Covid dreams 20: The breathtaking places

There are some places that are simply breathtaking. Loch Avon, in its deep, rocky-sided trench, is one of them. From most approaches it appears suddenly: a jewel in a perfect setting. There are so many viewpoints around the cirque of mountains which surround the loch that offer heartstopping views, but this, coming over from Loch Etchachan – itself a precious gem – is one of my favourites.

This spring day was particularly fine. The water was a vivid blue under the sunshine and the rocks and snow-streaked hills seemed etched in crystal detail. There was an intensity to the world in that space which demanded attention, and I sat for a long time, just gazing at the views and breathing in the memory of a day that would not fade.

The views? Plural? Oh yes. I remember seeing a website which contrasted common iconic tourist views with photos taken from another viewpoint: the Mona Lisa and the packed bodies, the lions stalking the Veltd and the convoys of four-wheel-drive tourist buses, the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx and, with a slight twist of viewpoint, the modern city they sit in the suburbs of.  But here, gazing down on Loch Avon, you can turn your head with impunity. For, behind you, that view will also take your breath away. There are some places that really are special.

A series of Covid dreams. Just a photo or two from the archives and a few words: memories of the Cairngorms to stay in the heart while we’re kept away from the hills.

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11 Responses to Covid dreams 20: The breathtaking places

  1. Graham says:

    I have a similar photo taken on a similar day. Brilliant viewpoint.

  2. john vaughan says:

    Queen Victoria, a little earlier than you or I Neil, (coming off A Choinneach, Bynack More, I believe) said the view of Loch Avon was the most fabulous sight she had ever seen. My introductory view was in July 1984 when I first decided to set off in evenings. I tramped up the ski roads and then, above Coire Raibert saw the said, magnificent loch gleaming below the barns atop Beinn Mheadhoin. Resist I could not; down and up; my efforts not in vain but on Mheadhoin, if you get my drift. I hit the summit about 11 pm. What a shame VR couldn’t stick to being a lover of the Highlands and had to spawn those 3 grandchildren who used the working class as live pawns in their filthy family feud.

  3. Sinbad says:

    Fabulous spot. Once had an early morning breakfast sitting outside the Shelter Stone looking down the Loch. Fit braw.

  4. Stewart Love says:

    Slept out further down from the shelter stone one summer. Lay in sleeping bag watching the stars and woke up to bird song and a great view. So peaceful.

  5. I want to go up that route in the last photo – not the crag (Etchachan/Shelter Stone) but the head of the corrie to the Feithe Buidhe

  6. Doug Palmer says:

    Thanks Neil thoroughly enjoying these posts , hope to get back to the Gorms my self this year.

  7. David Fairhurst says:

    A beautiful view takes me back to when i fished there with my uncle (Norman Plum Worral) many years ago, fresh rainbow trout later in the day at memorial bothy, O to do it all again, treasured memories, thanks for posting.

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