Carrbridge

Never has the rain been so hard when I got to Carrbridge on Wednesday. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. While the rest of the UK baked in 30 degrees Scotland froze it's ass off in a balmy 16 degrees, with thunderstorms and rain (and hail in some locations). Still, you can't do anything about the weather without an industrial revolution and a hundred years of polluting so I had to suck it up! I will return to this location later in the year.

On the bright side, I discovered the magic of Haggis Lasagne at the Cairn Hotel while waiting on the rain to go off, it's a cosy place with the worst wifi in Scotland but the Haggis Lasagne was unbelievably good. I've put a link to their website, be warned, the website matches their wifi...

Carrbridge's most famous landmark is the packhorse bridge, from which the village is named. The bridge, built in 1717, is the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. It was severely damaged in the "muckle spate" of 1829 (a great flood in August 1829), which left it in the condition seen today. It is now unstable and walking over it is not recommended. The packhorse bridge celebrated it's 300th anniversary in May this year. There is discussion as to whether it is the oldest stone bridge in Scotland or the oldest in the Highlands.

These are shots that I managed to get when the rain abated a little, click the thumbnail if you are on a desktop for the larger image.

Paths

The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character.

Going for an almost 320 mile drive today to get a picture, passing through the Cairngorm mountains and up to the capital of the highlands, Inverness. Truth be told I am going for a little more than a picture. But, a great shot at Carrbridge of Scotlands (allegedly) oldest stone bridge with a great sunset would be nice. It'd be a tough trip to go back on a nicer evening to get that shot. But I guess that's the kind of choices I have been making lately.

I have been on an unfamiliar path for a while now and I haven't been taking the time to look around and see what is going on, assessing my surroundings and asking myself questions. I think the questions we ask ourselves shape our path. I have travelled a fair amount recently, looking for new paths to follow and I have been disappointed at where I have been.

Time for a new direction, via Inverness if nothing else.

;

Rock Tree

I remember passing this tree growing out a rock when I was young. It was part of the excitement of going to Glencoe, waiting to spot it at the side of the road. There are lots of markers on the road to Glencoe that I still look out for on my way there, but this is by far my favourite.

 

Private Yacht

After driving to Glencoe I thought it was worthwhile driving on to Corpach to finally visit the abandoned boat on the seashore. I have always been fascinated with old boats like this, I like to wonder what their story is and how they come to their final resting place.

It's an old fishing vessel, and I couldn't really find much information about it, apart from the news story that it's emergency beacon caused a major air and sea search. Apparently the beacon may have been triggered as it deteriorated. The report said that the vessel was abandoned "at some point" during the past ten years.

I didn't get the shots that I was hoping for but I got some that I liked that are displayed below. In the first shot you can see Ben Nevis in the background.

Buachaille Etive Mòr

With a break in the particularly miserable weather we have been experiencing in Scotland over the past week I took the opportunity to drive back up to Glencoe. I specifically wanted to get some photographs of Buachaille Etive Mòr. This is probably the most recognisable mountain in Scotland, a large pyramidal form that can be seen when travelling into Glen Coe from the Rannoch Moor side on the A82 (not that there is any other roads to travel on).

The Scottish Gaelic translation of Buachaille Etive Mòr is 'the herdsman of Etive'. I forget how many times I have summited this mountain and the munro's that are on its ridge but it remains one of my favourite places to be.

It was a rare opportunity to spend some time in the valley without midges being all over me; just enough wind to keep them away but not so strong to shake the camera during long exposures.