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Thursday, 12 December 2013

I “heart” Doune!

I meant to show you more photos of Doune in Knoydart, but have never got round to that yet!  Then there are photos of a couple of autumn river walks too, and I am sure lots more to write about, so what will I do first? 

I’ll show you Doune again, I think, and keep things in some semblance of date order! So where do I start?  Scenery – it has to be scenery! blaven

On a good day we can look over the water – the Sound of Sleat – and see the Cuillin mountains, stretching in a long often jagged line behind the southernmost part of the Isle of Skye.  The highest peak you see here is called Blaven (BLAH ven).  When the mist covers them and they can’t be seen we, the lacemakers, say the Cuillin is down, but on this day the Cuillin was very much up and looking beautiful.  That little yacht on the water just added a little touch of alternative interest!!

doune headThe promontory across the bay here, is where there’s evidence of a prehistoric vitrified fort  or dun, which gives Doune its name.  doune bay_thumbThis next photo is of the other end of the headland, and the dun is more or less above the group of people standing at this side of the bay.  The two boats out there are the Mary Doune and Gripper II.  Poor old original Gripper went down in a stormy winter journey back from Mallaig some years ago, after a gas or an oil canister managed to come loose from the fixtures that held it, and  its moving weight unbalanced the boat and tipped it over.  The Dounies got very wet but thankfully survived the accident with not much more than shock and bruises, but Gripper went to the bottom of the sea and there she lies to this day.  When the name was being discussed for their new boat, some time after, the name Gripper seemed just not to go away!  I suggested they call her “Gripper too”, but she became Gripper II, though in general she’s just Gripper!chaffinch_thumb[1]

Here’s one of the many chaffinches that come to feed off the peanuts in the bird feeders outside the dining room.  They are such fun to watch.  This one looks as if it’s eyeing up a feeder,  waiting for an opportunity to get in there before another bird does!  sandaig_thumb[1]

Another hill view – this time of the hills behind Doune.  The cloud patterns throw such beautiful shadows onto the landladhar bheinn2_thumb[1]

Here’s another view, of Ladhar Bheinn (LAHR ven) in  cloud. 



Introducing Tally, the West Highland terrier, who has the run of the place.   How exciting for a wee dog to have so much freedom!  She wasn’t too far from home the day I met her on the path to the wooden lodge.  She kept running ahead of me, often turning back to see that I was still following, and waiting for me to catch up with her.  When we finally reached the grassy area in front of the lodge, she suddenly started to bark at something quite unseen by me.  She kept turning her head to see where I was, always positioning herself right in front of me, and sometimes backing right up to my legs, barking like crazy in front of her, as if she was trying to protect me from something only she could see!  It was quite endearing – though I’d love to know what she thought she could see!  Maybe there were deer in the bracken and she could smell them.  Whatever it was, she was looking after me!  Such a cute little dog!

deer below liz's_thumb[2]Talking of deer, we saw this one, one early evening, on the path from the White House up to Liz’s, but then on our last morning we had our big treat!two deer_thumb[2]


Not just one but two deer were grazing outside the lodge.



Sometimes they are here during the night when it’s dark, but to see them there in daylight was great.

tide's out_thumb[1]We hadn’t had a trip out in the boat during the week but on Friday, when Martin said he was going to pick up the prawns for dinner that night, there was an eager group of lacemakers ready to go with him.  I think I showed you the picture of the prawns changing hands in my first Doune blog a few weeks ago, but I have put in this picture of the pier as we waited for Martin to bring Gripper round from her mooring in the bay.  When she arrived, we had to sit down on the edge of the pier and slither down into the boat.  We use the verb to dreip (dreep), in Scotland, to describe that action!  We all dreiped onto Gripper and soon were off down the Sound of Sleat towards Armadale on Skye.  The prawns were picked up and we set off back to Doune.  the pier's gone_thumb[1]

Um!  Where has the pier gone?  All we could see was the crane thing.  The tide had come in and covered the pier, so we had an amusing time climbing off the boat, this time dreiping from it to the pier, and coming ashore  into several inches of water – P1050851_thumb[1]cold water I might add!ooh that's cold_thumb[5] 




All part of the Doune Experience!

brambles_thumb[1]OK!  One or two flower pictures before I go!  Here are some brambles, the fruits not yet turned purple-black, and a few white flowers still in bloom and still tcinquefoil_thumb[3]o turn to fruit!  The yellow flower is only about 50mm in diameter.  It’s a cinquefoil, from the French for the five leaves gathered round the stem. wild scabious_thumb[1] There are plenty of these wild scabious flowers to be found here in the later summer, looking like little blue spots among the grasses.  I love the blue!


P1050718_thumb[1]I did know the name of this little pink flower, but my brain has gone AWOL, and I can’t get at my flower book right now.  Anyone?

Well, at last it was Saturday and time to leave.  Weeks here go by far faster than weeks at home, and it will be almost a year before we are back at Doune – Counting down the months now already!way to travel_thumb[1] 

This is how our luggage gets from the lodges to the pier.  It’s a bumpy ride!both boats at the pier_thumb[1]


Both boats were at the pier to take us all back to Mallaig.the lodges from the path_thumb[1]


Goodbye to the lodges, and the White House.boat house and white house2_thumb[1] 

Goodbye and Thank you to our wonderful hosts, the “Dounies”!




We’re off – but we’ll be back!

Talk again soon.

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