Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

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polardude1
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Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:47 am

We spent 2 weeks in Scotland, flying into Gaksgow. After just half day in Glasgow, we took a bus to Fort William where we picked up our rental car. We spent 4 nights on the Isle of Skye, staying 3 nights in Broadford and one night in the hamlet of Stein. Our days were spent doing long and short day hikes. Our longest hiked was 14 miles into the Cullins, climbing up to Sgrr na Sri.
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We returned to Fort William and joined the parade of hikers climbing Ben Nevis

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The next day we left for Glenfinnan to start the unmarked Cape Wrath Trail. Initially we were aiming for Strathcarron and mailed out spare gear there. The going was tough with very long days so we ended at Shiel Bridge. The route was spectacular and took us past Loch Nevis and along Loch Hourne. After we decided to stop, I did an to and back hike to the Falls of Glomach.

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After the backpack, we headed to Strathcarron via Kyle of Lochalsh for a chill day on a boat and waling around. Then the hamlet of Strathcarron to collect our gear and spend the night.

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The biggest freakin surprise was the weather. The Western highlands in particular are known are known for rain. We packed for rain and had 2 weeks of near complete dry weather. The bogs did not disappoint, but my knee high gators kept me dry.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by dBrother » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:57 am

Spectacular pictures polardude, Isle of sky is one of my favorite places, its a different world there..
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:57 am

When hiking to the Falks of Glomach, I met a hiker when climbing to the plateau. It was spectacular. The hiker simply told me that Scotland is a noter planet. I agree.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Stan In Maryland » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:41 pm

Thanks for the picts. Looks fantastic.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by truenic » Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:23 pm

Stunning. Thanks for sharing!

It's an area I'd like to get to, as a hiker, and as someone whose ancestors came from a now uninhabited island in that area.

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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:28 pm

Skye is and the western highlands are chock full of hiking. You juts have to get there early enough to avoid the midges. We did find midges, but that's because it was warm and dry earlier than normal. A little wind and sun keep them away
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Homerj » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:49 pm

Nice...been to some of these places but didn't do more than a few hour walks.
Great pics!
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Stephen_Dedalus » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:21 pm

Amazing photos, like a picturebook.

Many long term local photo geeks would curse you, or toast your good luck.

Oh Flower of Scotland...

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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:32 am

The weather fully cooperated
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by simon_in_exile » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:05 pm

This makes me happy - so pleased that the weather cooperated for you! It's not a bad place, hey?
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:39 pm

Oh it was fantastic and the good weather was a bonus
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Lost Soul » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:10 am

Did you make it to Cape Wrath?

And thanks. It looks like a great trip.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:48 am

Making it to Cape Wrtha was not part of the plan. It's a 200+ milie trail . I would have needed another few weeks. I would lie a 2nd trip to the far north
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by GLimpet » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:54 pm

Lovely pics.

I did some minor hill walking yesterday for the firist time since I broke my leg 9 years ago. Just up Bennachie near Aberdeen.

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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:29 pm

It's stunning and very rugged
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Lost Soul » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:08 am

polardude1 wrote:Making it to Cape Wrtha was not part of the plan. It's a 200+ milie trail . I would have needed another few weeks. I would lie a 2nd trip to the far north

Cape Wrath is on my bucket list, but in winter, with a NW gale.

I failed on my mission the first time, but judging by the waves splashing 200 feet high on Dunnet Head in a NW gale, I figured Cape Wrath would be the real deal.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Bill Barilko » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:39 am

Not enough trees for me.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Lost Soul » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:49 am

Bill Barilko wrote:Not enough trees for me.

The first farmers were not stewards of the earth, anywhere. Though the Amazonians may have a claim.

Farmers turned Scotland and Ireland into a bog after they turned the Fertile Crescent into a desert.

And let's not broach the animal extinctions that happened before farming reached the various aborigines, everywhere.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:54 am

Interesting article. Where we were , we saw some ver small natural forests, but there were plenty of blocks of fenced in evergreens planed by humans.
http://treesleeve.com/2014/10/6280/
A History Lesson: Scotland and Deforestation
15/10/2014 TreeSleeve Deforestation Comments off


When I think of Scotland I don’t naturally think of trees. I think of grassy and heathered slopes, too wind worn for trees to grow. Because of this image, it was hard not to notice the random outcroppings of trees scattering the landscape as I drove into the mountainous highlands my first week here. The symmetrical and parallel tree lines gave hints as to how unnatural these trees were. What was even more shocking? The obvious remains of deforestation right along the road. Every time I saw new groves, I wondered if the trees were natural to the area. And if so, why would they cut down so many of the remaining few? Could Scotland have just as torrid an affair with deforestation as the Americas?

The answer is no, not exactly.

What I later learned from tour guides and museum exhibits, is that Scotland’s story of deforestation started thousands of years ago. The rise of a human population meant that trees were cut down for survival. Shelters were built, fires were made, and food crops were planted in order to keep the community warm and safe. As a natural climate change occurred, most of the woodlands were replaced by peatlands. The further introduction of grazing animals meant that even trees in fertile areas weren’t being regenerated. By 82 AD, nearly half of the natural woodland had already disappeared. When the industrial revolution began, the woodlands were hit even further and by 1900, only 4% of Scotland was covered. Since both world wars, Scotland has worked to improve the amount of woodlands but it has been a slow effort.

Today, close to 20% of Scotland is covered in woodlands, mainly due to afforestation. But a majority of that is in the form of plantations planted for the sole purpose of being cut down again. (This explained the random tree groves that I saw in my first week.) And even with that, these plantations are so isolated and carry so few tree species, that they don’t produce environments conducive to biodiversity.

It was a relief to hear that Scotland isn’t currently depleting their limited resources as callously as the rest of the world, yet a semi-sad tale to hear of the woodland’s ill fate. Despite this, Scotland is still known as a natural paradise and an outdoorsman’s haven – a place that works to protect the lands and species that remain.

It will be interesting to see as more nations’ landscapes change – either from human or natural causes – how they will handle said changes. Will they respond like the Scots have, and work to protect and manage the remaining biodiversity effectively? Or let it spiral out of control like so many countries are currently doing?
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by jedgarandclyde » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:15 pm

We took to train from Queen St Glasgow up to Oban, and planned a day trip up to Fort William that we never done.

We went out to the Islands instead, as on of our early Australian governors [Llachlan Mcquarie] is buried on Mull.

The photos that you show are very similar to the country we seen, in that the hills are very open and treeless, and the valley floors are sometimes quite wooded.

Bought back a lot of memories, great stuff.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:01 pm

The scenery was stunning. I want to return and go further up north
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by rezuar » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:00 pm

Fantastic shots.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:55 am

Thanks! It was a great trip?
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Kape » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:20 pm

Just amazing. Beautiful mountains... I should visit Scotland.

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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:19 pm

I was impressed with how rugged Scotland is
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Kape » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:51 pm

polardude1 wrote:I was impressed with how rugged Scotland is


Rugged indeed! Altitude naturally brings in ruggedness, but what I find interesting is that much of the not-so-high-mountains in your shots looks a lot similar to my not-so-high-mountain shots from Finnmark Norway, which is a thousand km further north. Golf stream, eh? Interesting anyway, isn't it?

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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:25 pm

Rugged indeed! Altitude naturally brings in ruggedness, but what I find interesting is that much of the not-so-high-mountains in your shots looks a lot similar to my not-so-high-mountain shots from Finnmark Norway, which is a thousand km further north. Golf stream, eh? Interesting anyway, isn't it?

Altitude brings other issues. These mountains are low but the terrain is pretty rugged and boggy . We were off trail much of the time and never walking on flat ground. We would go over 1000 meter passes and back down to sea level
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Shavenhead » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:06 am

Nice.

One day I'll have to visit the land of my skirt wearing ancestors.
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by GLimpet » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:55 pm

Kape wrote: Golf stream, eh?

yeah, the famous Carnoustie Current.

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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by simon_in_exile » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:44 am

An article for you, polar, from Sidetracked magazine:
http://www.sidetracked.com/a-deafening-sky/
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by mad hatter » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:48 am

You bloody luckyfucker ;)

Nice one

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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:34 pm

Simon,
When I was walking towards the Falls of Glomach on the Cape Wrath Trail. I stopped on a plateau and looked around me in awe/ Someone passed me and told me that Scotland is another planet altogether. I believe it .
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by Chip_Oatley » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:43 pm

Gorgeous.

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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:40 pm

I loved Scotland and would gladly return
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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by CaminoDeb » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:53 pm

This was a great travel journal, and I enjoyed the photos very much.

My introduction to Scotland and the West Highland Way was last year, in September / October. We spent a few nights in Glasgow before heading to Mulngavie (pronounced "Mull Guy"), which is the start of the famous 100-mile walk, The West Highland Way.

I figured that since I'd walked the 500-mile Camino Frances (in Spain, Camino de Santiago) alone, and dealt with crossing the Pyrenees Mountains along with the other many hills along the way, W. Highland Way would be easy.

Not so.

The walk, which we did in about eight days, was actually quite strenuous, and the walk around Loch Lommond was surprisingly so. The narrow path, with lots of ups and downs, threatening roots and boulders, was one of the most exhausting days I've done in quite a long time.

Scotland was just as that one hiker mentioned--another world. What I liked about your travel photos were the mountains, the deep crevasses, the endless skies, the greenness of it all. Scotland is beautiful.

We ended up walking all the way to Fort William, but recently my husband mentioned that he would be interested in going further north, so I'll show him these photos.

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Re: Scotland- isle of Skye and western highlands

Post by polardude1 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:48 am

It was a spectacular trip
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