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" Scotland - 6 - Easy Mountain "

Date & start time:     Thursday 18th May 20107. An afternoon walk.

Location of Start :   The front door of the broch.

Stayed at :                 The Brochs of Coigach

Places visited :        Cnoc nan Seillean, Meall an Fheadain and Meall a' Chaisceil.

Walk details :           A local walk around the 'easy mountains' behind the house.

Highest point :        Meall an Fheadain, 203 (or 204 m) above sea level.

With :                         Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                  Sunshine and blue skies, a warm breeze.

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" Meall an Fheadain has a transmitter mast on its northern slopes

but it is worth climbing up to the trig point for the fabulous views over the Summer Isles" . . . So says the Walkhighlands website.

It was a hot day, we were in 'relaxation mood' but there were three smaller tops in the group and they were just behind our house,

so why not have a nice local walk with the dogs and enjoy the views one more time.

The house and behind it two of the three hills that make up this small group.

Don't underestimate the walk though, there are few paths and the ground is a mixture of rock, bog and moorland heather !

Before we go I'll just mention a rare wildlife sighting . . .
. . . on the fencepost of the adjacent field, a cuckoo was calling.

- - - o o o - - -

The walk starts with moorland just as soon as we left the road above the house.

It is steep up and as a consequence the views build from the word go.

Up on the first and smallest top Cnoc nan Seillean, looking south to the Isle of Skye in the distance.

Looking the other way . . . Altandhu and the Reiff peninsular with the Outer Hebrides on the horizon.

Looking over to the other two summits and noticing two other walkers on the coll.

They seem to be walking the reverse of our route.

Behind them, the dramatic outline of Cul Mhor and Stac Pollaidh.  

The posts mark a footpath over the hills from the Old Dornie harbour area towards Achiltibuie.

Clear air leads to lots of colourful lichen on the rocks.
Ground conditions also favour the Spotted Orchid

Harry is obviously enjoying the weather and the conditions.

Pick a route . . . any route . . . there's no path in the direction we're walking.

On the top now after an easy, if steep ascent through the rocks.

From the top looking north . . . the radio mast mentioned on the map is seen below.

The summit view is as extensive as promised.

Click here or on the photo above for a Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.

As I mentioned on the panorama page linked above, a rock on the summit proved more interesting after a diversion to investigate.

The large rock is balanced on three smaller stones and is similar to cromlechs or burial chambers that we have seen elsewhere in the country.

Bright sunshine shines on Stac Pollaidh against a background of darker hills.

The footpath sign on the mountain posts.
Stac Pollaidh gives off a puff of smoke ?

Climbing up onto Meall a' Chaisceil . . . there was an easier route to the side of the rock outcrop for the dogs.

Looking back at Meall an Fheadain.

The rock I climbed was the seemingly small outcrop behind the summit cairn.

Looking down on Achiltibuie Village and Bardentarbat Bay.

A wide view of the Summer Isles below from a lower cairn.

The final slope down as we descend to the road once again.

Just need to open the gate so the dogs can avoid the cattle grid and we're back.

- - - o o o - - -

On our final evening we had booked a meal at a local restaurant at the far end of Achiltibuie Village.

We set off to drive the main road across the back of the beach at Bardentarbat Bay.

We pass a substantial house or refurbished warehouse on the outskirts of the village.

'Salt' seafood restaurant is in the village of Polglass, a mile or so beyond the village of Achiltibuie.

The hills of Ben Mor with an interesting selection of clouds.

We're a little early for our  meal, so we'll take a short drive to the end of the road and back . . .

Old buildings on the road close to the Youth Hostel at Achduart, as rain approaches the distant islands.

(Sorry . . . the sky is over exposed due to the bright sun.)

A second arm of our road can be seen climbing across the face of the hills.

Above us are Cairn Commheall and Garbh Choireachan and the distant central summit of Ben Mor Coigach.

From the top road we see Isle Martin and Loch Broom, with Ullapool around the corner on the right hand side.

The rain shower has passed over and wetted the road back,

emphasising the bright sun and complimenting the sparkling sea.

Back now at Salt Seafood Restaurant, the small but delightful restaurant, run by a local young lady and her busy staff.

Suzie was born and brought up within sight of the restaurant.

It has a wonderful location overlooking the bay and the islands.

Dinner is served . . . a seafood platter of locally caught produce.

Photo by Suzie . . . many thanks for the photo . . . and more importantly the excellent food.

'Salt' has a limited number of seats and is not open every day of the week so make sure you book a table

As our evening drew to a close the sun was going down slowly

so on leaving we decided to drive on past Polbain, back to Old Dornie harbour.

The sun was setting in the north west as we reached the viewpoint over the harbour inlet.

A yacht lies at moorings in the inner harbour.
Likewise an open fishing boat catches the last of the sun's rays.

A brief pause then the sun re-appears from behind a low cloud . . .

It was 9.30 pm . . . but would be nearer ten

when the horizon finally rose up and obscured the sun for the duration of the brief summer night.

Time to get ourselves back home . . . there's a chill in the air now the sun has gone.

Artificial light bathes the inside of our house.

The dogs follow us out to see what we are doing with the cameras . . . should they stand still for a photo ?

Eleven pm and though it is dark outside there's still a glow in the northern sky.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's new Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 Compact System Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . empty food cupboards at the end of the week's stay (less to carry home).

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5. Reiff Headland

Previous walk - 17th May - Scotland - 5 - Reiff Headland

A previous time in the area - 8th to 18th May 2015 - Durness and Northern Scotland

Next walk - 19th to 20th May 2017 - Scotland - 7 - Achiltibuie to Home