When writing about Inverness earlier I almost said that it reminded me of Canada: the mountains, the forests and the snow. Having now travelled all the way out to Kyle of Lochalsh I think I can now say it’s amazing how much the highlands in winter are like northern Canada, except at a much more friendly scale. When travelling around Canada you see some amazing mountain vistas, lakes and ‘rugged’ scenery. The only problem is the fourteen-hundred miles of forest you have to drive through to get from one lake view to the next. It is possible in Canada to drive for five hours straight through identical scenery – which makes it difficult to know if you’ve progressed at all!
The highlands is the polar opposite of this. You’ve just passed by a breathtaking view of a snow-capped mountain range and you’re suddenly diving down towards a perfectly still loch that’s reflecting the azure blue skies. You’ve only just taken that in and your attention is distracted by a stag wandering across the rolling heathland. Just as you begin to think that this is the first time you’ve seen a stag in the wild your eyes are drawn to a picture-perfect finishing village situated adjacent to where a roaring stream enters the loch.
I’ve heard people wax lyrical in the past about what a remarkable place the Scottish highlands are, and I think I’m now starting to get an idea of where they’re coming from. This area’s definitely going on the ‘future holiday’ list, although maybe at a time of year when the wind isn’t quite as biting as it is today.
That said, I think visiting this area just as winter proper starts may have been quite a good idea; you get the wonderful contrast of the red and brown grass and heather, the green gorse and forest and the snow-capped mountain peaks.
Here are a selection of photos from this morning for you to judge for yourselves: