What a place! It was stunning – helped by the fact that we had fantastic weather. Beautiful forests, stunning lochs, waterfalls and majestic mountain ranges.
So where do I start – when we first got there we set out to find a decent spot to camp then set about exploring our surroundings. One of the first things that caught my eye was a lonely tree poking out from a rocky beach, looking quite incongruous in its setting. The beach belonged to a small nearly-island on Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin. I say nearly-island because (luckily for us) there was a small sand bank connecting it to the mainland that we could nip across to get onto the island.
We set up camp for the night on the little island, choosing a spot well tucked away from the world and the gentle winds. By the way, we’re very considerate campers and don’t leave a trace of our presence when we leave. Here’s our campsite from another point on the same island (taken on my HTC M9):
That night I set the camera up with an intervalometer and sat back with a nice warming rum.
This is the result – around 200 photos taken over the course of a couple of hours. The tree and foreground are naturally lit by the moon which was only a couple of nights away from full:
Startrails in Glen Affric
This starlapse video shows the accumulated effect of the stacked photos:
As a demonstration of how great the weather was the next morning, I took a nice simple photo which shows the vivid sky and loch:
There was a good reason we chose to do this in April – although it was cold at night (so much so my tent iced over), there was not a midge in sight! In my opinion worth being a bit cold to avoid being nibbled…
The following day we took a walk down to the start of Loch Affric – at the point where the two lochs join there is a short climb to a viewpoint which offers some of the most stunning views of the glen. Literally a 360 degree vista, look west and you look over the gorgeous Loch Affric and into the Kintail mountains beyond; look south and your gaze lands on seemingly endless natural Caledonian Pine forest; east takes you back down the picturesque Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin; north onto the nearby hills. The sun was setting at the point we where up there which added a real atmosphere to the scenes.
The stunning views over Loch Affric
The Kintail mountains from Loch Affric
Natural Caledonion Pine forest in Glen Affric
Back up at the other end of Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin we explored the dam, which you can walk almost right across:
Glen Affric by Moonlight
Later that night I thought I’d focus on the moon this time – it was nearly full and the sky was crystal clear. So I dug out the zoom lens and took a shot of the moon itself, with another photo of a ‘moonscape’:
A Moonscape looking west along Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin
Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out my other Highlands explorations, including Plodda Falls and the dramatic sights of Glencoe and Glen Etive.
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