Mostly, this is random stories from my various trips as I collect them, but I've a wee backlog to get through too and those will pop up occasionally.

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Tuesday 5 August 2014

Summertime.... and the living is easy

Summer. Long days, warmer weather, drier ground. Little wonder thoughts turn to epic days out. Those long ridges, the summits, the sound of tyres skipping over dry, rocky trails. The unfashionable warm spell has got me to thinking a wee bit about how I've been spending my time out of doors and I've decided to slow it down a little. Warmer weather also means it's nicer to relax, to watch nature in full flow, to dip your feet in the river and just enjoy what's all around you without needing to be in a rush to go anywhere. Sort of reminds me of an old TV ad....

With that in mind, I've spent some time on easier walks or simply mooching around some fantastic spots in Scotland. Mim and I had a few days in Blair Atholl, including a walk up Glen Tilt. With summer flowers around and a lovely river to cool down in it was just about perfect.

So - not so many words this time, a few more pictures.....

First view up Glen Tilt
Looking further up Glen Tilt
Cooling off in and by the river
Summer is also about cream teas!

The second week of our holiday was spent in the Western Isles. Though I've been through the Outer Hebrides before, Mim never has so we spent some time on North Uist doing some sightseeing, a couple of walks and some paddling in the new kayak.

Horgabost beach. Does it get any better than this?
Lovely quiet campsite at Balranald
More Machair
Two Oyster Catchers - I love their call
Great sunset right beside the campsite
In the new kayak, exploring the coastline

I'd also long had a hankering to do a specific little walk, following the route set out in a Runrig song - Flower of the West.

I look over Orinsay
To the Trumisgarry shore
To Aloter
And the road to Ahmore

Past Loch Scadavagh and Loch Fada
And the Flatland to the East
Where the dark blue mass of Eval
Meets the rising rock of Lee
Between the Crogary and Maari
I started to descend
Loch Aongais on my left hand side
I look across to Clett
Collies barking on the outrun
Dunlin dancing on the sand
Breakers show round Corran Vallaquie
And empty the Atlantic on the strand

We headed up Crogary Mor on a mostly clear night and took in the sun setting over Corran Vallique before heading down with "Loch Aongais on our left". 

I even got to do my July bivvy-a month,, "escaping" from the campsite one night and heading for a long spit of land on North Uist. My initial plan had been to bivvy down at the trig point on the wee headland but it was thick with flies and I had to find a spot surrounded by sand to finally get away from them. It was a lovely location, with views out over the sea to Harris, but I was strafed by two large owls for 30 minutes or so. I don't know if it was me they were interested in or if there were lots of flying insects in my vicinity but it was fascinating and a bit uncomfortable to have them swooping so close to me.  After a good nights sleep, I was rewarded by a fantastic sunrise.
About as dark as it gets
Sunrise over Harris
Yes, we even have "C" roads here
On my previous visit to North Uist, Paul and I had almost sprinted through on our way to catch the ferry to Harris. This time, in an almost perfect summer week, I'd finally taken the time to explore and experience it. 

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