Thursday, 15 September 2011

Loch Moidart, Eilean Shona and the North Passage

Several years ago, I recall Douglas telling me how beautiful it was exploring Loch Moidart. I was working in the area and decided to take a look for myself, but as I only had a car I could only see it from the road. Although it was a lovely autumn day, I didn’t really appreciate the true beauty of this sea loch. Its shallow and muddy along the shores where the road is and this was the only photograph I took that day that seemed to offer any kind of view at all.

I also remembered that at the head of the loch were the “Seven Men of Moidart”. Well there were seven beach trees planted here over 200 years ago to commemorate the seven men who accompanied Bonnie Prince Charlie on his way to Glenfinnan in 1745, but two have fallen over the years and been replaced but are still quite small.

It wasn’t until we entered the North Channel of Moidart from the sea, that I really started to appreciate the scenery of this lovely Loch. The channel is as narrow as a river and is flanked on both sides by high barren but rocky hills. The island of Eigg looks spectacular out to sea and adds to the backdrop.

It was very silent and still in the channel, then a rutting stag bellowed somewhere in the distance and it echoed back and forth across the walls of the channel as it faded.

An old abandoned house on Eilean Shona is reflected in a quiet backwater of the north passage.

We were thoroughly enjoying the slow pace of life as we glided over the water. We both let out our fishing lines in the hope of catching a mackerel or three but it was not to be. Not a single fish was seen.

The mist started to clear from the hills as we entered the main body of the loch.

It was that peacefull I stopped and went on a slow drift as I soaked in the atmosphere of this watery paradise.

We then started heading for the islands around the south channel of Moidart. Thats when the scenery started to change quite dramatically.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on why..until I suddenly realised..there were trees everywhere. The first I had seen since leaving Arisaig.

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