Wednesday, 13 March 2013
A riot of colour ends a blue day
The sun was setting in a golden blaze as we made our way slowly across the Sound of Arisaig. The air was still and the temperature dropping - this was after all February in Scotland!
We were taking long breaks from paddling to simply drift and absorb the atmosphere of the evening. The island of Muck is beyond Phil in this image; little did I think I'd be there a little over a week later! At first we thought the sunset colours might be a pale palette.
But as is so often the case, the best colour developed a good while after the sun had dipped below the horizon. We were genuine participants in this lovely sunset rather than mere observers. The water was so still that an aircraft contrail was reflected perfectly.
The islands of Eigg and Rum were written across the horizon in flowing script. The colours were by now mesmerising; Douglas, Jennifer and I didn't want to get off the water while there was still colour in the sky. We dawdled around, just enjoying things - we felt there might be a final riot of colour yet to come.
When we tore our gaze from the western sky to look to the east, a whole new palette of colour was washed across the sky. Purple and pink with a lovely luminous quality of late evening light.
And then, finally, the crescendo we'd waited for. A strip of cloud was fired by the sun and turned to fiery red and orange shades. Simply stunning.
The three of us arrived back at Glenuig long after darkness had closed in. It had been a most exceptional day's paddling with great company, marvellous weather and a really laid-back atmosphere.
Phil and Jennifer had to return to Ayrshire the same evening, but reckoned that the long drive had been amply rewarded by the day we'd experienced.
We repaired to our base at the Glenuig Inn for dinner before the travellers left. As already mentioned, the Glenuig is a great base for paddlers, and the fact that the full food menu is available all day means that it would also make a fine luncheon stop. Steve and chef Amy have put together a really fine menu, focusing on good local ingredients prepared well and with imagination. If you're lucky enough to dine on a day when there has been a delivery of langoustine tails - don't miss the opportunity to try them.
The availability of a range of real ales (for the non-drivers of course!) is a bonus - the party can particularly recommend Cairngorm Wildcat to toast a great day's paddling.
You can read Douglas' account of our day on the Sound of Arisaig, with some wonderful images, on his blog starting here