Running in the Scottish Highlands

The rain is slashing down, the wind is howling causing massive waves to crash against the heathered shores of the usually tranquil loch and anything that is remotely loose is slating viciously, adding to the cacophony of sound that awakens me before my pre-set alarm goes off.  This is a signal enough to encourage a roll over and a deep snuggle under the blankets – there will be no early morning run that day. It was not meant to be.

Since my return back to the highlands after 2 months of lazy summer days around pool sides sipping never ending cocktails, I had decided to optimistically check the weather report each evening to gauge the likelihood of being able to get my endorphin fix the next morning.  And this morning the Highlands turned out in full force and put on a magical majestic show.

As I was jogging up the road, my only wish was to be able to capture the atmosphere and bottle it, Obviously, this was impossible so my blog started to form in my mind.

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It is cold, with the high crags of Quinag covered with winter snow, the air is crisp and clear after the lashings of rain from the day before, and the sun is just starting to shed a few rays of light over the silhouetted mountains. Not a soul in sight.  A seagull swoops overhead and calls, diving into the glass topped loch to catch an early breakfast. Up ahead a small flock of woolly sheep, with red and blue painted crosses on their backs, idly graze and amble without a worry in the world across the road to find slightly greener pastures. As I get closer, they keep their distance and watch me warily.

I look up and get a start, as there standing silently watching from a rocky outcrop are a herd of reindeer horned deer, they do not move knowing they are safe.  My heart feels full. It is at times like this that I wish I could carry a better camera with me as my phone just does not do the scene justice.

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Its is only my breathing in my ears and the footfall of my feet that seem to break the total silence that surrounds me. I stop to just breathe in the stillness and take in the majestic beauty around me, and to listen.  The sounds of the gently chewing sheep, the occasional call of a far-off seagull and in the distance, the sound of waterfalls which can be seen like never ending silver snakes meandering against the darkness of the surrounding rocks, finding their way into the cold waters of the loch below. Here the water shimmers and offers up mirror like reflections of the lightening sky above.

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I can almost feel the history of the area in my soul and my imagination starts going off on a tangent of its own, with images of Vikings and similar movie scenes from Braveheart and can now understand why my father yearned to come back to his homeland.

My musings are broken as I am forced to jump off the lonely empty road as a car comes careening around the bend, “why would anyone want to be in such a hurry when surrounded by so much beauty?” This is a sign that the normal world is awakening and time to head back home.  And I feel I am home.  I am content.

2 thoughts on “Running in the Scottish Highlands

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