Tag Archives: mountain

Bike Ride To Suisnish

Now that I am temporarily on my own on Skye I can do a few things that Di and I are not able to do together. Yesterday’s 26km mountain bike ride from Broadford to Suisnish and back was the first of those. On the outskirts of Broadford there is a well made track called the Broadford Marble Line that follows the railway that used to be there to transport the marble quarried just east of Loch Cill Chriosd. It is very easy and flat, unlike the later part of the route!

The path continues on into the hills, but the bike route goes down to follow the road along the Loch towards Killbride. At a fork the road to Elgol goes right, but I went left towards the coast and a good view of the modern marble quarry that is there. The road stops at Camas Malag, a pebble beach popular with wild campers and with a good view of Blaven (if it is not shrouded in clouds…)

Then followed a few miles of a steep rocky track, sometimes blocked by small ‘lakes’ created by the rain during the last weeks. The goal of the route is the abandoned village of Suisnish. Abandoned is the wrong word as the inhabitants did not leave of their own free will. During the clearances, in October 1853, Lord MacDonald evicted 32 families from their homes and crofts to make way for sheep, which were more profitable. He turned the villagers out into the cold and snow and to prevent them returning, he had their houses burnt down. Apparently one old man went back anyway and was found dead from exposure the next day. Archibald Geikie, a renowned Edinburgh geologist, was visiting the area at the time of this clearance. He later wrote: A strange wailing sound reached my ears. I could see a long and motley procession winding along the road that led north from Suisnish. There were old men and women, too feeble to walk, who were placed in carts; the younger members of the community on foot were carrying their bundles of clothes while the children, with looks of alarm, walked alongside. A cry of grief went up to heaven, the long plaintive wail, like a funeral coronach. The sound re-echoed through the wide valley of Strath in one prolonged note of desolation.

Ruin In Suisnish

Ruin In Suisnish

 

In the early 2oth century someone rebuilt one of the cottages and tried to make a living as a crofter. I don’t know how long the house was inhabited, but now it is used by the sheep to find shelter in bad weather.

Abandoned Home In Suisnish

Abandoned Home In Suisnish

 

After enjoying the lunch I brought and a snooze in the sun I had the much easier return to look forward to. The steep rocky part was fortunately mostly done freewheeling down and about an hour and a half later I was back at the car in Broadford.


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Local Walk

Today was the first day with rain. It started in the morning, was dry from 10:00 and a little bit of drizzle came down at 16:30. I went for my first ride on the mountain bike in the morning. I only went for one and a half hour, but those Scottish hills are not any easier than the ones back home in Lancashire!

House In Tokavaig

House In Tokavaig

In the afternoon we went for a little walk to the bay at Tokavaig. I remember the house in the photo above from our earlier stay here, in 2005. Then it was derelict and in need of major works. Apparently someone took the project on and created a nice house in a beautiful spot right next to Dun Scaith Castle.

Dunscaith Castle In Front Of Bla Bheinn And Bein Na Callich

Dunscaith Castle In Front Of Bla Bheinn And Bein Na Callich

There was little wind, so the bay was smooth and flat and the castle looked good in front of the silhouetted mountains.

Lichen Covered Rock #2

Lichen Covered Rock #2

 

Today  a couple of my favourite subjects got some attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lichen Covered Rock #1

Lichen Covered Rock #1

 

Birch Trees In Tokavaig

Birch Trees In Tokavaig

 


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New Printer

In December my Canon iPF5000 inkjet printer developed a fault with one of the printheads after about 7 years of good service. The two printheads in these printers contain about 30,000 inkjet nozzles each and their way of dealing with ink ‘clogging’, if the cleaning process cannot fix it, is to shut the nozzle down and not use it again. After this happens an x-number of times the printhead needs to be replaced.

The print heads are classed as ‘consumables’ as consumables, so when one of them developed a fault (presumably reaching the aforementioned threshold) I decided to look for a new printer, instead of spending £330 on a new printhead and wait for the other one to go faulty.

The quality of the prints produced by the iPF5000 is superb, so I was pleased to find a good deal on the upgrade to this model the iPF5100. It has a built in paper calibration system and comes with the roll feeder as standard. Some people might feel that £1,020 for an A2 printer is a lot of money, but when you consider that the only alternative (Epson Stylus Pro 4900) is about £2,000, the choice was easy.

This morning I made the first large print of this image from my trip to Sutherland last year. I used Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper and it looks fantastic. I printed it as a duotone image, with a tough of sepia in the highlights and a tiny bit of blue in the darker tints. The blacks are really good on this heavy paper (310 grams per square meter)! A limited edition 30 x 45cm print (one of only 10 that will ever be printed) is available for £59. 

Loch Assynt Reflection 2

Loch Assynt Reflection 2


 


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Lastours

Lastours is about 12 miles north of Carcassonne, in the Montaigne Noir. This small town is famous for the group of four castles, towers really. The path up there is steep in places, but well maintained and safe. The views from the top are magnificent, especially when there is a dramatic sky. The view of the castles below is from a special ‘belvedere’ on the hill opposite. You have to pay an entrance fee to get to that viewpoint, unless you have paid the fee for climbing up the path to the castles.

Four Castles At Lastours

Four Castles At Lastours

 

 

Cabaret And Tour Régine

Cabaret And Tour Régine

 

Cabaret Castle

Cabaret Castle

Thinking

Thinking

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