Sunday, 8 June 2014

Achosnich School House Walk

We walked from the Achosnich school house this morning, not along the new track that joins it to the Sanna-Portuairk path but over the hill on the old track that the schoolchildren from Achnaha and Glendrian used to follow each day to attend lesson at the school.  It was superb walking weather, a brisk breeze to keep us cool, and scattered clouds allowing sudden bursts of sunshine which were perfect for taking photographs.

The track is fairly easy going and well marked, with only one or two places where gullies have washed it away but, as has been carried in earlier Diary entries, it must have been pretty dismal walking in the depth of winter, particularly for the many small children who didn't have footwear.

At one point on the track, as it winds through the glen called Bealach Ruadh, the red gap our pass, it passes an old cairn, and one does wonder whether the children contributed some of its stones.

At the top of Bealach Ruadh the view opens up, with the small crofting township of Achnaha sitting in the centre of the great bowl left by erosion of the Ardnamurchan Tertiary volcano.  We didn't continue on the path but turned left to follow the ridge which rose to the northwest.

This follows the rim of the volcano's ring dykes to a point where the ridge is suddenly broken by another narrow glen which holds the lochan called Lochan Glacan Lochain, a confusing name since lochain is the plural of lochan, and glacan means small valley.  The lochan has some importance as it used to supply the water to MEM Donaldson's house at Sanna, Sanna Bheag.

The ridge rises to a high point crowned with a cairn built of substantial rocks, as if someone in the not-too-distant past made the effort to build it - in such contrast to the earlier cairn.  The views from this summit - sadly un-named on the OS map - are stunning.  Beyond the cairn in this picture is the lovely little village of Portuairk, centre of the known universe, with, peeping through the gap to the left of the picture, the top of Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse.

But the best is left for last, views across the whole of Sanna and away to the islands of Muck, Rum and Canna.  It was 10.15 by the time we reached this point, and we could see no-one on the beaches.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks to Alistair MacColl for informing me of the name of this hill. It's Beinn Dubh, the Black Hill.