"Experiencing Ardnamurchan”  by Kev Burnley.

Part 4 - Once Discovered, Never Forgotten

Discover the wildlife. 

Find otters yourself, if you’re patient and observant, they'll appear from nowhere.  As might a golden eagle, a small pod of porpoise or maybe dolphin.  And if you’re really patient, a white - tailed eagle.  How wonderful it is to see these creatures with nobody else around! 

Pic 8 buzzard kilchoan.jpg

Of course you could go over the ferry to Tobermory and pay to almost guarantee seeing them on a "wildlife safari" in a seven-seater Land Cruiser with strangers, (don't get me wrong, it has its merits)   but when, for the first time in your life, you suddenly see a pair of sea eagles for yourself, or realise, yes! it's an otter!  Not just a ripple in the water, it is truly a memorable moment!  You'll talk about it for years.  And they were all yours.  

 Pic 11 Castle Tioram.jpg

I’ve always wondered if living here, you’d ever take any of this for granted.  But my impression is that although locals might get used to seeing the wildlife so revered and enthused over by outsiders and are used to living amongst awesome seascapes and gorgeous scenery, familiarity would never breed contempt.  There is a massive respect for it.  They know they live in a unique part of the world that demands differently on them, and so their sense of community is possibly all the better for it. 

Of course the single-track road may be a source of frustration, especially when dealing with us visitors adjusting to the etiquette of such byways, but when you let them pass, you can be sure of a smile and a cheery wave, as if they’re only too happy to have you here sharing their secret, if only for a short while. And I’m sure they are.

Pic 9 point.jpg

Back along the peninsula at Salen, you can journey north should you choose.  More delights await you at and beyond the lovely Acharacle. The wonderfully named Kinlochmoidart. or Glenuig.  They too, are all yours to discover……maybe you could read a little about the Jacobites for even more romance and intrigue.

But if you choose eventually to leave Wonderland to head back through the looking-glass that is the Corran ferry, maybe you'll travel a few miles in reverent silence until you see the lighthouse that stands guard over the Straits, and one or two last photographs.

I'll bet you'll even whisper a "goodbye"  while the cattle grid is still ringing behind you,  and harbour thoughts of a fond return in the not too distant future.

Pic 10 Loch Moidart.jpg

You'll know then that you too have had the Ardnamurchan Experience.

If you’ve enjoyed Kev’s blog, check out his Ardnamurchan folder on Facebook which has even more great photos!