Ben Nevis, Caledonian MacBrayne, Corran ferry, Devil's toenails, Gleann Gael, grey seal, gryphea, Isle of Mull, Kingairloch, Loch Aline, Loch Linnhe, Loch Uisge, Lochaline, Lochaline Mine, Morvern, otter, pine marten, red deer, red-breasted merganser, sika deer, Sound of Mull, stonechat, whinchat
Tuesday, 13th September. Today, having passed through Fort William, we went down the eastern side of Loch Linnhe (pronounced ‘Linnie’) to its narrows, where we crossed the loch by the Corran ferry, enjoying the view of the lighthouse on the other side.
After the narrows the sea loch is much wider. We followed it southwards.
At one stop along the loch I was pleased to have my 2007 Open University geology revised. I had never realised that Ben Nevis was an extinct volcano.
We left the Linnhe at one point to visit a small lochan (that’s tautologous) with a very long name in Gallic.
Back beside the Linnhe, I was delighted to see a seal come in to cavort in the rocks and weed. It was some way away, and rather difficult to photograph, but these are my two best pictures.
Our packed lunch was taken at Kingairloch,
from where we made our way inland on the Morvern peninsula to Lochaline, on the Sound of Mull. We had on the way passed Loch Whisky and Gleann Gael. [Linguistic note!: I wrote ‘Whisky’ in my notebook, because that’s what I thought I was being was told, being assured that it was its real name, and that ‘whisky’ means ‘water’ in Gallic. I was being teased to a certain extent. On the map I find it is spelt ‘Loch Uisge’. And ‘uisge’ does indeed mean water, ‘uisge beatha’, the water of life, being the Gallic for ‘whisky’.]
We walked away from the Sound, and made our way a short distance along Loch Aline off it, past a fascinating sand mine and its works.
There was some waste sand lying around. On picking it up we could see and feel just how very white, fine and soft it was, quite unlike any I had encountered on a beach.
I would love to have had a visit round the works, not to mention the mine itself!
We walked on.
I then got absorbed into the next activity and totally forgot to take any photos of it. There were literally hundreds of ‘devil’s toenails’ on the beach. David collected several. Devil’s toenails are fossils of bivalves, gryphea, about two inches, 5 centimetres, long. And here’s a (copyright-free) picture of one found on the internet..
Time to go home the way we came.
This evening a pine marten visited even before our meal, so it was possible to get some semi-daylight pictures through the glass.