Monday 11 July 2011

On Loch Naver - Holiday in the Far North and West of Scotland - Day 4.

We had intended to have a quick run up Ben Loyal today, but when we got up, the cloud was very low and the forecast was for heavy prolonged showers. We had a walk around Grummore Clearance Village and a leisurely breakfast to give the weather a chance to lift, but if anything the cloud base was lower and of a more ominous grey.

We drove north past Loch Loyal, hoping that the weather would be better, but Ben Loyal was cut off by cloud at about 250m and heavy blustery showers whipped the loch into white horses. A decision was made to have a road trip and save Ben Loyal for a day when we could enjoy the view and the reputedly excellent scrambling opportunities. 

Red Deer near Tongue

We had a drive through Tongue, passing red deer en route. Then south again through Strath More and past Ben Hope, with (typically) the cloud rising. We had climbed Ben Hope when we were here two years ago.

Ben Hope and Strathmore River

Hal and Rafe in Strathmore River
We stopped at Dun Dornaigil Broch, just south of Ben Hope, for an explore and a walk. The dogs enjoyed a quick paddle in Strathmore River.

Later we drove south to Lairg, the main local town, where we had a coffee, did a bit of shopping and visited the excellent Ferrycroft Visitor Centre in the town.

On our return to the campsite the weather had improved, so we had another swim in the loch before tea. This did not seem to disturb the two Black Throated Divers who bobbed by without a glance at us.

Freddie, Hal and Rafe
Later we had another paddle on Loch Naver, this time south and west towards Altnaharra.

Loch Naver, looking south and west

Further sightings of two Black and four Red Troated Divers followed.

Freddie and Jim, twitching

An evening walk for the dogs around Grummore settled us down for the night.

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