Sunday, 5 June 2016

Lochan Sron nan Sionnach

There are few greater pleasures than waking up to a clear sky and knowing that there's nothing to stop us spending the day wandering in the hills of western Ardnamurchan - and it doesn't matter that we've been doing this for something over twenty years because, even though we might start on a walk which we've 'done before', we soon find ourselves in places which are quite new to us.

A good starting place is the track that runs up from the Sanna road to the Kilchoan water works. This picture looks back down the course of the burn that provides most of our water, the Abhainn Chro Bheinn, to heights of Beinn na Seilg.

From the water works we turned north into the hills, climbing steadily until the views began to unfold below us. This picture, taken from the summit of a hill un-named on the OS map, looks almost due west across the Sanna road, then the first lochan, Lochan nan Ealachan, then Lochan na Crannaig, beyond which is the Portuairk road, Lochan an Aodainn, Loch Grigadale and, just about visible in the distance to the right, Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse.

From the next height - again un-named - we looked south across the various installations of the water works to Kilchoan Bay, with some of the houses of Ormsaigmore to the right, Kilchoan to the left, and Mull in the distance. Almost all the land in the fore- and middle ground is part of Kilchoan township's common grazings.

From this hill we also looked down onto Lochan Sron nan Sionnach. Sron means a nose or a point and can be used for a hill which projects into the sea, such as Sron Bheag at the southwest end of Ormsaigbeg, while sionnach is a fox, so this is the lochan of the point of the fox. It seems likely, then, that one of the four un-named hills which surround the lochan is Sron nan Sionnach - but which?

The more distant hills in this picture, from left to right, are Beinn Bhuidhe above Portuairk, Beinn na h-Imeilte, and the peaks from Beinn Dubh to Meall Sanna.

We circled round until we once more stood looking back down into the wide glen formed by the upper course of the Abhainn Chro Bheinn, a burn which wends it way downstream a series of textbook meanders. After sitting on a rock for some time we....

....dropped down to the burn and found another rock to sit on, this time overlooking a pool and a waterfall. There we drank some coffee and watched the water flow.

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