Thursday, 21 November 2013

A Bridge and a Seal Sanctuary, Loch Creran near Oban

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Connel Bridge, Oban.
Looking for something a little different to do amongst the standard tourist things was a little difficult particularly on the wettest day of my time here. I was talking to the Guest House owners son who inspired me with an an amazing idea that I would never have thought of (next post). This idea needed a lot of research and thought at a location near Connel Bridge that I had been wanting to photograph properly for many years. Having only driven to Oban once before back in 1992, all my shots were essentially taken from a moving train window. It was time to rectify that today.

(On a side note, despite writing this uncompleted draft some time ago, I've been having internet problems for some time now with my provider who can't seem to come and repair the job on the day I pre-arranged with them. Decided on moving to a temporary Dongle from the company Three which could be useful on the road if I choose that option. I'll be catching up with all your blogs next week as I'm back on line as of this evening)

The Connel bridge built in 1903 with 2600 tonnes of steel has had an unusual history with regards to its use. It was originally built to carry a single track railway but with the advent of the car, geographical and transportation difficulties, a narrow road was added alongside the railway track in 1914 that could only be utilised when there were no trains using it. During the Dr Beeching era of the 1960's the railway closed and it was converted to a single track road with traffic lights at each end.

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Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary, Loch Creran 
After researching what I may consider doing in the afternoon (or the next post for that matter), I drove northwards to the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary on the shore of Loch Creran.

Flatfish S.S.S.    GJC_012186
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The sanctuary houses all the usual Aquatic wonders that can be discovered at a sea life centre in addition to a seal hospital for rescuing injured or abandoned pups.

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Fortunately there were none in residence when I was there although there were three that could not be returned to the wild.

Pippa info GJC_012221


S.S.S. Oban GJC_012163

Lunchtime is always a great way of attracting a crowd for entertainment … and those people jostling for the best photographic viewpoints !!

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Gliding gracefully ……            towards lunch !

Feeding time  GJC_012176
Attentive

Lunch at S.S.S.   GJC_012175
Lunch

S.S.S. Oban   GJC_012182


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" Ha, you need a better lens than that mate !"

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The sanctuary also has a separate enclosure with two North American River Otters named Isla & Lewis … hmmm.

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Very slippery customers to photograph !

Otter GJC_012209
Otter, Scottish Sealife sanctuary


Wooden Sculpture S.S.S. GJC_012201

That just left the nature trail through the woods with a variety of wooden sculptures generally not conducive to photography although here's a couple of examples with suitable unobtrusive backgrounds.

Squirrel in he woods haha  GJC_012224


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Loch Creran
The nature trail followed a path to a point that gave more accessible views across Loch Creran.

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Children are obviously encouraged here by allowing them to take a gift home and ….

getting the opportunity of drawing their favourite sea creature with chalk…

Chalk moment GJC_012188
"Delicious !  with chips  £6.90"
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