Monday, 4 April 2016

An ArdWalk

The fortnightly Ardwalk has been going now for over ten years, and the group has notched up some 200 walks in that time. It's no more than a very informal group of friends and acquaintances who enjoy walking together but, as we discovered today, on the first occasion we've walked with them, their walks can be fairly rigorous.

From the B8007, we followed the west bank of the Allt Choire Mhuilinn down to the sea, crossed the burn by the new footbridge, and then climbed up through the abandoned clachan of Choire Mhuilinn and thence onto the steep-sided ridge of Beinn na h-Urchrach. Lunch was taken in mist and rain and, fortunately, light winds, with the magnificent view occasionally appearing, but....

....while the older members of the party concentrated on relaxing and refuelling for the next stage, the youngsters enjoyed a fashion shoot, one of them having decided that appropriate wear for a hill walk in Scotland is a denim skirt and tights.

This is the summit of the ridge, with Ben Hiant lost in low cloud behind it. Getting up there was fairly hard work but, as so often happens, particularly when the ground is wet underfoot....

....getting down was a challenge.

The walk was scheduled to take about three and a half hours but took a good hour longer, partly because of the conditions but also because we stopped along the way to look at the rich history of the area, which included a 6,000 year old chambered cairn, a cleared village, the site of an illicit whisky still, and the cairn over a wicked Norse chieftain's grave.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion, which traditionally ends with tea and cakes at the organisers' house.

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