Scotland, July 2015
Thursday 2 July
Drove up to Crianlarich, where I stayed for two nights on my way up to the far north of Scotland.
I stayed at Inverardran House, a really excellent B&B on the outskirts of Crianlarich.
Friday 3 July
Climbed the Tarmachan Hills, on a fine summer's day.
Mist over Loch Tay, from the slopes of Meall nan Tarmachan.
Nearing the summit.
Me on the summit, with the cloud lifting to give a view of Loch Tay.
Further along the ridge.
Looking back along the ridge, as a party of climbers reach the previous top.
View down to Loch Tay from the final part of the ridge.
From the same point, the view back along the ridge.
On the track leading back to the start point, a good view of the Ben Lawers group.
Saturday 4 July
Drove up to Laxford House near Scourie, where we stayed for a week.
The bridge at Laxford Bridge.
Laxford House seen from across the River Laxford.
Another view of the house.
Blurry view of Loch Laxford from the house, at 10.30pm.
Sunday 5 July
We drove to Blairmore and walked to Sandwood Bay, on a cool, rainy day – very different from this previous visit.
Lunch at Sandwood Bay.
Sandwood Bay, with the stack of Am Buachaille.
Leaving Sandwood Bay: Pat, Barbara, Bob.
Monday 6 July
Climbed Ben Stack from the east. Michael and I continued the traverse, and walked back to Laxford House alongside the River Laxford.
Part way up Ben Stack: Pat, Michael, Barbara, Lois, Bob.
Michael and Pat, on the way up.
Michael and Bob on the summit ridge.
Fortunately there was a good path down through these crags.
Looking back at Ben Stack from the west side.
Tuesday 7 July
Rained all morning, and we stayed in the house. In the afternoon Allan, Bob and I went for a short walk around Laxford Bay. (No pictures.)
Wednesday 8 July
Climbed Carnstackie and Beinn Spionnaidh. As we approached the mountains, we saw a golden eagle gliding along above the summit ridge.
The bleak summit plateau of Carnstackie.
It was bitterly cold, cloudy and windy at the summit cairn.
The cloud lifted briefly to give us a view of the Kyle of Durness and the open sea to the north.
Kate, Chris S and Sue on the summit of Beinn Spionnaidh (with the same view northwards to the Kyle of Durness).
From Beinn Spionnaidh we went down the grassy ridge on the left of the picture, to join the track crossing the River Dionard, back to the road.
Thursday 9 July
Took the ferry to Handa Island, a bird sanctuary managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
At Tarbet, waiting for the ferry to Handa.
The cliffs of Handa are lined with tens of thousands of nesting sea birds.
An enlargement of part of the previous picture, showing the lines of birds on every ledge.
Completely sheer 400-foot cliff on Handa.
Bird watchers along the cliff top.
A cormorant stretching its wings to dry them.
The ferry back to Tarbet.
Friday 10 July
I drove up to Balnakiel to buy chocolate at Cocoa Mountain and to see Smoo Cave, where the waterfall was looking very dramatic after all the recent rain. Forgot to bring the camera, so no pictures.
Saturday 11 July
A very long drive back to Leeds (448 miles). Took several breaks and drank a lot of coffee.