Before I left home, I had not been able to settle on what to do after Gairloch. The general idea had been to continue heading south and west. Now I was there, I was struggling to find anywhere to stay. I decided to head for a hike at Shieldaig. It was only a short hike, so I took advantage of passing Loch Maree and through Torridon in good weather to stop lots of times and explore and take photos. In between those two I had an excellent lunch in Kinlochewe.
Driving through Torridon was beautiful, but by the time I got to Shieldaig it was raining again. Well I wasn’t going to lose another day to rain, and after all, I had come well-equipped, so I set out on the hike. For me, it proved frustrating; I don’t know if I had mis-read the directions, but I found the trail difficult to follow and when I reached a beach covered with fist-sized stones and no sense as to what the rest of the the trail would be like nor how long it would take me to complete the hike, I turned back.
I drove the (very) long way back to Gairloch, stopping a few times, and this is where my idea for another trip, on the train, was born. When I reached the Glen Docherty Viewpoint the sunset was the most amazing blaze of color, but one of those occasions when you look at the photos afterward and think you weren’t even close to capturing it. The real irony is that the sky was even more spectacular as the road was climbing on the other side of the summit, but there was nowhere to stop.