Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tracing An Arc, Part 1

We holidayed at Clachtoll, in North Assynt, Sutherland, the far north west of Scotland. Beyond the range of mobile phone signals. The campsite is right above the beach – and what a beach! I’ve uploaded a set of photos on my Flickr pages.

The rocks here are the oldest in Europe, and, at 500 million years old, among the oldest anywhere in the world. And you feel it. It is a strangely beautiful stark landscape, scraped by ice and (more recently and today) by sheep; scarred with over 200 small freshwater lochs, all containing wild brown trout; scattered with many hundred Red Deer; and, soaring above it all, home to the Golden Eagle, our largest native bird. The children and I had not been here before, but Jo had holidayed here year after year as a child. I loved looking at the mountains – Suilven, Quinag, Stac Pollaidh: a landscape that can’t be tamed, has not been harnessed (though there is talk of wind farms); that exists for its own sake, and for God’s pleasure, and forces us to recognise our limits and take only pleasure too…

We were joined, in their massive new motorhome, by my in-laws, along with Jo’s sister and her family. Which would have been lovely, had they not brought a gastro bug with them…I’ll spare details, but suffice to say it felt like I did a lot of looking after sick people, and we eventually got home shattered…


1 comment:

  1. Ah the bleak, weird, beautiful, landscape of Assynt, wide barren moors, broken up with great frost-shattered protrusions of rock! Truly wonderful!

    I had a walking holiday with my Dad there several years ago, celebrating his retirement. Just the mention of the magical sounding names like Suilven and the Quinag brings it all flooding back!