Exmoor ponies, roaming freely by Annat Bay, on the Scoraig peninsula.
Another wee kayaking adventure today, after packing up from the Mellon Udrigle campsite, and heading a few miles North. Launched near the jetty at Badluarach, where some folk are ferried across to Scoraig from... and back. Cut across Little Loch Broom and on around Cailleach Head, to a bay on the North side. Stop for lunch and a few photos.
It was undoubtedly a mistake for me to wear shorts in that area, as there were loads of Clegs (Horse Flies) about. Received a couple of bites from the vicious little swines, which as usual, my skin overreacted to. In the days after, the associated weals were both over 100mm (4 inches) in diameter, and took a long while to ease and heal.
Didn't hang about on the shore for long after being bitten.. Paddled out a distance into the bay, mistakenly thinking I'd be safe. They don't follow you offshore, so I relaxed to continuie lunch whilst afloat... until one suddenly attacked. Almost fell in chasing the swine off. Soon realised that it was a stowaway, and had been sitting on the back of the boat, waiting for a suitable opportunity. A paddle scoop of salt water over the back deck sorted that one out. Around another wee headland, and into Annat Bay. After seeing all these ponies, I landed on the rocky beach, and had a nosy about.
Recently read Monty Roberts's story - a real life horse whisperer - so knew better than to march straight towards the ponies. Especially as I'd no idea how wild or otherwise they were... and, of course, there'd likely be more of those bl**dy Clegs over by them! Did take quite a few photos. Several closer up. Looking at them once again years later, and I still prefer those that show something of the landscape setting they're in, to the close ups - the heat and those flies were bothering them.
Also took a couple of film camera photos, whilst on the water. No idea if they came out, as eleven years later, that film's still in that cheapo waterproof camera! If they ever do come out, there was one of Cailleach head and its little box of a lighthouse.
Nothing much of note on the return paddle. Extended it slightly, along to the West of the Jetty. Next, on to Ullapool for fish & chips, and then to the campsite at Achnahaird. Arriving at just the wrong time, as the wind died, and the Midgees arose...
- a Sea Lemon, and Barnacles, on a rock in Annat Bay. Had never seen one of these before. To some extent it looked like a bright yellow slug! Had to look it up to find out what it was.
- Blood-drop Emlets. Another new one for me, that required some investigation to identify. A burn by the aforementioned jetty had loads of them growing either side of it, and spilling out over water in the pools. An escapee from someone's garden that's supposedly now fairly common in Europe, and is of Chilean origin.