The Scenic Route

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Yesterday was Optician day – a day I always dread, not only because of the likely expense of new glasses, but because of the actual test itself.  We have a lovely optician, Margaret in Ullapool.  She is so thorough, and fortunately has a good sense of humour as for some reason I always get the giggles at the optician!  And as to the test, well to put it frankly I get bored.  “Tell me which is clearer ….. this, or this” (as she swiftly changes lenses in those stunningly stylish glasses things you have to wear).  “This, or this?”.  Ummmmmmmmmm.  And then that test where you have to click the clicker thing as the tiny light flashes all over a screen – well my mind tends to wander somewhat.  I find myself thinking about the dye schedule, upcoming events, the shopping I need to do before leaving Ullapool, and completely forget to press the clicker thing.  At my last check up I did so badly on that test that Margaret had me back 6 months later to try again!  So I tried really hard yesterday to stay focused, and I obviously succeeded as Margaret gave me the all clear – no change to my prescription so no need to get new glasses – what you could call a win win.

It was a beautifully sunny winters day yesterday, so we decided to take the “scenic route” to Ullapool.   Our first stop was just south of Lochinver at Culag Woods.  It is a while since we visited this community woodland, an really it is very remiss of us not to visit it more often.   The Culag Community Woodland Trust look after this project beautifully, with the paths well maintained but not obtrusively so.   The Trust are also responsible for the maintenance of one of our other favourite walks which I spoke about in the second part of this blog entry.  Although Lexie is slow these days, she was feeling quite sprightly yesterday, so we ambled our way down to the White Shore, although it is anything but white.  It is instead a beach covered in pebbles that are a multitude of colours and shapes as you can see in the photo above.  Stevan managed to capture me in a contemplative moment hoping to see an otter:

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The wood itself is a mix of native and conifer trees.  Yesterday it was looking beautiful in the dappled light that is so pretty but so difficult to photograph.

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Once legs had been stretched we headed south again along the single track road which some find terrifying, and others find exhilarating.  I have a foot in both camps!  It certainly isn’t a road I would do in the summer when tourism is at its peak.  Passing places are few and far between, and some of the road is intensely narrow with a rock cliff to one side, and a sheer drop to the sea on the other.  It isn’t the sort of road you want to do when you’re not in the mood to concentrate.  But the views along this road are rewarding.

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The peaks all had a very light dusting of snow – just enough to keep the wind very chilly.  And once we reached Ullapool the village was looking stunning yet again.  The harbour rarely fails to enthrall me, in any weather:

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Today it is back to work.  The weather is still glorious, and now my head is full of colour inspiration from yesterday’s drive.  Oh, and a quick word to the wise – I’m leaving Stevan in charge of the dogs and hens next week and I’m heading off for a few days R&R.  Although the shop site will remain live, orders will not be processed and posted until Monday 20th February.  So if you’re wanting to order something, order soon so I can get it posted to you before I head off.

2 comments to The Scenic Route

  • Nancy

    I love the Culag Woods, and the Trust does an excellent job looking after it. As for the wee mad road, well…! Yipes!

    What gorgeous colours in the wood and the pebbles. Hope to see some sun in April when we are up.

  • Maggie

    Beautiful photos Helen. The air looks really fresh and bright.