Saturday, 26 December 2015

Christmas Walking

The eagles have been active over Christmas. This golden eagle was soaring over Ormsaigbeg when we walked on Christmas morning, and we had fine views of a pair of sea eagles this morning as they circled in front of the house. Perhaps the activity follows the gales of the pre-Christmas period, when these raptors must have considerable problems getting into the air to hunt.

We needed a good walk on Boxing Day so drove back along the road to the point where the track leads up to the wind turbine on Beinn Bhuidhe (see map at bottom of this post), leaving the car there and walking along the top of the steep slope that drops down to the area in this view, called 'The Basin'. Judging by the ditches and occasional ruined houses, this low land was once drained and extensively worked as arable land, but evidence....

....of human habitation of the higher land is more difficult to spot. This picture looks back towards the top of The Basin, and in the foreground can be seen an old stone wall which meandesr across country and once contained an area of what must have been poor arable land. The land is now grazed by Ardnamurchan Estate sheep but is also home.... large herds of red deer, of which we must have seen about a hundred in the course of our walk. This picture shows part of a mixed group of stags and hinds with two of the stags sparring. They hadn't seen us, but when they did it was, as usual, the stags which ran off fastest.

The walk takes one all along the crest of the scarp which looks down onto the road, with Camas nan Geall coming steadily into sight, but looking straight across the road.... has good views of the clachan of Tornamona or Torr na Moine, cleared in 1828 to make way for sheep. In the centre of the picture, on the other side of the glen, is a large sheep enclosure or 'fank' built soon after the clearance. The remains of the houses of Tornamona are more difficult to distinguish - mostly because the rocks of which they were built went into the construction of the fank - but some are visible both to right and left of it.

We walked until we looked straight down into Camas nan Geall, and then on to the end of the scarp where there is another fank which, presumably, was used for those sheep which grazed the area around Beinn Bhuidhe. The view beyond is of Loch Sunart running away to top left, and of the island of Oronsay to the right, with the much smaller Loch Teacuis beyond it.

We walked back over the top of the moorland around Beinn Bhuidhe, passing under the wind turbine and then back to the car along the track, stopping off a moment to look northwest, across Loch Mudle to Eigg. Christmas and Boxing Day have been grey but dry, but the walk was dominated by an unusual easterly which was both brisk and cold, so we were pleased to be back in the car and on our way home to a large bowl of soup.

An interactive version of this map is at Streetmap, here.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely walk and we did the same one today (Boxing Day)parking the car at the view point above the bay and circling round towards the Levetts and then over the top to the turbine and down the new track and then following the old trail down the bowl to the car. Happy xmas Rob and Dale plus dogs.