The wow factor

Trip Start May 29, 2013
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55
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Trip End Sep 30, 2013


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Where I stayed
Ardmair Holiday Park
What I did
Stac Pollaidh
Falls of Kirkaig
Stoer Head
Knockan Crag Nature Reserve

Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Monday, July 22, 2013

I awake to the sight of the sea through my window. Feels like I can almost touch it...wow! It's only 5am but already I have missed the sunrise. I take a peek outside to see the golden globe has already risen from the mountains behind Ian's window and it's already feeling hot. I go back to bed and next thing I know it is gone nine. It won't be an early start today then.

Today we are taking the coast road out towards the Summer Isles. Our trip begins by taking us through some stunning mountain scenery. It's not long before we see the crumbling ridge of Stac Pollaidh mountain...wow. An information board explains that harsh winter frosts on the sandstone are causing erosion and storms are forming deep gullies and scree.

We arrive at Inverkirkaig and the phrase 'mad dogs' springs to mind as Ian and I embark on a walk to the Falls of Kirkaig. It's almost midday and the sun is strong but at least there is a breeze today. The path looks easy enough but we take note of the warnings not to embark on this route unless you are a seasoned walker. Ian claims this just means, 'don't walk this way in flip flops' and we are suitably booted!

The footpath starts beside the river then gently rises upwards through a wooded glen of birch, rowan and hazel. Leaving the woodland we start to climb for quite a distance through open moorland of deep purple heather. The path gets narrower and steeper as we make our way towards the waterfall. We are pretty high now and can see the river way down in the valley below. Finally we reach a high point and can hear the gushing water - we must be close! And suddenly there it is, a beautiful mass of gushing white...wow!

To see the falls in all their glory it is necessary to descend a very steep path which we take very slowly and carefully. We guess that this is the bit the warnings are about. It's not exactly, one false move and you are over the edge, as the warning implies but it is very steep and there is a lot of loose scree. But the result of our effort in climbing down is worth it! The foaming white mass from the gurgling river above drops over the abyss into an inky black pool...wow!

Our next stop is Stoer Head. Yet more stunning scenery on the way - which is also wow by the way! We walk up to the lighthouse for fine views across the sea towards the Hebrides. Supposedly one can see dolphins, whales and porpoise from here. We look hard but cannot claim to see anything. I suspect you'd need binoculars.

We make our way back along the lighthouse road and then back through Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve. Yet more incredible views and scenery, impossible to describe or adequately photograph. I always knew Scotland was going to be beautiful but I didn't realise just how beautiful!
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