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The Wester Ross

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 19 September 2001

Wednesday 19 September, the Wester Ross

Rogie Falls Rogie FallsAfter a substantial breakfast (lots of eggs, coffee and tea) we go on our way. We have made some sort of plan by putting marks on our map. Those are the places we want to see. We start with a 'short' trip: through the Wester Ross, north west of Beauly. After 50 kilometers, we first stop at Rogie Falls, just before Loch Garve. From the parking lot we make a wonderful walk through the old forest. The waterfall itself is not really spectaculair, but the forest is a beautiful place to walk around.
In the HighlandsNear Loch Glascarnoch we have to take a picture of the landscape. We have learned our lesson from last year: it's better to take too much pictures than too few. The Highlands are rather bare (because of deforestation and the grazing by sheep throughout the centuries), but the landscape also has something charming with all the soft slopes and especially with all the different skies above it. The colours in this country are never the same, because of the type of light that falls upon the country. Even with gray weather, Scotland is beautiful to see and to travel through it. It always offers a different view.
In the Highlands Our rental carOn a parking lot we exchange camera's with another couple to get a picture of the both of us. Well, our nice car also wanted to be the star of a picture, so here it is...
Corrieshalloch GorgeClose to Braemore lies Corrieshalloch Gorge, another cross on our map. The Falls of Measach are 54 metres high and the narrow river valley at once becomes an impressive gorge. There is a suspension bridge with a sign which states not more than 5 people are allowed to stand on the bridge at the same time!
Corrieshalloch Gorge Corrieshalloch GorgeIt is only a short walk from the road and surely worthwhile to have a look at when you are in the neighbourhood! It is also a nice place for long walks.
Corrieshalloch GorgeThere is also an observation platform, from where one has a great view on the waterfall. It hangs a bit scary above the gorge, but even Elisabeth dares to stand on it!
At Braemore Junction we turn left, towards the west coast and the bay called Little Loch Broom. Unfortunately, we are not very good yet in making panoramic views with our camera, so we won't show them. Fortunately, we have enough 'single' photographs which show the beauty of Scotland.
Sheep along the way The west coastSoon we meet the first sheep, walking about freely. Sometimes we cross cattle grids, but the sheep seem to be everywhere. We don't know how the farmers tell them apart; some of them are painted, but most are not. Anyhow, the sheepdog must be pretty good at their job to bring all those sheep together in these vast areas.
The scenery is savage, barren, empty and soft at the same time. The soft green sheen on the hills and the clear blue sea make perfect shots for a movie!
Inverewe gardensInverewe, with the Inverewe Gardens, lies on the west coast. The climate is surprisingly mild, thanks to the warm Gulf Stream which brings warm water from Mexico. At the end of the 19th century, Osgood Mackenzie made good use of this by constructing a botanical garden here, with plants from al over the world. At the borders of the gardens there are firm bushes and trees to guard the more vulnerable plants inside. Of course, Elsiabeth has to take some seeds from plants with her.
Inverewe gardens Inverewe gardensWe thought the gardens cover only a small area and we can rush through them, but after an hour we are completely lost. The place is much bigger than we thought and offers sometimes surprisingly nice views over the sea. It is September, but with the nice weather it looks like a subtropical jungle.
Passing placeOf course, Teije takes the first single track road he sees after that. Locals are sometimes annoyed by the way tourists drive on these roads: too slow. So let people coming from behind pass at a passing place (PP's we have come to call them) when you are not in a hurry; don't stop at once when you see a car coming, try to estimate the speed you need to catch a PP without the other car having to slow down. But most important: never forget to raise your hand when the oncoming car passes you! When the other people don't do the same they are either tourists or English, certainly not Scottish!
Loch Maree Glen DochartyAt Poolewe we cross the river which flows into Loch Maree, an elongated lake with lots of islands in it. For hikers (at this moment we happen to be not one of them) this is a marvellous area to take long walks.

After Loch Maree we arrive at Glen Docharty, a valley which becomes narrower with (again) wonderful views. To the right a picture from the Glen in the direction of Loch Maree.
It has been a long first day and we are anxious to get back to the pub. Enjoying the scenery, we drive back to Beauly. Last year we have made a sort of habit of it: a short stay in the pub, then to our room to have some coffee and rest, both reading, Elisabeth on the bed, Teije in the spare sitting room and at 9 or 10 back to the pub. It is not as luxurious as a restaurant or an expensive hotel, but it is much more pleasant and we get in touch with the local people. This night we also run into some former acquaintances and we are not bored for even a minute.


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