Thursday, 18 July 2013

A Walk on the Grey Day

While the rest of the UK bathed in warm, if not hot sunshine, yesterday in Kilchoan was pleasantly grey.  In the morning we set off to to walk along the coast to the east of Mingary Castle on the principle that, if the day is drizzly and a bit depressing, the best thing to do is to get out into the fresh air and enjoy the scenery - what you can see of it - and the wildlife.

The wildlife performed for us almost immediately.  We'd hardly walked a few yards along the marshy beach by the castle when we saw a mink watching us from the rocks.  Mink are horrible creatures, a disastrous alien release into the Scottish countryside, ruthless killers, but you can't help admiring their pluck.  One had the feeling that he was sizing us up for a meal and, had he thought us worth taking on, wouldn't have had the slightest hesitation in attacking us.

The next thing we encountered was a motorway - or the local equivalent.  It crosses a section of bog which used to be one of the few unpleasant sections of this walk, just to the west of the mouth of the Allt Choire Mhuilinn - Choire Mhuilinn means the mill in the hollow.

At the end of it we met Martin Newton of D.A. Boyd who has been doing a huge amount of road-building on different parts of the Ardnamurchan Estate over the last year or so - the track up to the wind turbine and the new road to the castle being examples.  He was pecking out a section of cliff across which the road will pass as it approaches the burn.  Martin told us that he would be forming a fording point for Estate vehicles, but would also be installing a footbridge so that....

....the next time we cross the Allt Choire Mhuilinn, we'll do it without getting our feet wet.

The burn has a very pretty mouth, even on a dreary day, and it seems a shame, in a way, to deprive walkers of the opportunity to test their river-crossing skills, but there used to be a bridge here, so this is a replacement.

The rest of the walk was along empty beaches with nothing but the southwesterly breeze and the splash of the waves to keep us company, though we were joined at one point by a small otter.  These beaches, as the Diary has recorded before, are particularly bad for flotsam, the reason for this being that they are directly downwind of Tobermory.

As it curves round towards Maclean's Nose, the coast is split into a series of bays - this one is Camas Choire Mhuilinn - while....

....this view looks back across Camas nan Clacha' Mora, the bay of big stones.  By that time the weather had deteriorated to a steady drizzle but it really didn't matter, it was so good to enjoy the peace and loneliness of the spot.  We sat for some time and drank a flask of coffee, and the world seemed a very bright place.

A map of the area is here.

1 comment:

  1. What peaceful beaches! And how lovely to see the Otter. I'm not so sure about the Mink ...