Monday 18 July 2011

On Loch Maree - Holiday in the Far North and West of Scotland - Day 11.

After an early morning dog walk around Kinlochwere, we headed off for a day canoeing on Loch Maree. We had already contacted Scottish Natural Heritage and been asked to keep away from a couple of areas (the north and west of Eilean Ruairidh Mor due to Sea Eagle nest, and Eilean Subhainn as there may have been some Black Throated Divers still at the nest) but everywhere else would be OK.

Loch Maree from Slatterdale
We set off from Slatterdale, making our way across the 1km or so of open water to the beautiful islands of Loch Maree
The early morning cloud was slowly lifting. It was going to be a glorious day.

Eilean Ruairidh Beag, Loch Maree

Eilean Ruairidh Mor, Loch Maree

We paddled around the islands and aroud the bays and lagoons.

Eilean Ruairidh Mor, Loch Maree

By Eilean Ruairidh Mor, to Slioch

By Eilean Ruairidh Mor, looking east

By Eilean Ruairidh Mor, looking south east

As we came around the south of Eilean Ruairidh Mor, we spotted a Sea Eagle surveying his domain.

Sea Eagle - Eilean Ruairidh Mor

We floated by for several minutes before he took to the air, flying south over the loch.

By Garbh Eilean, looking north west
The day was warm and sunny, but with a cool northerly breeze.

Good place for a spot of lunch?
Unnamed isle (OS) NG911731
We found a spot on a tiny island (mostly) out of the wind for lunch.

Loch Maree - Unnamed isle (OS) NG911731

We continued around the islands, but the wind was getting steadily stronger, whipping up the loch into quite big waves.

Getting a bit rough - near Eilean na Creige Giubhais

We made our way south to the small islands near Creag Ghuibhais (NG943935) and then across to the south west shore of Loch Maree. We followed the shore north back to our start point. It was still very rough, rougher than anything we had experienced before, and I was soaked from the neck down by the time we got back to Slatterdale due to waves breaking over the bows. Freddie was pretty wet as well, only Jim was sitting in the stern shrugging his shoulders and asking what all the fuss was about!

Rafe, Freddie and Hal at Slatterdale - views east to Slioch

Having said all that - What a beautiful day!

Views north west from above Kinlochewe
Sgurr Dubh as the sun goes down
We finished off with an evening walk to the Beinn Eighe Visitors Centre, via the Ridge Trail, and were rewarded with a glorious sunset.

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