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Day 10 – October 19, 2010

Scottish Cow

Started back from Torridon today. I think I’m staying at Glen Nevis, and will try to see if I can visit the Glenfinnan viaduct tomorrow. It’s close to Fort William and should easily be doable. Not sure if I’ll mange to squeeze in Castle Stalker too, but we’ll see. Castle Stalker is on the way back to Glasgow, but it is accessed via a route which is different from the one I am planning to take so I’m hoping to visit it tomorrow, otherwise I might have to skip it.

Eilean Donan Castle

Stopped again at Eilean Donan castle to manage and squeeze out a fiew photos with the sun shining on it. I had stopped here on my way to Torridon a couple of days ago, but at that time the clouds were out in full-force and I had to be content with very a very moody-looking caslte. The sun obliged today, albeit after standing in the cold, waiting for it to make an appearance for a good half hour. It was worth it though, because the castle looks like a million bucks in the sunlight, and I was glad I decided to wait for it to happen.

The ruins of Inverlochy Castle

The drive back from Torridon also had me stopping at a number of places, contrary to what I had thought. It had been very cold last night with the result that all peaks in Scotland had seen snowfall on them. This created a situation where every scene I had witnessed while driving to Torridon had acquired a different atmosphere. I didn’t repeat all of those images, but definitely a few, because with the snow showing these places had undergone a significant change of character.

A stream of molten water from the slopes of Ben Nevis flows by

The hostel at Glen Nevis seems to be the most unfriendly feeling of all the SYHA hostels I’ve stayed in so far. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason, but it just feels less welcoming than the others, and more so in stark contrast to the one at Torridon, where the guy at the reception was the most friendly I’ve met in any of the hostels. Anyway, I just need to sleep here, so I’m not going to let this feeling run amok. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

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Day 9 – October 18, 2010

Shipwreck at Diabaig

Torridon is such a world of difference as compared to the tourist-infested area in Glencoe. It almost seems as if the entire world has come into Glencoe for hiking, walking, and general merry-making. It’s not that it isn’t a great place to be in, but Toriddon is no less. In fact, according to me, the rugged beauty of Torridon is a level above that of Glencoe, if not more. The manner in which the land meets the waters and the sky at Torridon are to be seen to be believed. It looks serene and dangerous at the same time; intensely beautiful and awe-inspiring.

I spent the first half of the day driving up to the end of the road onwards from Torridon, up to a village called Diabaig. It’s located at the shores of Loch Torridon, and is accessible only if you are willing to traverse a tortuous section of single-track road across the mountains in the area. The views throughout leave nothing to be desired, and when the sun comes out they gain an entirely new kind of look, so different from when it is overcast and cloudy that it’s hard to believe you’re looking at the same piece of earth. The weather being what it is in Scotland, especially in the Highlands, it kept raining and clearing every hour or so and I was fortunate enough to have witnessed the full splendour of Torridon in just half a day. Diabaig itself isn’t much, but with it’s setting along the shores of the Loch it acquires an off-track charm that is entirely its own.  Hopefully some of the images I shot over there will do it, and Torridon, justice.

Loch Torridon

Overall, I am extremely happy with my stay at here today. The second half of the day was much less eventful weather-wise and shooting-wise, but it was also good to ease-off towards the latter half, which helped the grandeur of what I had witnessed in the morning to sink in.

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