Sunday, 27 December 2015

West of Ormsaigbeg

We haven't seen one of these for what seems like weeks but what's even more unusual is that the sun is rising over the hills of southern Mull, not Morvern, and this only happens for a week or two each year around the solstice.

With the promise of the first fine day for a long time we....

....set off from the back of the croft, heading almost due west and following the wide glen of the burn that comes down just along the road from us, by Lag na Lion croft house, with most of the glen still in the shadow of Maol Buidhe.

This brought us to the shoulder of the hill that overlooks the point called Rubhan a' Chall, with views across the northwest entrance of the Sound of Mull to the distant island of Coll.

After yesterday's long walk, we weren't going far, so we turned back, climbing Maol Buidhe to the cairn at its summit, from where there is a fine view of Kilchoan Bay and Ben Hiant and....

....down the Sound of Mull to where the clouds were already gathering. The lighthouse is at Rubha na Gall, the point just beyond it is part of Calve Island in Tobermory Bay, while to the left is Drimnin on Morvern.

We followed the spine of a small ridge down into to Ormsaigbeg, to the left of which lies land that was extensively used when Ormsaigbeg had a much larger population than it has had in crofting times. Stone walls criss-cross the area, and everywhere one walks one of conscious of the ridges and furrows of lazy beds.

These ancient walls are covered with grass or heather, and meander across the landscape. Their builders must have had good reason not to use straight lines, which would have required collecting far fewer rocks.

A satellite view of the area (from Bing maps, here), in which the old rig and furrow fields are clearly visible, gives a sense of how intensively the hillside was worked but, other than being fairly certain this was not in crofting times, I have no idea when these fields date from.

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