13°C, SSE breeze but sunny now after heavy showers.
Day 1: Arrived at the most wonderful campsite. In front of me are superb views of the Sound of Mull and to the right, Mull itself. Left, I can see Ben Hiant. By morning, there were Sea Eagles perched on a small islet not far from shore. I’m told that Sea Otters live nearby too.
Day 2: Ben Hiant, 540m. Figures- total walk time 5h 52m (including stops). Total ascent 572m and descent 587.
This is not a huge mountain so some creativity with the route was suitable. Its a complex mount with layers of gneiss, basaltic lava and dolerite. All the action happened around 60mya when the atlantic started to open up. Just as interesting was animal life today. Firstly, a wide circuit around a field of cattle and in return, red deer took wide circuits around me. He herds were small, 7 and 2 individuals. He larger herd stood near the top watching me as I ate sandwiches. Either they wanted to travel my way, or they fancied a raspberry jam butty.
By the end, I was ready for a nap. If the day was a little warmer, finding a spot on the hill for a snooze would have been perfect.
Day 3: Sanna and the Eukaryte Ring.
Two parts, first, visit the lighthouse at Point of Ardnamuchan. Surprisinly, this lighthouse marks the most westerlt place on the UK mainland. The edge of the world feeing was enhanced by the squally downpours hat struck every half hour. There is quite a nice geology and lighthouse museum on the site.
Part 2, walk from Portuairk to Sanna. Here is a string of ideal white sand beaches and smooth basalt rocks. When i got there, the whote vista was empty so that panoramic pictures should come out well. There are houses here that have money spent on them in recent years, some traditional Scottish cottages have modern attachments: charcoal wooden cladding (whatever that’s called); dark metal windows that reach high into the eves. I bet they’re second homes.
From Sanna, you get easy access to the ring dyke system. Its an almost perfect and complete circle with a breach just east of the village. I say ‘village’ but it’s no more than a loose cluster of houses on the raised beach behind dunes. There is no focus to the houses, no corner shop or a church or anything like that. Anyway, I decided to walk a little way to get a view just inside the ring. It looks loke a meteor crater, flat inside with a slight rise in the middle. I climbed up onto part of the rim to look both at the view and the rocks themselves. The rocks were grey, crystaline with large black crystals embedded. Most pieces are weathered on at least one side. I searched for one with the biggest crystals. Most are very rounded as are the outcrops which are easy to walk on.
The ring is cut, in places by deep gulleys and I decided to descend in one of these. On one side was a suitable looking pebble which I picked up. Then the oddest thing: beneath this loose precarious pebhle was an ants’ nest. This pebble covered their egg chamber. How could such an easily disturbed little stone cover the most important part of their nest? They frantically carried eggs away as I carefully replaced the little pebble back as it was.
Anyway, the north coast is very nice, fine views of the inner Hebrides and world class beaches.
I shall relocate tomorrow, I dont know to where yet.