At about the same time the majority of Scots are lying in a heap wondering where they left their Brains/ Insides/ Husbands/ Wives, I am waking up for my traditional journey into the Highlands.
I made a decision this year not to travel too far as I have another much bigger trip planned soon, so it was with that I headed towards the Glencoe area, the time ….. 5am. As most of you will realise it is always a risk travelling into the Highlands at this time of year as the weather will dictate what you can and cannot do and with that in mind I approached the trip in a very philosophical state which in hindsight was a good thing as we drove through sleet, rain and snow on the way to and over Rannoch Moor.
Arriving at Glencoe at 7.30am there was no sign of any light at all so we went for a little drive towards Glencoe Village, a matter of 10 minutes away, this little drive resulted in me being pulled over by the Highland Constabulary for a breath test which I have to admit was great !! I’ve never been pulled over before and being as I’m teetotal it was never going to be an issue but still it brightened up the morning!
Now, back to the weather, as we approached Glen Etive we noticed that the weather was in bands with seemingly everything from snow to bright sunshine coming in intervals so the first shots taken were in blowing rain with the rain hitting my face like mini bullets, but, with a camera that is weather sealed it wasn’t a problem. Making our way along The Glen Etive road we took a few shots as we went along and in some cases the light created magnificent openings and in other cases downpours meant nothing doing.
One of the great things about these trips is standing at Loch Etive with a flask full of coffee and a smile, add to that the odd walker giving a smile and a ‘Happy New Year’ and you have a recipe for a good dat regardless of the weather. Were these ‘perfect’ conditions? No of course not but does it matter?
It always makes me smile to hear photographers talking about the perfect conditions because for me the perfect conditions are whatever nature has to offer you and you should smile and gratefully accept it.
The water levels were very high with all the recent rain and that made the terrain a little more treacherous than normal so my normal climbing exploits were not really an option, not a bad thing possibly as when standing by a waterfall I saw a bunch of flowers for someone who must have fallen in, these waterfalls are unforgiving if mistakes are made, and, well ” there but for the grace of god….”
After leaving Glen Etive we headed home taking in Black Mount on Rannoch Moor getting which was my favourite shot of the day. I always feel a little sad when the height of the mountains is replaced by the rolling hills of Perthshire but I know i’ll be back….soon.
The whole Glencoe area could take days to explore but even dipping into it for a day will leave you a better person, if you allow it in… so, don’t fight it, embrace it and allow it to wash over you I promise you’ll thank me .
Written by Davie Hudson, Guest Writer and Photographer, Follow Davies websites for more pictures of the Scottish Highlands, links below