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Day 8 – October 17, 2010

Barren twigs - Glencoe

I woke up at 5am today, feeling gloomy and under weather. The fact that it wasn’t even daytime yet didn’t seem to make much difference. I’m not sure what caused the sudden presence of this state of mind. Yesterday was a good day, if not great. The sun had been out all the time, and apart from having to come back to the hostel soon because of memory cards that were full everything else had been fine. I had been a little unsure of going to Torridon, just as I was unsure of coming to Glencoe, but the fear and dread were stronger this time, and I couldn’t find any reason for their resurgence.

I ended up sitting in the car for a good ten minutes after checking out of SYHA Glencoe, wondering why I was feeling this way. The weather today was packed in. Clouds had rolled in between the hills where yesterday sunshine streamed through, and the wind, though not as chilly, had an edge to it that was different from yesterday. But I had to go, for my booking at the Torridon hostel had already been done and paid for, for the next two nights.

I had decided not to stop along the way as much as I normally do, to shoot, because the distance to be covered was a fair bit more than I would do any other day, and I didn’t want to drive at night. The Highlnds of Scotland are known for their narrow single-track roads that allow only one vehicle to pass at a time, and I didn’t want to be driving on them after the sun went down. Despite that I did end up stopping a fair bit. Doing so is unavoidable when the main purpose of a journey is to take photographs, especially at places that are symbolic of a land. I had started feeling more relaxed by the time I stopped for lunch at Cualin Inn. The inn is small, but is a very warm place, with two very beautiful hostesses. 🙂 There was an American family there with a baby boy who was staring at me all the time and making some of the best noises babies could be capable of making, I think. Helped me with my mood quite a bit. I didn’t get to speak to them, but whoever you were, thank you.

It kept raining intermittently all the way from Glencoe onwards, and only ceased when I crossed Shieldaig. Between the turn-off from the A87 onto the A890, and then on to the A896, there are numerous patches of single-track roads, and I was glad I reached this section of the journey during daytime. The scenery all throughout this section is breathtaking, but the road never really lets you enjoy it because you’re continuously concentrating ahead looking out for vehicles coming your way from the opposite side.

Loch Shieldaig

Torridon is situated right in a valley and besides the shores of Upper Loch Torridon. The views all around are magnificent, and any kind of terrain is no more than a few minutes away. I think I’m going to go on one of the short walks tomorrow, which were suggested by the helpful chap at the hostel reception. It’s a little funny how I have been given the keys to Room 9 here in the hostel at Torridon. There are more than 10 rooms in total, and each has a different name. Room 9 is called Loch Torridon. Not sure if it means anything, but there it is.

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t really explore Glencoe, as I did Loch Lomond, and I don’t have much time here in Torridon either. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it more justice that Glencoe. My mood is better now that I’m here, and I really hope there are no more bouts of gloom to be suffered.

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