…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menotouring; Showing off The Bonny Land #8

Before relating the final part of the road trip with Kay, let me do a little focus on Suilven.

This amazing hill literally sticks up like a sore thumb in the landscape of the Assynt. As a general rule, Scotland's peaks are referred to as hills, and the term 'mountain' is not bandied around too much. Definition of a mountain according to the UN is an elevation greater than 2500m/8200ft... my recall when telling Kay was that it was 3000m, so I was a bit off the mark there. However, lower elevations may still be called mountainous if the slopes are sheer.

The thing is, in Scotland, we talk in terms of Munros (>914m/3000ft), Corbetts (762m - 914m/2500ft -), Grahams (610m/2000ft -) and Donalds, which pertain to the 'lowlands' but are akin to Grahams for height. Hill-walking is a major pastime here and there are a number of websites for finding out about terrain and such. My favourite is Walkinghighlands. Generally very reliable and accurate info. Not that I do much walking at all these days and certainly not up slopes such as this.

Thirty eight years ago, though, was another matter. For a few summers around then, I holidayed regularly near Achiltibuie. I walked Stac Pollaidh, Ben More Coigach... and Suilven. It is a 'Graham'. It is not just the climbing of the 791 metres though, it is the walking into the base of the hill in the first place which offers a lot of challenge. These are very boggy regions. It is also lengthy. Golly, though, the view from the top is outstanding. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos from that time - it was when I had the full analog SLR and associated equipment and it was waaaay too much to lug up the that walk. There are plenty folk who have since done the photologuing though - like here for instance.

Since those heady days of stamina and gritted teeth, I have settled for watching Suilven from afar. For me, it holds a majesty beyond all other structures and can only be appreciated from the ground, rather from the summit. There is something living and breathing about it. As if a sleeping beast.

When an opportunity came to purchase a piece of art depicting Suilven, I lived on soup for a month to pay for it.

That etching travelled with me to OZ and held pride of place wherever I lived. Finally, on leaving for India, it was time to release it. My cousin twice removed, who had emigrated to OZ also was grateful to give my beloved a home.

The artist, Molly Bullick, was just renewing her career, post children, when I bought this. She captured in colour and abstraction something of the essence which held me in awe of Suilven and surrounds.

It had been a long, long time since I had visited here. Now, on the menotouring, auld biddies road trip, I got several wonderful views - mostly in sillhouette, but that's just fine with me. You've seen a few already. Here's the rest.


  1. Mum says she remembers the hills and lochs and stunning scenery from when she lived up by St Andrews, it is true to say Scotland is vey Bonny!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  2. The painting is stunning as are the Highlands!

  3. There is a wildness about Scotland and a feeling of openness which is rare in such a small country.

  4. This is the post I've been waiting for!
    That last photo captures to perfection the stark beauty and strangeness of Assynt. I gasped in awe the first time I saw Suilven - I genuinely had no idea that such a landscape was to be found within these isles.
    Love the painting too.

  5. Suilven is a beautiful munro!! The silhouette looks as if it is a sleeping person
    Hugs madi and mom

  6. Scotland is definitely on our bucket list

  7. Thanks for the follow up. An astounding piece of geography.

  8. You truly do live in a Beautiful and BONNY land.

  9. Dear YAM,
    Thank you so much for sharing the beauty of of Your Bonny Land. janice xx

  10. Crikey ..... that last picture almost knocked Mum's sock off. She almost felt she was back there again.

  11. It looks like a great place to raise a few sheep.
    Coffee is on

  12. Hello, it is a beautiful view! I love the print, sorry you had to give it up for your move. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  13. yes, that was my first thought too... a like a sleeping beast... but a good one what looks protective too :o)

  14. For some reason it reminds me of Mount Vesuvius. It's nothing like it, but still. The mind works in strange ways.

  15. I can understand, I think, a bit of what Mara said. Arouses the same sort of feeling in one's chest.
    I'm recovering from Scotland, England, the Aegean and the Mediterranean. A bit much for an old lady but ever so glad I did. Oh, and did I tell you I have a new favourite place (not counting Scotland and/or British Columbia) — it is Montenegro. Of course I told Dick I want to move there, and he paid no attention whatsoever because I'm always finding potential homes during our travels, but Montenegro is special. HOWever, this is a comment on your blog post and not my travelogue...so I'll say what I told you when there...Suilven is wonderful, and is unlike any of the many mountains in my life. Thanks again.
    Love, K


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