I am so lucky my Grandkids are in Scotland and up and they were up for the Festival at Ullapool staying at Ardmair Point caravan and campsite. What a location that is. The sea the small Isles and the mountains make it a perfect setting.
I was on baby sitting duties on Sat night so Mum and Dad could go to the Festival in Ullapool.
I drove up in the afternoon through rain but it cleared as I arrived near Ullapool. The sun was out and the town so busy. I had a drive round up to Elphin the hills wet clearing and as always it was incredible these hills are so wild. Sadly the road was busy with “posh cars” blasting along in convoy ticking off the NC 500 oh for the Police with a speed gun. Goodness knows what they see in their mad rush or is it just me?
It was great having a bit of time as the girls were in Lochinver and I had a few hours on my own.
The great poetry of Norman MaCaig are always in my head when I leave Ullapool into these hills.
A Man in Assynt
“Glaciers, grinding West, gouged out
these valleys, rasping the brown sandstone,
and left, on the hard rock below –
the ruffled foreland –
this frieze of mountains, filed
on the blue air –
Cul Beag, Cul Mor, Suilven,
a frieze and
On my drive it was busy though with lots of folk about many looking at the views and enjoying it. There were loads of photographers waiting for the right light to hit the hills
I stopped at Ardvreck Castle is a ruined castle dating from the 16th century which stands on a rocky promontory jutting out into Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Scotland. It has great views of the hills.
One can reach the ruins by driving along the A837 which follows the north shore of Loch Assynt from the village of Inchnadamph.
I visited the Castle and it was good to have a wander and see this piece of history I had often visited years ago on a wet day hiding from the hills. In these days it was a quick look now at last I had time. It had great views of the back of Quinag and I will be back in winter to revisit when the crowds have gone.
It was then a wander a walk them back to a sun filled Ardmair and fun with girls. They love the beach and learning the simple things like skimming stones. It was warm and after tea we had more fun outside. The light was incredible and to watch the girls on the beach was magic as the light changed. The sun setting to young eyes and the stunning views even to young kids is spell binding. They both had their faces painted at the Festival it was so good to have them with me. The simple things are so important.
So often we rush about and miss the simple things like sunset and family time. It was an easy night with the girls and instead of staying I headed home after Mum and Dad returned . It was an easy drive home the hills were dark but the stars were out. I saw a few deer about and stopped for a break in the dark as I always do. I am sure I heard the first stags of the season roar in the darkness. Always a sign to me of the winter on its way. The girls Mum and Dad stayed and visited old haunts that we had done many years ago. It’s great and I hope the girls will have a love of the wild places that they have. We are spoiled up here we have so much and I never take anything for granted.
It’s hard to believe that snow is forecast for the mountains this week after sitting in the sun enjoying the last of summer. Yet it is – the nights are drawing in and I wonder what another winter will bring.
Watch how you plan your days on the hills.
There is less time before it’s dark.
Check that torch and put some extra gear in your bag.
Have fun as that is what it’s all about.