Saturday, 4 April 2015

Change in the Air

The Easter holiday is a milestone in the West Ardnamurchan calendar, the time when visitors, both old and new, start to appear in numbers along the peninsula.  It's disappointing, therefore, when they're greeted by a continuation of what has seemed a very long winter, with today both cool and damp - picture shows mist rolling in across the Basin, just short of Camas nan Geall.

Camas is a lovely spot, a very special gem amongst West Ardnamurchan's many treasures, but it doesn't look its best under low cloud and drizzle - which was a great shame as four Canadians had chosen today to come a very long way to visit it, for a very unusual reason.

They saw the 6000-year old neolithic cairn, the 4,000-year old standing stone, the Campbell graveyard, the ruins of the Camas nan Geall clachan, cleared in 1828, the mid-19th century sheep farmer's house - from a  distance as it is surrounded by mud - and more, and by the end of the tour they were.... cold and damp.

But Canadians are lovely people, always smiling, and these, considering the conditions, were a credit to their nation.  They all come from Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. From left, they are Lise Butler, who has spent several years at Oxford University, Kyle Hunker, Christin Geall, and Leif Skogland, who is going up to St Andrews University this autumn.  And, yes, it was Christin's surname that had drawn them here.  It may have other derivations, but Christin has Scottish ancestors. One wonders whether one of them came from Camas nan Geall, perhaps when it was cleared, and, when they arrived in the New World, changed their name, as some did, to one which reminded them of home.

Back in the village, the first yacht of the year was moored in Kilchoan Bay, seen here in thin mist and at low tide, and....

....a very determined painter was to be found along the Ormsaigbeg road, using the only medium which wouldn't run in the drizzle, oils.  Many will know Christine Taylor, who has family living here.

Kilchoan Early Bird sends in a picture of another first for this year, a great skua or, as it is known locally, a bonxie, a name whose Norse origins lie in the northern isles.
By the end of the day the weather showed some signs of lifting - picture shows Trevor Potts' Ardnamurchan Campsite, which will fill up in the next couple of days as the forecast finer weather sets in.


  1. a new one on me, we always used skua, bonxie is from orkney or shetland & doonsoothers as we are referred to, would not use this word.

  2. 4 Canadians from Vancouver Island were cold and damp......hahaha.
    Vancouver Island is on the WET coast of Canada, we laugh at rain!