Thursday, 16 April 2009

Mountains and langoustines










Back to the West Coast. Top pic shows the Bealach Na Ba, the highest mountain pass in the UK, rising to 623 metres, over 2,000 feet. It's a brilliant drive and used to be the only access to Applecross. When I was there a couple of years ago. the barmaid in the Applecross Inn told me a story about a Japanese tourist who froze on the pass (not literally), he just couldn't drive any more, forward or back. This caused considerable problems because it's a single track road, which only has passing places every half mile or so. The result was an amazing traffic jam on one of the most remote roads in Scotland. You'd think he'd have done the decent thing and driven off the side! Hari Cari or something!

The second pic shows the busy Gairloch beach. You have to get up early in the morning to grab a spot. Beat the Germans and all that.

Bottom pic is the cottage I stayed at. It was on an island and owned by a fisherman and his wife. The inlet is tidal, hence the cool bridge, which floats up when the tide comes in, allowing you to cross over whether the tide is in or out. How brilliant is that? The guy has his own boat and happily takes you out to do a spot of fishing or otter, seal and whale spotting.

I woke one morning to find a container full of fresh langoustines at my front door which he'd caught the previous day. Nice breakfast.
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19 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures, especially the last - the west of Scotland always feels more Scottish to me than the east coast. That's funny about the tourist! I can just imagine it - some of the single track roads are pretty hairy, especially if there's on-coming traffic. Enjoy the weekend!

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  2. Lovely landscape. So peaceful. I especially adore the first one.

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  3. the top photo reminds me of Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District,

    Great photos,

    Gill in Canada

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  4. Marvelous photos! Enjoyed your stories about the area! It is so very beautiful! Lovely skies and more!

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  5. You can go from amateur photographer to pro - just watch the framing. When taking the photo, look at the left border, right border, up and down. Then a few steps to the left or right - you can arrange the objects just as you want them.
    Not being cheeky, just appreciative. Next time, put the "passing place" sign between the 2 mountains. Make sure the corners of the photo are clean - no need for the railing in the bottom left hand corner of the 2nd photo.
    Since you photograph such beauty, just giving pointers on how to elevate your craft.

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  6. Wonderful Neil, I LOL'd at the Japanese tourist tale. That bridge really is very cool and narrow!

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  7. That would be really cool to live on that island with the bridge and then go whale spotting. Sounds like a spectacular holiday!

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  8. What a wonderful place to vacation. I love the Passing Place sign.

    I have seen other people do the same thing on a road, just panic and stop. Not a good plan.

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  9. beautiful landscape...love the last photo.

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  10. Rockin shots of a tiptop part o the West. About 20 years ago i had this crazy notion that i'd bump into John Peel (sadly gone but not forgotten) whilst flyin my kite on the red sand beach at Applecross. Unfortunately uncle John hadnae read the script and failed to show. He did once buy me a pint in an Edinburgh pub though so there were nae hard feelins.

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  11. City is great to travel blogs. These blogs, I learned a lot. Great photos. I respect your effort. Best regards.

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  12. Very beautiful, Neil.

    And I now know what a langoustine is.

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  13. Great pics but I love the cottage!

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  14. like the cottage by the sea...just my cup of tea :)
    have a great weekend.

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  15. Great pictures- thanks for the info. Very interesting.
    Caprice

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  16. Beautiful posting. Thanks for taking us along.

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  17. Love the west coast, even tho it's a foreign country to me as an East Coaster! I've only ever been driven over Bealach na Ba, and that was bad enough. Your photo brings back dizzy memories.

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  18. Thanks for your comments. It makes it all worthwhile. You know what I mean!
    Kitty - Scottish or scenic?
    Wolynski - Appreciate the advice. Thanks,
    Naldo - John Peel ? One of my heroes. How did you manage a pint with him?
    Marnie - Have you ever tasted one?
    Lindab - It's a hairy drive right enough,

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