|Ben Hiant in the distance|
On a damp and overcast Sunday in early spring, with a few flakes of snow drifting in the air, we set out for a walk, choosing as our starting point the dump - or, as it should be termed, the Community Recycling Centre. We headed west, towards the foothills of Beinn na Seilg, not with any intention of climbing the hill as neither the weather nor our mood was conducive to anything so energetic, but because we hadn't explored this area.
It was rough going, even at this, the best time of year for walking in the hills. We saw remarkably little of any consequence, although we did put up three woodcock. Our only company was a few sheep, who could hardly be bothered to look up from their foraging.
|Sonachan Hotel with Achosnich in the distance|
But from the low ridge on the other side of the lochan we looked down onto the Sonachan Hotel, and this may offer another idea to explain the lochan's name. According to old maps, such as the Ordnance Survey's First Series, there was a small settlement on the Sonachan site, called Aodann.
It seemed a very colourless walk, although it's always wonderful to be wandering across this empty but beautiful landscape, until we looked at it in a quite different way. We were crossing some bare rock exposed on the summit of a low knoll, when we looked at our feet.
Growing there was a brilliantly coloured, exotic garden of lichen, noted earlier in this post. To fully appreciate it, we'd have had to have been rather smaller - the picture shows an area about 3cm across. It made us realise how much we must miss as we tread thoughtlessly across this miniature world.
An interactive map of the area is here.