Monday, 30 August 2010

A Walk to the West

In bright sunshine yesterday, with a stiff north-northeaster blowing, we set out to walk to the west of Kilchoan in search of a waterfall. High above Rubhan a' Chall, we looked towards Mull's northwest extremity, Calaich Point, where the Sound of Mull opens to the Atlantic.

The feature we were looking for is just a kilometre inland from the south coast of Ardnamurchan, downstream from the 'twin lochans', called Lochain Ghleann Locha on the map, yet the burn that tumbles down it, Allt Garbh dhalach, flows north, into Loch Grigadale and then into the sea near Ardnamurchan Point Lighthouse.

The heather is now coming into full flower, and makes a wonderful contrast to the bleak rock outcrops of the ancient volcano's basaltic ring dykes.

It is a country for hard walking, with only the occasional faint traces of sheep tracks to follow. Despite its remoteness, we stumbled across this valley with its floor showing clear signs of workings, whether for peat or for fields. We could not find any sign of a house or byre, yet someone, at some time, put huge amounts of work into digging ditches to drain the area. The view here is northwestwards, towards a distant sea.

The falls, at NM454637, when we found them, were well worth the effort, though they would be more spectacular still after recent rain.

But the best views were saved until last, as we came back over the ridge called Druim na Gearr Leacainn to a full panorama of Kilchoan Bay, from Ormsaigbeg in the foreground and Kilchoan itself on the left, round to the Coastguard hut and Cal-Mac Pier, with Ben Hiant behind them and the entrance to Loch Sunart away to the right.

A map of the area of the walk is here.


  1. Jon- just love the diary- every days entry is interesting. My mums from Kilchoan so know the area pretty well and its greeat being able to keep up to date! many thanks-

  2. Many thanks to you both for the comments.

    Moira - it's a pleasure writing the Diary, the more so when I hear that there are readers out there enjoying it.

    I consider myself very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.