From North to West -
Along the Northern Coast westwards down A838

 

Setting out to the beginning of the road north, we follow the A383 to the left. It takes us via Tongue and across the Kyle of Tongue down to Sandwood Bay and finally to idyllic Scourie. -

 

 

The Road to the Atlantic - After Crossing the Bridge there is a Junction to Melvich, alongside the Kyle of Tongue.

The long bridge over the Kyle of Tongue.

This charming little house marks the beginning of the bridge...

Passing the cemetry - Castle Varrich under fog in the distance...

The path to Loch Madden is worth the trouble only in dry weather...

Reaching Skinnet - each change of the weather shows a new, terrific scenery.

Omnipotent: Ben Loyal, after Ben Hope the highest mountain of Sutherland.

Don't worry about the weather, just walk the beach...

Dunes, sand, clear water - and with a bit of luck even seals.

Freedom without limits....

...hidden bays...

... it's like a dream.


 

Talmine

 

A Jewel at the Atlantic Ocean

 

We reach Talmine, a jewel at Scotland's north coast.

 

We follow the narrow road to the left and reach the post office. At Tommy's you'll also get fruit, vegetables, even Sim-cards...

... and from the cottage above we have a wonderful view on Rabbit Island. Certainly the kind owner, Magaret McKay, assists us to get there some time - we'll come back.

School and municipal centre, and behind that steeply down to the beach.

There are two main roads: One along the beach and one "further up".

This old wreck has been lying at the beach for years.

The 'port' of Talmine in the background.

See the bunch in the foreground and take a glimpse at the Atlantc Ocean in the background...

The best view you get from the old school building...

... by the by, also events take place there - like a Gaelic Night.

This picture was taken in summer long after midnight...

... and this one after the rain of course...

Rabbit Island with its beach, in the background you can make out Eilean Nan Ron.

Walking the beach always is fun.

No sea cows - just common beach cows.

Now we are leaving Talmine for some time...

 


 

To Midfield via West-Strathan

 

 

Walking as the crow flies

 

 

A short distance behind Talmine the narrow side road begins...

Last year we started in rainy weather and had to walk back - see why?

First of all we scare some grouses and frogs; then we reach West-Strathan.

Only the little dog in the window welcomes us, beside that there is only quiet - and loneliness.

We leave the lonely place...

In the distance there is the Atlantic once more. We are approaching Achinver.

Those were the days...

And another dream beach... Achinver Beach.

In the foreground you can make out an old mine from World War II.

We have to pass private property but after asking politely...

... an elderly Scotsman permits us to walk over his ground.

This beach is ours, lonely and wild.

Now  we leave Midfield, setting out back to Talmine.

 

 


 

Portvasgo

 


Down the coast and left.

 

 

 

Passing the harbour, it's all down the coast - northwards...

...and Talmine is behind us.

The Atlantic Ocean on the right side and somewhere to the left should be Torrincudigan...

A lonely bench in the wilderness. With the name plate of the donor. 

A quaint heath scenery, no people, not even sheep.

All the time we find these small, hidden beach bays...

Ice Age remnants...

... harsh and terrific...

...perished...

We reach some hidden port.

So this is Portvasgo...

Back we go - about 4 kms to our Talmine cottage.

 


 

Loch Eribol up to Durness

 

 

The road appears endless as we pass Loch Eribol

 

 

It's like some Caribbean place...

... narrow places to pass...

...some relicts from World War II - a submarine station.

Fishfarming is very popular here.

Indeed, this road seems to end never...

Remote phone-cells...

 

This is the Video:

Finally we reach....

Rispond - ahead of us: Traigh Allt Chailgeag.

Sangobeg...

So many dream beaches - like pearls on a string...

Every year I wonder if that stone is still standing...

Smoo Cave -  a popular place for tourists.

Part of the cavern can be visited for free. The paid part includes a boat trip.

Finally we pass Sango Bay, not far from Durness.

It's like being in the centre of the world...

Next to the camping-place there is a tourist-information...

Fossils and gimmicks. We always bring home something from here...

... and every time we try to find out more about Puffins...

 


 

Faraid Head or: Where are the Puffins?

 


Behind Balnakeil we leave our car on a parking place.


We want... dream beaches and... puffins!

 

 


Next to the parking area there is the cemetery of  Balnakeil...

...at Balnakeil Bay, a really amazing bay.

Well, this actually looks like a short, nice walk...

However, the weather is incredibly hot today...

Somewhere in the distance must be the road to Cape Wrath.

Not even the German isles of Sylt or Amrum have dunes and beaches like this...

Soon the 'road' ends.

As mentioned before... it is pretty hot today...

... far away from ice-cream and coke.

Just sand and dunes...


or the skeleton of a sheep...

At least we are next to the sea from time to time.

We were told there are Puffins at the northern point.

Indeed here they are, but out of reach...

As usual, military forces occupy peaceful parts of nature...

...maybe the Puffins are a danger to national security?

We walk back along the cliffs to find a better spot.

Whiten Head in the distance...

After a while we reach another place, some "insider tip".

We are not brave enough to walk down there...

... so we watch from the distance.

From April until end of August they are here... breeding.

 

Then they disappear somewhere over the mighty Atlantic.

However, this Puffin was sketched by Christina...

 


 

 

From Durness to Kinlochbervie, Scourie and Handa Island

 

 

 

 

This small shop is the only place to buy a few things before we take off -  opposite to this shop there is a petrol-station with the most expensive fuel of Scotland.

 

Whiten Head again in the distance and we are on a lonely road again...

Keoldale at Kyle of Durness - here the ferry to the most northern point of Britain starts.

River Dionard, developing into the Kyle of Durness after a few more miles...

 

The video... between Durness and Kinlochbervie...

 

Near Kinlochbervie....

and Scourie with its amazing beach...

... a perfect place for a rest.

 

From here we start to Sandwood Bay, Handa Island and many more.

 

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Leider wird diese Joomla Software immer zickiger. Nach jedem Update - was ja nun häufig vorkommt - wird der Statistik-Counter rausgehauen. Oder die Videeo Funktionalität. Neulich auch beides.

Deshab sind die Videos jetzt hier, auf meinem Reiseblog zu finden:

 

DIE VIDEOS

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Sheep, Border Collies and a Shepherd

 

Rast

I am Chip, one of the main actors. We are four Border-Collies, there are Lucie, Jane und Dan. We manage everthing over here.

Allan is our Boss, he is taking care of all the sheep over here.

 

My name is Jane and I am really a little exhausted after so many weeks of sheep-trials. Even a Border Collie needs a break...

Nord Einsamkeit

We start chasing these fellows into the corral. Allan instructs us how to do it. He is shouting and whistling. Its not an easy job since every now and then one of these stupid sheep tries to excape.

 

No chance to escape for this one

mystische Berge

Berg

All candidates are gathered now.

Each of them has to be vaccinated and marked afterwards. The young ones will be treated first, then the elder sheep are served since they have to get shorn, too.

 

Vaccination is a good thing to keep away infections by worms.

Schluckimpfung

Schafe schleppen

Now they have to be shorn.

 

The shearing of the sheep is not done because of the value of their skins, neither because its getting too warm for the animals,

auf gehts

no chance

It's just because no insects shall be able to set grubs into the skin.

 

Hardly to be recognized. Even the lambs won't recognize their own mother now.

nackt

Mama?

While the shorn mother is having a snack, her lambs are still looking for her.

Generally it takes 15-20 minutes until the lambs recognize their own mother after this kind of hairdressing.

 

Who's next? Nobody is really keen about that.

Kyle of Tongue-Brücke

Scherblatt olen

From time to time Allan has to oil the razor blade since the skins of the sheep are quite dirty and sandy.

 

This one is a year old. He is going to try to win an award next week.

der Champ

los

Now its our turn. Allan gives us a few hints.

First of all: The sheep needs to know who's the 'Boss'. Pull it strongly by the horns and close to your body.

 

It's not easy to seize one of them.

Schapp ihn

Tanz

'Dancing with the Sheep'.

 

These animals are strong, but they can't stand it too long. Soon it will give up.

das wars

Tanz 2

Do not stay in the way when a big sheep tries to escape.

When I did so, I had pains in my knee for several weeks...

 

The age can be determined by their teeth.

This one is 5 years old already.

Alter der Schafe

Das Ende der Schlacht

The battle is over. 6 hours later all sheep have been vaccinated, marked and shorn.

A skin is our wage.

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Eilean Fhianain

 

Dalelia

Calum Cille, holy St. Columba, plays a leading role in scottish history,

Eilean Fhianain is located in the middle of Loch Shiel. Once St. Columba visited this celtic funeral island.

 

The first attemp to reach this Island was done by walking.

Passing Dalelia, we turn to the Pier. Unfortunately nobody is to be seen, no chance to get a boat here.

Dalelia Old Manse

Nevertheless we are walking through almost impassable arrays.

Lots of ruins we pass.

 

Finally at least we can see her: Eilean Fhianain, also called St. Finnan's Island or Green Isle.

Wind and water seem to be too strong for swimming that days.

Eilean Fhionnain

Celtic Crosses

Celtic Crosses, but there is no boat to go there.

Deeply disappointed we turn around, however, we do not now at this moment that we will are more lucky within the coming days..

 

Mr. Peake, a neightbour who is working in touristic of www.ardnamurchan.com rings me up in the evening, offering to give us a lift to the Island.

A few days ago I talked to him about Eilean Fhianain, indicating my strong wish to go there.

Of course we are interested! The next day we meet him at the Pier in Acharacle with his boat.

Nick Peake

DIE  Insel

It takes more than an hour to reach the island.

Loch Shiel is quite difficult to go since there are lots of shallows.

 

These are the crosses which could be seen from the pier a few days ago.

Eilean Fhionnain

Celtic Crosses

This one is hardly to be discovered as being a cross.

Damaged by wind and weather.

Celtic Cross

St. Columba was here

The top of the broken cross lays to the right side in the gras.

This is the biggest celtic cross of the island.

The local church is responsible for this funeral-island.

Cross

Death

Every now and then its hard to find out what this really is....

 

At the 'top' of the island: St. Finan's Chapel

St. Finan's Chapel

St. Finan's Chapel close

The Altar of the Chapel. The bell is fixed with a chain.

 

Raising pridely into the Scottish sky...

Big Cross

Deaths

Old Roundcross

A flagstone, hardly to discover.,,

...the words cannot be read anymore.

 

This chapel in fact is much older than the cross inside.

Roundcross

Large Grave

These old grave limitings have been restored recently.

 

However, the inscripition is unreadable...

Old Groundcross

Large Cross

This, I believe, is the most fascinating island of the world.

 

Hardly to be discovered as an old tomb..

Very Old Cross

Das wars

After an hour or so Mr. Peake returns with the boat. However, I don't like to leave this fantastic Island so soon!

We watch the island disappearing after a bend a few minutes later.

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Handa Island is located in the north-western part of Scotland. There is a huge sanctuary of seabirds. However, you only get there with a motor boat from Tarbet.

 

 

It is a pleasant drive from Scourie...

 ...to the port of Tarbet... 

 ...where we buy a ticket for the boat passage to the island.

The passage takes only a few minutes.

 

A quick visit to the bird bunk where a donation should be left...

 

...and over a plank roadway we reach the bird sanctuary where we once more hope for puffins.

On our way we are watched with suspicion.

 

We feel a little queasy - there are no safety fences anywhere.

 

Puffins, skuas, kittiwakes, fulmars, and oystercatchers are the residents here.

 

 

 

Lazyness and sunbathing is the order of the day...

?

and the Puffins? Unaccessible again.

Even the telephoto does not help much - not ours at least.

Beside some rabbits, lizards, and midgets nothing but birds can be seen.

Passing swarms of midgets, we return to the boat taking us back to Tarbet.

 

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