One of my very favourite places … wish I could be there. Assynt and Loch Assynt are the place of the Bone Caves and Meadow of the Stags (Inchnadamph) that I describe in Elen of the Ways. It is a place where you can walk between worlds. I find much of the Highlands like this, especially Sutherland and would, if I was fit and able, decamp to live there tomorrow! The Highlands pull me, draw me, entice me. I feel so at home there. And it fills me with dreams whether I’m waking or sleeping I always have a foot in both worlds. there is no time left in this year before the snow-weather comes for me to go, and I’m an accident waiting to happen if I go in that sort of weather! No way do I knowingly set myself up to likely have to call out Mountain Rescue, those dear souls have enough to do without me playing the fool! But next year … next year I’ll be there again.
Thank youfor this lovely article 🙂
SEVERAL nights ago when the temperature dropped to unusually low levels even for this poor summer I put some logs on the wood burning stove, poured myself a large dram and settled down to read. But it wasn’t a book I was reading – it was the brand new Harveys map of Assynt.
This new 1:40,000 scale map had dropped through my letterbox a few days earlier and it covers what many would regard as one of the finest areas of wild land in Scotland.
The poet Norman MacCaig was passionate in his love for this area – he claimed to have been “possessed” by it:
Glaciers, grinding West, gouged out
These valleys, rasping the brown sandstone,
And left, on the hard rock below – the ruffled foreland –
This frieze of mountains, filed on the blue air – Stac Polly,
Cul Beag, Cul Mor, Suilven, Canisp – a frieze and a litany