As you hit the coast and head north past Ullapool, you are in the Geological reserve, the land of Inverpolly, where (you can still imagine) dinosaurs roaming free. Stacks of views and scattered land, filled in with dreamy lochs.
“A visually striking skate spot and a shot I had always dreamed off”
In 1984, Kylesku bridge was opened. Before that, a ferry would have to take you 120 metres over Loch a’ Chàirn Bhàin. For my current travels and Helena’s skating I am thankful for this bridge, recognised as an innovative design by HIstoric Scotland, the v-shaped legs, designed for minimal impact on the environment, also make for a visually striking skate spot and a shot I had always dreamed off. Helena clambered up the brick ladder, placed by skaters before her and became a miniscule dot absorbed by the sheer scale of the bridge. There is no competing with the view here.
Heading the rest of the way north and along the coast, piers would tempt our minds to stop, mine for the photos and Helena’s for the skating. But more so, a combined belief in pausing frequently to explore, take in the views, skim some stones, make tea in the van and have some food. Breakfast on Scourie Pier, lunch on Talmine Pier, dinner on Skerray Pier. We spent the final evening on the Kyle of Tongue, staring out over Ben Loyal, Ben Hope and Castle Varrich, the ancient seat of the chief of the Clan Mackay, whose descendants you will still meet in the area.
“You don’t see another car for miles and when you do, you get a fright”
The road between Tongue and Crask is an in-land singular skinny track, threading through deserted openess, sometimes you don’t see another car for miles and when you do, you get a fright. It was our South route back downhill to Inverness and towards the bright lights of the cities. Crossing some of the oldest stone bridges, once taken by horseback, now kickflipped by Helena.
“If you look hard enough and open your mind to new possibilities, spots, places and situations, there will always be something to skate. When you stop and take a break you never know where you might find yourself. It could be that you wake up from napping in heather in the Scottish Highlands” – Helena Long (@helenalegslong)
See more of Hannah’s photos at whatmakesagoodphoto.com
Follow the good work of Save Our Rivers who raise awareness of our need to protect our last free flowing rivers and wild places: saveourrivers.org
In memory of Elizabeth “Babe” Mackay.