One of the small burns that drains the north face of Ben Hiant disappears into the Beinn nan Losgann forestry. We particularly enjoy following the courses of burns, but I don't like walking in forestry, particularly this sort of forestry, planted in the 1970s on land that was deeply ploughed yet is now badly drained. However, we had a particular reason for making an exception.
This forestry is exposed to the southwesterly gales and, as it has aged, has suffered accordingly, with many trees down and blocking the more open and well-drained land along the burnside.
We're fairly strong walkers, but this was hard going. In places, the only way to make progress was to paddle along the stream, the alternative being to wade through knee-deep bog.
What should have taken a few minutes of unpleasant walking took half an hour, simply because, on this of all occasions, I misread the map. Realising my mistake - we always carry a GPS machine - we finally found what we were searching for....
....Lochan Poll an Dubhaidh.
The rigours of our search were well worth it, as it's a beautiful little lochan and certainly doesn't deserve its name, which has a sense of blackness, darkness and stagnation.
In many ways, it reminded us of the thousands of small lakes past which we've travelled on our journeys across the Canadian shield, except the ones we've seen don't have the uniformity of tree species that is such a sad feature of these forests.
We worked our way around to the north side of the lochan and sat on a sunny bank, looking back across the lochan and enjoying Ben Hiant perfectly reflected against a brilliant blue sky.