Friday 22 July 2011

Around Gairloch and Loch Maree - Holiday in the Far North and West of Scotland - Day 15.

Getting a bit close to the dreaded going home day. So we had a walk on to the Beinn Eighe visitor centre and made a few purchases, mainly cuddly versions of the wonderful wildlife we have been privileged to see whilst in the Far North and in Torridon.

The weather was absolutely glorious, warm and sunny, but with a cooling north westerly.

We had a drive to Big Sand and had a walk around the Sand Archaeological Trail, another walk we had seen on the Walk Highlands website.

An Teallach from Big Sand Archaeological Trail

 The walk starts at a small car park (NG762802), just beyond Big Sand, and is waymarked. Following the waymarks wasn't all that easy, nor was seeing much of the monuments on the sight, due to deep bracken over parts of the area. The walk was pleasant and gentle, after our exertions yesterday, and the views were amazing. 

Gairloch and Raasay from Big Sand Archaeological Trail

An Teallach from Big Sand Archaeological Trail - Rafe, Hal and Jim

Cake and coffee
at Gairloch Mountain Cafe

After a picnic on the beach at Gairloch, we went for a wander around the town. This was followed up by coffee and the biggest portions of cake ever, at the Gairloch Mountain Cafe. We sat on the balcony in the sun (hot, hot, hot) with views to die for, to Torridon and over the Western Ocean - Tir na nog comes to mind. 

View to Baosbheinn and Ben Alligin Gairloch Mountain Cafe

We had another canoe trip on Loch Maree later in the afternoon.
Slioch and Beinn a'Mhuinidh, Loch Maree

This time, setting off from Glas Leitre (NH001650) and south east down the loch to Kinlochewe River

Beinn a'Mhuinidh, Loch Maree

where we had a little paddle upstream, until it became too shallow to continue, and then back to the mouth of the river. We stopped for a little explore and a photo session.

Slioch from the end of Kinlochewe River

The wind had got up again and the water was pretty choppy, so we went north and west up the northern shore to a little beach below the old burial grounds of Cladh nan Sasunnach.

We stopped here for a rest, an explore and to give the dogs a swim.

Loch Maree from below Cladh nan Sasunnach

Then a bit further north west to the waterfall of the Allt Smiorasair. This can be seen from the car park at Glas Leitre, but it would be very hard to get to on foot.

Waterfall of the Allt Smiorasair, Loch Maree

We were forced to paddle further north and west, due to the high water, before turning south east and back along the south west shore (watching buzzards in the evening sun) back to the car park.

Slioch, Loch Maree

The dogs still wanted their evening walk along to the Beinn Eighe visitor centre again, of course.

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