Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Memories from 2018

The turn of a year is a time to look forward to the possibilities and challenges ahead, but also to reflect on the year just ended. While opportunities for longer trips have been a little restricted due to an alteration in work pattern, I've once again been lucky to have enjoyed some superb days in Scotland's great outdoors. As in previous years I've absolutely failed to narrow down just one memory of the year!

2018 was a year of meteorological contrast.  A more traditional winter than recent mild affairs gave large accumulations of snow and some superb conditions, even on lower hills.  The variety of light through the winter gave constant interest, and there were also some rather impressive full moon events.

The summer switched on in May and proved to be one of the best in living memory with lots of hot sunshine on offer.  A trip with Mike out to Eigg in June was made in really hot conditions....for once the white sand and turquoise water were matched by tropical temperatures!

As well as paddling out to, around and back from the island we climbed the iconic An Sgurr and found ourselves being fried on Eigg........

.......and of course there have been the sunsets!  So much of what continues to enthuse is the variety of light - solas - which Scotland has.

Autumn brought some great colours and the fulfilment of one of my "must do" paddles, on Loch Maree in the full glory of autumnal shades.

I made a conscious effort to visit bothies in 2018, including some which I'd not sen in many years and one to which I'd not previously been.  Visits included Gelder Shiel, Charr, Glencoul and Glendhu, the "Tarf Hotel" and Shielin of Mark.  All different, but all part of the wonderful institution which is bothying.

But...if pushed for a stand-out memory of 2018, it would have to be.....

..the utterly stunning week we spent in Harris.......

Light.  That's what Harris is about, and we were lucky enough to experience the arclight brilliance and startling clarity of Hebridean light at its very best.

And the colours were pretty special too!

I started this blog in 2009, nine years and almost 750 posts down the line I was startled to notice that just before Christmas this little corner of the internet had passed a half million page views!  Thank you to everybody who takes the time to drop by - I hope that it continues to provide some interest.

So, that was some of 2018 - and here's to 2019; Slainte Mhath!


  1. Smashing post Ian and a great variety of memories. All the best for adding to them in 2019. We are very lucky people in the UK to be born with such incredible patchwork quilt landscapes inland on our doorstep and such easy access to coastlines from every location in this slender country of ours.

    1. Thanks Bob, we certainly are blessed! A very happy New Year to you too!