Further North ….. More Mountains, Sea and much more….

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The Letterewe Range

Dawn and Buster and I headed off up the Leathad Daraich Pass to try and capture the sunrise.  No red sky to welcome this day but as the sun climber above Slioch and Meal Mheiiidh we caught those first rays of morning sunlight.

DOI_5160_00011aaatt A morning that just got better and better

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Yesterday we had moved further north from Skye to Lock Ewe and Poolewe…trouble is on route you could be persuaded to pause to enjoy the ever changing scenery….

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From Loch Dughaill in Strath Carron….

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To Loch Maree in the shadows of a cloud kissed Slioch.

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Loch Ewe

Our home for the next few days would be on the shores of Loch Ewe.  Tranquil today yet in the WW2 it was a ‘safe harbour’ and one of the main bases for assembling the Merchant Convoys that head to the frozen seas around Russia.

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Poolewe was out temporary address. You can hardly describe the few cottages that are on the banks of the River Ewe as a village but it is still a busy centre for the outlying community.

This area of North West Scotland is just a touch different and very individual.  It is a mix of rocky bays giving way to smooth golden/ white sands.  Rugged headlands, gentle coves, hidden harbours, scattered crofts, thick wooded hillsides and glens, wooded with Beech and Oak and also of course Scots Pines, vegetation lush and at this time of the year just starting to show signs of autumns colour…..and the whole of this magnificent piece of Scotland is of course surrounded by mountains and in places tantalising glimpses of even more dramatic mountains further to the north. So lets take a whirlwind trip round loch Ewe and Area.

 

But Poolewe has one more surprise up its sleeve….but we will save that till tomorrow when we will have a taste of tropical paradise.

16th October

(C) David Oakes 2017

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Two places of Security…….A Port and a Castle

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Oban….Argyll

Oban….still a vital link to the outer Isle of the Hebrides.  Ferries plough still important links on a daily basis. There was a time when that link was vital for the many passengers who regularly made the journeys to replenish their store cupboards and essentials.  That still happens but progress has ensured that each of the Islands is now well stocked. The shops in the town still reflect the need to supply just about ‘everything’.  Always an important town, always busy, Oban grew more rapidly in the 1790 as the importance and fortunes of the Oban Distillery grew.

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There was also a time, a time that even I can remember, when it was the Fishing Fleet that filled the harbour.  Lorries jostled for places on the quay that was covered with fish boxes and crushed ice. Those lorries then sped away to distribute the Fish across the UK.

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Today the Harbour is much quieter and attracts Leisure Yachts ( a new marina is now in place). Cruise Liners occasional visit but have to anchor in the bay.

Oban was built on the importance as a port but like many other coastal towns of any size was developed in Victorian times as a holiday destination.  Today the promenade reflects this stylish building.

Less than 5 miles to the north of Oban can be found one of Scotland’s oldest Castles.  Dunstaffnage….. its history and location dates back to the times when Norway and Scotland shared the rule of this area. The Castle became the home of the MacDougall Clan in about 1164 and was proudly held by them for several centuries.

DOI_4125_00258bbb Dunstaffnage Castle

Built in the 1220’s the first appearance of the Castle is of a solid square fortress. The entrance is defensively above ground level…. but walk thru that Gate House and you find an inner court of what at one time was fashionable accommodation…..and importantly the vital Well.

 In the woodland behind the Castle you can find the Family Chapel.  Built by Duncan MacDougall in the 1200’s it was a clear illustration of the families wealth and importance. It was a single open space but well decorated with carvings and stonework.

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Dunstaffnage Chapel

For many of its years the Chapel was just a place of worship, a burial licenses was not granted.  It seems that family burials were carried out on neighbouring islands. The Campbell’s secured the Castle and with it the Chapel and following the Reformations they built a burial aisle at the end of the Chapel and into that many of the family Burial Stones were installed.

Locations for castles were supposedly selected for there defensive strength…but for me it is the Loch side location alongside Dunstaffnage Bay.

12th October

(C) David Oakes 2017

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Ooh Shiny

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An Arctic Sunset 

My “Ooh Shiny“…the topic for this weeks DP Photo Challenge…has to be sunsets.  Hard to resist grabbing the camera and trying my best to do one of natures wonders justice.

Each is very different, unique to the moment a moment that constantly changes, a moment that is unpredictable and often sneaks up on us when least expected.

The sunset above was one such evening.  A cloudy evening at mid-summer as we headed towards the Arctic Circle the cloud suddenly eased away just in time to give us another wondrous display of colour…… another Ooh Shiny for my collection.

Just a suggestion for this weeks challenge.  See what others have suggested on this link:-

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/shiny/

via Photo Challenge: Ooh, Shiny!

17th August

(C) David Oakes 2017