Saturday, 29 September 2012

A turbulent time

After the mayhem wreaked by the elements across these parts during the course of the week, Tilly and I eventually ventured out for a walk yesterday.  It felt safe to go out!  The wind had subsided and the wood had stopped roaring around us.

We went to the beach at Belhaven, near Dunbar.  It is a great favourite with surfers but yesterday there was no-one to be seen.  I am not surprised.  The waves were paltry but that aside, the beach was wrecked.  It is normally a huge expanse of lovely sand coloured sand but now at least half of its length is black sand which has been dredged up from somewhere.  Strewn across the beach there is seaweed galore, mostly cuvie kelp, tree trunks from goodness knows where, and a distressing number of dead sea creatures - starfish of all sizes, large and small crabs, lobsters which had been smashed to bits, sea urchins, fish and some kind of soft coral I have had trouble identifying.  It was an apocalyptic scene.
We got so far along the beach and it really wasn't an enjoyable scene, death and detritus everywhere!  So we turned round and headed back.  Then the wind picked up and the fine, dry sand at the top of the beach was blown in vapoury ribbons across the wet sand, streaming towards the sea.  
We got back to the car and I wiped the sand from Tilly's eyes and emptied out my walking boots!  

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Our sanctuary!

We have just been up to Applecross on the north west coast of Scotland.  It is our most favourite place.  We haven't been there for two years and withdrawal symptoms were beginning to set in.  

We have had many holidays along this stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline.  It is really hard to imagine why we could possibly want to go through the rigmarole of booking flights, ordering foreign currency, remembering passports, dealing with airport security, weight restrictions on luggage, etc etc etc when we have this a few hours drive away.  
As Mr Gaucho always says "Who needs the Bahamas?".

We were only there for a three nights, staying in a lovely B&B, Ragged Acre, three miles along the road from the wonderful Applecross Inn.  The real excitement sets in as we start to drive up and over the Bealach Na Ba - the Pass of the Cattle.  It is a hairy scary road, better these days with a few more barriers along the route, especially the alpine hairpin bends at the top!  As you drive down the other side, into Applecross, you really have left "all that" behind.  As we pass the Applecross sign Mr Gaucho always shouts out "Yeessss" and we have arrived back again. Lovely!

Over the weekend I took 500 photographs!  It's so easy to do with a digital camera but it does take time to trawl through them all and find the ones I like best.  So, here's a pictorial account of our weekend!  I hope you enjoy them.
Heading up the Bealach Na Ba
A'Chomraich - "the sanctuary" - Applecross
Applecross Bay
Applecross Bay running waves
Over the sea to Skye
Clachan Church
7th century AD partly carved celtic cross-slab from St. Maol Rubha’s sanctuary in the churchyard  
Sand Beach 
Our favourite spot on the planet - the holiday cottage we have rented many times
Roadside department store.  I bought the eggs shown below from here!
There is little doubt in my mind that this is where Bilbo Baggins lives.
We walked through a wood of hazel nut trees.
Hobbit playground
Going home blues