This photograph was taken from the tiny but beautiful park sandwiched between the sea loch and the River Ewe.
Although it feels serene and remote now during World War Two Loch Ewe was a busy place.
It was codenamed 'Port A' and was a secret base for the Arctic Convoys helping to support Russia with much needed supplies and equipment, sailing to Archangel and Murmansk from here. Nineteen Arctic Convoys in total braved German U boats and air attacks and almost six hundred ships made the hazardous crossing. Merchant craft being escorted and protected by a guard of Naval warships.
Convoy PQ 17 was one of the hardest hit during that time with only 11 out of 36 merchant ships reaching Archangel.
I learned this from the Information boards and Memorial to all the sailors that died in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic.
for a starter before munching a tasty sandpiper sandwich it was 6:00am. A wash and much needed outflow at the Poolewe toilets saw us reaching the car park at the start of the track beside the River Ewe just before 7:00am.
Even the swift act of getting the bikes ready and pulling on boots saw us covered in midge. After an application of midge cream over arms, hair and head they simply changed tactics biting me on the eyeballs, inside the ears and around the lips instead. I wanted to round them all up and put them on the naughty step but the driven man beside me was keen to tackle his mountain for today.
The driven man took the lead, pleased he could actually see his carrot/Oops sorry Corbett, in sight most of the way.
' Are you not going to keep me company? It's a wonderful view from the top. We might get a breeze up there. It's getting really hot now. Even hotter than yesterday.'
I handed him my lucky rabbits foot as there was very little meat left on it after our last rest stop.
'There will be a breeze at the beach.' Ta Ta. Have a good day up your lump.'
Many years ago in my puppy prime I had climbed Beinn Lair via Wisdom Buttress, V Diff. An esoteric and spectacular rock climb which has scant protection on its 700 foot of slabby verticality. I seem to remember Brian, our bold lead climber in a rope of three, resorting to several body belays on ledges as normal protection on this rock route was conspicuous by its absence. I think we got eight runners in 700 feet and most of them were small wires. Size one or two.
It was almost a solo with a rope on. Real adventurous stuff. A tenuous line weaving a path up, around and under overhangs. It's the classic of this crag and is arguably the remotest climb of its grade in Britain. I see it's up to Severe grade now probably due to the lack of protection and its isolation.
Had a good chuckle watching Alex toil up this skyline to his hard won prize.
There are bands of Lewisian Gneiss running through the Torridonian sandstone and other material like Cambrian Quartzite in this area which is probably responsible for this startling effect. Very unusual. The rocks in this area are some of the oldest found anywhere in the world.
After visiting here I stayed on the path system and visited the heights above Letterewe reached via the low pass of the Stathan Buidhe as I fancied looking down on the islands in Loch Maree. I'll keep that for Part Three though.
Eventually Alex returned from Beinn Lair and we walked back to the bikes together. An eleven and a half hour day during which I covered as much ground as Alex, just less vertical height. Seen nine other walkers over two days. This still feels like a remote area where anything can take place.
Really weird pink flamingo sunset over the tents.
Might as well include another gem from Emilie Simon off the same flower themed album 'Vegatal'
Stunning artwork throughout.