Summer - and the boulders from hell

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MikeB
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Summer - and the boulders from hell

Post by MikeB » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:06 pm

My partner wanted to go to the Womens Festival at Finhorn - and we decided to make a week of it - paddling that is, not the Festival. Boris the Beast was accommodated in a nearby cat hotel, the car was loaded and the run north from Perthshire proved that the A9 really can be a pleasing drive on a summer's evening. The Festival was, I understand, excellent - I saw little of it as us men were forbidden any interaction - not even allowed to join the ladies for their dinner. Not that we minded - we went to the pub.

And from there, on the Monday, we took the high road to Ullapool and thence to launch from Old Dornie for a few days out in the Islands. It was late afternoon and we knew of a pleasing beach - 10 mins paddle, at most. So we went the long way round Isle Ristol to enjoy the outside of the islands and make like it really was the start of a decent trip.

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We found this little Ringed Plover rather closer than we'd have liked when we got the tent up, but it seemed happy to let us share the space - these are incredible to watch as they run - the body seems to hover over those little legs which just go 20 to the dozen!

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This doesn't do the leg action justice!

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There are pleasing places to be found - notably the coffee shop on Tannara Mor - and once you've negotiated the boulder fields from hell, pleasing camp spots as well! Jim has spoken of the Zone of Green Death - this wasn't it - we'd looked at that particular beach as we went round Tannera Beag and decided "no"! This one was a close second.

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And, it had a view - and wood.

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We like rocks - and arches!

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- -especially the ones which stick up out of nowhere - -

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- - on the way to more pleasing spots - this particular one being on Priest - -

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- - and has a fabulous lochan above it and would make a grand camp spot were we not just on a day trip having left the tent on Tannera Beag.

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After exploring Priest's cliffs and the rather more sloping coast of the west side, the lure of the joys of the islands to the east led us over to Bottle Island and into the skerries where the local seals were much in evidence, although not captured successfully on camera.

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Landing spots are few, but this wee boulder beach provided a welcome rest in preparation for the slog back north to T/Beag which we knew was going to be into a F4 - which provided a bit of fun!

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It has to be said that the Boulders from Hell were a welcome sight! Although clearly someone had greased them specially for us at this level of the tide. Go canny - they are real fun - not! Still, the evening's fire and internal warmth (Jamiesons) led to a grand sleep before we awoke to drizzle for breakfast.

The final day saw us making our way slowly back up to Old Dornie via the gap between T/Mor and T/Beag with a break in a pleasant little bay at the north end where lunch was taken in a light drizzle. We arrived back at the car just as the heavens opened. It really is a superb area though, and we only scratched the surface.

We can report that there is an excellent pub at Altandu and the camp site there looks like an ideal base for the area. However, Mrs McLeod's B&B at Dornie House B&B (summerislesview@btinternet.com) comes highly recommended for the quality of the welcome, and the superb breakfast the following morning!! It was also dry, and midge free, and with superb views over the islands!

Thanks to Jim for some excellent advice on the area - pics are by me and Cat - the other cat was delighted to see me and even more delighted to return home for some well earned patrol work involving checking for small, furry, tasty things in the hedge bottom.

Mike

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Summer - and the boulders from hell

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:46 pm

Fantastic stuff Mike, I love the wee birdies.

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I recognise that beach, a real knee breaker, and I mean that literally.

Douglas

ian johnston
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Re: Summer - and the boulders from hell

Post by ian johnston » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:09 pm

Oh, this is great Mike!

What a super trip - the boulders from hell are jest the "granny stopper" in a small piece of heaven! On this occasion we can even forgive the inclusion of swally spelled with an "e" :-)


Kind Regards

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MikeB
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Re: Summer - and the boulders from hell

Post by MikeB » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:21 pm

Quite so Ian!

Based on Jim's description, we thought that might have been "your" beach Douglas - as you, he and Ian hint at, those boulders are something else. In fact, of all the places we've been over the years, we both reckoned they were easily the most evil, dangerous impediments to movement. And that includes massive, wet logs on the "beaches" in and around the Johnston Strait in Canada for me - Cat said the beaches in Greenland were bad, but these were similar.

Great area though - we only scratched the surface as it were - fabulous caves and cliffs - and while we didn't stop at "Jim's cave", we think we found where it is. We were playing safe with the weather and there was quite a bit of swell from the north making the top ends of the islands quite "interesting" at times.

We'll certainly go back at some point. Mike.

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Jim
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Re: Summer - and the boulders from hell

Post by Jim » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:22 am

Glad you enjoyed it!

It really is an excellent location - enough skerries and islands to make up hundreds if not thousands of different routes to explore them all!

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Miamaria
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Re: Summer - and the boulders from hell

Post by Miamaria » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:08 am

Thanks for sharing! Lovely little bird, that is. :)

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Yakdiver
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Re: Summer - and the boulders from hell

Post by Yakdiver » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:05 am

Cracking photos well done
Name Richard
Point 65n Sea Cruiser
Ocean Prowler

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