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With Bessie safely ensconced in a good position at Clachtoll beach yesterday evening, it was time to take her out for the day.

First stop is to be Achmelvich, the gorgeous little sandy bay a stone’s throw from Clachtoll.  The weather is sunny and quite warm (around 19 degrees) and the lochans are looking pretty with their reeds and budding water lilies, which seem to be a bit later than on the islands.


We are about 10 days later at Clachtoll than last year and wonder if that will make a difference.  We had Achmelvich virtually to ourselves then.  Sadly this was not to be this time and there were several families enjoying what many consider the perfect beach in this part of the world.


DSC_0235Who can blame them?  Although, with the huge preponderance of enormous jellyfish along the shore line this time, perhaps not ideal for small children.


The colours in the water are as amazing as ever however and, balancing my art things precariously on my lap I managed this quick (and unfinished) watercolour before we left.


We stopped at Lochinver and ate some excellent filled baguettes from the mobile van, sitting under an umbrella on the harbour front.  We then decided to attempt again the challenging single track road that snakes around the rocky crags down towards the Coigach peninsular.  Driving out of Lochinver we came across some deer.


Then a stop at our favourite bird place, Inverkirkaig, where there is a pebbly shoreline often populated by waders.  It did not disappoint and we spotted a couple of Curlews in the distance.


The road twists and turns around small bays.


Onwards the scenery becomes more mountainous and it seems you are surrounded by blue and purple hills.


Suddenly in front of you there appears the extraordinary Achnashaird Bay with its myriad of colours which have to be seen to be believed.


The road past the Summer Isles peters out completely at Culnacraig and you are treated to a most magnificent mountain landscape across Ben More amongst others.


We retraced our steps and, it being late afternoon by now, the sun is directly over the Summer Isles, giving a magical effect to the coastline.


Along the coast at Bardentarbat rowing practice is about to take place and a boy throws a stick for a small Jack Russell.


DSC_0519As we leave the coast behind, the pale blue light over the hills is magnificent…


DSC_0554… the shadows lengthen and the mountains change once more.  This is truly an outstanding and, as yet, relatively unvisited part of Scotland.  Long may it stay that way.


At Achnashaird the tide has come further in and we make our way once more over the Aird of Coigach.


DSC_0618The blue of the lochans is deeper than ever…


DSC_0648… and back at Inverkirkaig a lone kayak crosses the bay…


… and a stag is silhouetted against the skyline.

DSC_0657aAt about 10.30pm the sun is at last setting over Clachtoll.


It’s lovely to be back.