Wester Ross | 11.6.14

“L’enfer, c’est les autres” – Sartres

Having moved from London to rural Shropshire you might have thought that that would circumstance enough peace and quiet to satiate that particular instinct. Apparently not, for last week we chose to holiday on the Applecross peninsula overlooking Skye in the cottage below.


Remote enough? The islands immediately in the distance are Raasay and Rona (too remote – Rona has a resident population of 1) and then Skye behind them. The water in between is called Inner Sound and is one of the deepest stretches of water surrounding the UK and as such is occasionally used by the Navy for submarine tests. So we spent a lot of time looking out of the window (with and without binoculars), walking and reading (Andrew Fusek Peters’ Dip and Christos Tsiolkas’ Barracuda – both about swimming – I managed 2 quick dips in the chilly depths) and marvelling at it still being light well after 11pm – and then light again from 3 in the morning. We ticked off lots of wildlife/bird spots: otter, porpoise, golden eagle, seal, wheatear, linnet, cuckoo, and flora – see the sundew below – and ate a lot of really good local shellfish.

One preparation that living in Shropshire had made for us was being relatively unfazed by roads that might make the stomach lurch. In Shropshire we have the Burway, winding over the Long Mynd and seemingly witness to at least one episode a year where someone manages to drive off the road, on the Applecross peninsula (and the main way across it) they have the Bealach Na Ba – which bears the warning as you approach that it is unsuitable for learner drivers and is the highest public road in the UK. If it weren’t for the preponderance of motorhomes it would be a breeze.

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