AA&F: Bill Corner
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2003 - Scotland: Sutherland ·
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Caledonian Sleeper Bog Adrmore camp Oblong Leaved Sundew Oldshoremore Foinaven Oldshoremore Oldshoremore
Cooking Balnakeil beach Balnakeil beach Anne at Balnakeil Faraid Head Smoo cave Loch Inchard Scourie campsite
Scourie sunset Anne on Handa Handa Great Stack Handa Great Stack A puffin Cliffs on Handa Sandwood Bay Sandwood Bay
Sandwood Bay Sandwood Bay Sandwood Bay Swimming pool Me in shorts Waterfall Stoer Lighthouse Stoer Lighthouse
Old Man of Stoer Sheep Dun Dornaigil Broch Castle Varrich Rainbow Ben Loyal View from the summit of Ben Loyal Lunch spot
Dwarf willow Golden rod Alpine ladies mantle Invernaver beach Invernaver beach Strathy Point Castle of Mey Thurso Castle
Dunnet Head John o' Groats Duncansby Stacks Sheep A Neolithic chambered tomb Inside a chambered tomb Chambered tomb Coldbackie beach
Farr stone Achininver Beach Port Vasgo Anne at Port Vasgo Port Vasgo Port Vasgo Scottish Primrose Forsinard
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May 2005
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© Bill Corner
Image 1: Anne and I on the Caledonian Sleeper on route to Inverness and the North The last time I was on a sleeper (aged about 7) the cabins were definitely bigger!;Image 2: The bog where Anne thought we were going to camp Apparently when asked where we were camping I waved my hand over my shoulder and said 'over there...';Image 3: Our actual campsite. Idyllic... Except for the midges... ;Image 4: Oblong leaved sundew (Drosera intermedia) There were loads near our camp. They feed on midges. Perhaps it should have been a warning...;Image 5: Oldshoremore beach ;Image 6: Foinaven from Oldshoremore ;Image 7: Oldshoremore ;Image 8: Oldshoremore (with seagulls) ;Image 9: Wild cooking Just as well we remembered the corkscrew.;Image 10: Balnakeil beach ;Image 11: Balnakeil beach Last time I was here they were filming Asterix the Gaul. Who needs French beaches then...;Image 12: Anne on Balnakeil beach. ;Image 13: Faraid Head. We saw puffins! :) ;Image 14: Smoo cave A huge limestone cave at Durness.;Image 15: Loch Inchard The view from the Richonich public bogs Sutherland is amply equipped with conveniences - very handy if you're wild camping.;Image 16: Our second campsite at Scourie We, OK I, discovered that wild camping on a bog in July is just asking for trouble - Anne had her doubts all along. The midges drove me to pay for a spot to pitch my tent for the first time ever. There were some benefits though - showers, a pub and Red Throated Divers on the loch.;Image 17: Sunset at Scourie ;Image 18: Anne on Handa island Handa is a bird reserve managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust;Image 19: The Great Stack off Handa Loads of guillemots, razorbills, shags and cormorants. And a few puffins. Unfortunately breeding season was virtually over...;Image 20: Lines of Guillemots on the Great Stack ;Image 21: Look, a puffin There - in the middle... Alternatively if you can't see it you can admire the geology. There's the Torridonian sandstone of Handa contrasting with the Lewisian Gneiss on the mainland - some of the oldest rocks in the world at 3000 million years old.;Image 22: Torridonian sandstone cliffs on Handa ;Image 23: Sandwood Bay Looking north towards Cape Wrath ;Image 24: Sandwood Bay We only saw about a dozen other people all day. Vast expanses of deserted beach... And the temperature was about 32°. Who needs the Caribbean?;Image 25: Sandwood Bay ;Image 26: Sandwood Bay ;Image 27: Sandwood Bay ;Image 28: Anne in a convenient pool in preparation for a swim off Sandwood Bay The air temperature may have been above 30, but the sea wasn't particularly warm!;Image 29: Look - me in shorts It does happen sometimes. But only in remote areas.;Image 30: A waterfall at Sandwood Bay ;Image 31: Lighthouse at the Point of Stoer ;Image 32: Stoer Lighthouse ;Image 33: Old Man of Stoer ;Image 34: This sheep was determined not to be rounded up and sheared There was a prolonged standoff between a collie at the other end of the pier and the sheep. Unfortunately we didn't find out how it was resolved...;Image 35: The Dun Dornaigil Broch, at the foot of Ben Hope A broch is a fortified iron age dwelling. In times of danger locals hid inside with their livestock in a central courtyard.;Image 36: Castle Varrich (or Caisteal Bharraich in the Gaelic) above Tongue The reed beds in the foreground are the town's sewage system.;Image 37: A rainbow looking over to Skerray from our hotel in Borgie. ;Image 38: Ben Loyal Known as the Queen of Scottish mountains - 2509 ft high. This is the spectacular west face.;Image 39: The view from the summit of Ben Loyal Looking north over the Kyle of Tounge. The weather was closing in...;Image 40: Our lunch spot on Ben Loyal A thunderstorm started once we reached the top, luckily we found this handy little grotto to have lunch in. And we used Anne's walking poles as lightening conductors on top of the roof.;Image 41: Dwarf willow (Salix herbacea) on the slopes of Ben Loyal ;Image 42: Golden rod (Solidago virgaurea) found on the slopes of Ben Loyal ;Image 43: Alpine lady's mantle (Alchemilla alpina) on Ben Loyal ;Image 44: Invernaver beach ;Image 45: Invernaver beach, looking towards Bettyhill ;Image 46: Me at Strathy Point ;Image 47: The Castle of Mey ;Image 48: Thurso Castle ;Image 49: Dunnet Head ;Image 50: Just to show we went to John o' Groats Used the facilities and moved on as soon as possible. Awful place - just a big car park. And I thought it was the most North Easterly point. But no, that's...;Image 51: Duncansby Stacks Just south of Duncansby Head;Image 52: Me feeding a sheep at the Elphin rare breeds centre Can't remember what breed of sheep it is - but it's rare. (Anne says it's a Hebridean job) There were goats there too, that sign at the top right said 'Friendly Goats'. They were too... They mobbed us demanding food.;Image 53: A Neolithic chambered tomb at Achcoillenaborgie, Strathnaver. Built between 6000 and 4000 years ago. There is evidence of human habitation in Strathnaver covering the last 9000 years, starting from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods all the way through to the present day. The glen is very fertile, a fact that interested the cash strapped land owners in the 1800s, who proceeded to rid the land of their human inhabitants to make way for sheep. Strathnaver suffered more than most during the clearances with people evicted from over 60 villages. ;Image 54: Inside the Achcoillenaborgie Neolithic chambered tomb. ;Image 55: Looking down into a Neolithic chambered tomb at Skelpick. ;Image 56: Coldbackie beach ;Image 57: The Farr stone ;Image 58: Achininver beach, near Strathan. ;Image 59: Port Vasgo, near Strathan. ;Image 60: Anne at Port Vasgo ;Image 61: Port Vasgo ;Image 62: Port Vasgo ;Image 63: Scottish primrose (Primula scotica) ;Image 64: Forsinard One of the pools that are so typical of the Flow Country. This year with the North of Scotland experiencing near drought conditions over spring and summer many of the pools are drying up. And this is compounded by the forestry drains that despoil the area - OK, I'll stop now...