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Sandra Winter


My overriding memory of Scotland will forever be the elements and its wild beauty. I was aged 12 or roundabouts and in those days tents were not waterproof or at least not for Skye conditions. Squelching around in the dark at 3 a.m. and finally paddling to the car to get some sleep.

A snowy Easter at Morbattle in the Borders. We had to walk everywhere because of a sudden intense snow fall. It took us a good day to reach the top of a small hill. My uncle, a big man, slipped on the way down, leaving 'tank tracks' in the virgin snow after a long roll.

A few years back a wet and windy walk from Glen Brittle to Coruisk and up Glen Sligachan - I was unable to cross the Mad Burn but managed to cross further up at the mouth of Garbh Choire where, luckily it divides. I had to walk up and around Loch Coruisk engaging in a scary crossing again and over two large burns. Water to chest level and the noise in the bowl of the Choire was absolutely overwhelming. The sound and sight of all that water hurtling down from the Black Cuillin was unforgettable.

The first view of Schiehallion and Rannoch was unforgettable too. I'd come down and across from Skye over the wonderful Dalnaspidal-to-Trinafour road with its wee hair pins, soon to be straightened out because of the Beaulieu Denny pylons!

Rising up from Trinafour you drive down towards Rannoch, a hidden glen in the distance and there in front of you is Schiehallion dominating the near horizon.

Since living at Dall there's been the sound of the burn in frequent spate, sunset over Loch Rannoch lighting up the Buachaille in the far distance, the gnarled beauty of ancient pines, seeing a pine marten early one morning, watching an eagle fly over the side of Crosscraig, walking into Ben Alder and Loch Ericht which has got to be the eighth wonder of the world. I could go on but as the Scots here abouts say 'nae bother'. Hopefully Scotland's beauty and elements will be forever available for generations to enjoy.

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