|This was one of those trips that had to get over all sorts of obstacles even just to happen, not least of all my husband not being able to come and family not being very happy about me being out on my own. But I stuck my head in the ground and ignored all the protests and went anyway. And what a wonderful holiday I had.|
I left of the Friday, getting to Rannoch Moor at around 10am on the Saturday. It is over 550 miles form where I live to where I was going to and just too much for 1 person to sensibly drive in a single day.
The weather leaving Glasgow was really foggy and I was worried about if there was even going to be anything to see, let alone photo, but I quickly drove out of the fog and into bright blue skies and perfect visibility.
Stunning weather came and stayed with all except the Sunday being blue skies, white clouds and very (nicely) cold. Night time temperatures ranged from -6C to -12C with even my methylated spirits refusing to come out of its container - it had solidified, to having to break the ice of the burn (river) to get water out of it, which froze before it got to my gas stove. Mind you, even that refused to spring into life on the coldest morning and I had to purchase a pressurised liquid fuel stove to be able to stay on camping up there.
Mostly I took photos, with a couple of 10mile (16km) walks on my own (route left in car so someone knew where I was if needed in an emergency), and lots and lots of photographs.
One of the great things about visiting Scotland at this time of year is that there are no midges becuase it is so very cold.... and it was also during term time, so it was very quiet. Working in a school, sometimes it is nice to find peace and quiet....
Saturday saw me roaming around Rannoch Moor, Glencoe and Glen Etive mostly. The weather that day was bright and cold with the odd cloud in the sky early on. It clouded over towards the mid afternoon but was exceptionally calm with lots of rivers and lochs (including one sea loch) producing mirror images and perfect refelctions.
Sunday was cool and overcast for most of the day, so I wandered around a few places I had not been to before, visiting some waterfalls in Glen Nevis, doing short walks from the car and some food shopping. 9am temp was -6C.
Monday saw the first of the really cold temperatures, waking to -9C and frozen toothpaste. I decided on a walk to my favouarite area (Loch Dochard) to get some photos. Again, the weather was cold, clear and very few clouds in the sky until later in the afternoon. It is a 10mile walk and I took it very slowly taking full advantage of being on my own and seeing no-one else. It meant I could take as many or as few (as if!) pictures as I wanted. It was a beautiful day and plenty of useable pictures came out of it.
Tuesday saw -10C and although it started out clear, freezing fog rolled in and then about 30mins later back out from the top of the valley. It coated everything in a wonderful white hoar frost, and with everything being perfectly calm, some wonderful perfect reflections. The freezing fog also meant that the area became a magnet for other photographers all looking for the perfect foggy landscape picture and indeed there were plenty of them to be found. I spent the day roaming around Glencoe, Rannoch Moor, Loch Tulla and Glen Orchy. The pictures from Loch Tulla are amongst my favourite from the holiday, but the ones from Rannoch Moor are also beautiful.
Wednesday saw a temperature of -12C at 10am in the morning. My gas stove decided life was too hard for it and packed up, just after breakfast and the 1st round of coffee had been made, but it meant that the flask never got filled. The methylated spirits has totally beyond use with it being almost totally solidifed and not wanting to come out of its bottle, so it was off into Tyndrum to see what they had that would work in the cold temperatures and a new stove had to be purchased. The day also saw some fantastic pictures back up on Rannoch Moor again with the tops clear of any cloud.