Monday, 14 November 2011

Lairg and The Falls of Shin

It is Monday on the second day of our holiday in the North of Scotland. We left our lodge in Rogart at about nine o'clock and proceeded towards Lairg, a town that sits neatly at the southern end of Loch Shin. Now, if you've read some of my blogs you will know that we have always enjoyed good weather when we have been north of the border, but today was an exception because it was coming down in torrents. On the way to Lairg we passed a bus that had skidded off the road and had gone through a fence, no doubt the accident was caused by the weather condition. The usual emergency crews were in attendance and I felt sympathy for the people who were doing a grim job in such foul conditions.
Because of the weather we didn't stay long in Lairg and carried on towards our destination, which was the Falls of Shin. We had read a write-up about the salmon that could be seen leaping up the falls and because neither of us had witnessed such an event we decided to remedy the situation. The good news is that as we took a lovely ride, on the B846 from Lairg, the sun came out and it turned into a lovely day.
Now the bad news, the falls were splendid enough with some nice viewing points, but, although I almost popped an eyeball from staring too hard, there wasn't a salmon to be seen. John West must have been there before us and banged them all in a tin. Anyway, having seen (and heard) enough of the gushing water we walked back up the path and called in at a huge log cabin that served as a visitor's centre and had some lunch.

After a delicious meal we carried on following the river as it snaked its way down the valley to the Kyle of Sutherland and then onto the Dornoch Firth.
This is a large inlet where the River Shin meets the North Sea and it is very scenic. A ferry used to be the only form of crossing here, but now a magnificent bridge carrying the A9 spans the water. We stopped for a while and had some tea from our flask and walked our dog before heading back to our lodge.
During the ride back the weather changed again and we entered a hail storm the likes of which we'd never encountered before, or again since. The hail stones were almost as big as marbles and I can only wonder that our car didn't finish up covered in dents.

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