in photo and through binoculars I can't be sure - either way a first for me

I got out and checked - they are not staked down or otherwise constrained to stand guard at the edge of the village

Proper view over to Raasay and Skye
Near Torridon - approaching the Caledonian Pine Forest

There is a walk up into the mountains - but that will have to wait until later in the year and for better weather - these are serious hills (check out the photo)

  It might be native vegetation - but not much fun to run through. 
Beinn Eighe is Britains oldest nature reserve - there is a visitor centre but it does not open until April!

The Old Inn, Gairloch
At last I get to speak with some locals - apart from the checkout at Morrissons Dumbarton I have not met any Scots.  I have met folks who have settled in Scotland from Southampton, Warsaw, Norwich, Birmingham, Manchester, Bulgaria, Gdansk but no natives.  There is much building going on - andeven  most of these folks are from south of the border - but there was a "Wester Ross Man" in the bar - a car mechanic/fisherman - problem was we did not seem have any language in common.

The restaurant has won many awards (the linked page looks great) but now the owner is an absentee, "Head Chef Chris Bentley" seems to be on other projects, the working chef is from Bulgaria.  I came especially for the fish - perhaps the food is better "in high season" as the choice in March was limited - the beer and Cullen Skink (soup) were excellent but I did not enjoy my scallops:

A culinary bridge too far!

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