Our way to be in Wester-Ross

People who live far away and in big conurbations are mostly too polite to ask but we know they often wonder why we live in such a 'remote' spot as Aultbea. Now, there's nothing sensational in what follows but it might go some way towards answering that unspoken question ...

The day before yesterday we took our customary mid-day walk in a place very familiar to us when we had the dogs but never visited since (a) they left us and (b) I put on twenty pounds of excessive weight. I'm pleased to say the latter has disappeared thanks to the shotgun diet imposed by Herself. So we went back to the walk that we always called 'the rocks'.

If you drive north from Aultbea and pass first Laide then Second Coast you will come to the top of quite a big hill. It's a very steep drop from there before the road skirts a series of sandy beaches that we term 'the necklace'. However you leave the car up top and strike off down towards the sea across trackless rock, downrushing burn and heathery bogland. You need to be quite agile and definitely do not attanpt it without your stick. It's that kind of country. Rarely has it felt the tread on Man since the houses now just seen in the tangle as stoney remnants were vacated by their hardy occuoants a hundred years ago.

Once at the bottom of the hill you can walk out across jumbled boulders and rocky shelves until you reach the saltwater waves that roll in to die in white against this Wester-Ross. This is where we used to sit with Sorosh and Mati to consume our customary picnic lunch - soup or coffee, sandwich etc. And this is where we sat the day before yesterday. I'd brought along my lightweight fishing rod so spent an hour watching the red top of my float bobbing up and down (catching nothing) whilst Dee dozed off in the sunshine on her rocky seat.

I took this photo from there for no other reason than to point out to you that jut of rock where we watched an otter at play. He or more likely she came out of the sea and messed about on it before diving in again, several times repeating his manouvre as if to say, how clever an amphibian am I, then?

I know this may not, at least for many, answer that original question as to why we are here. But for us it does and that is enough.


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