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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.

Looking back
Looking forward
Red-breasted merganser
Common seal ‘banana-ing’
Distant red deer

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.

Whinchat and stonechat by the lochan

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’.]

Distant sika deer, and sheep
Isle of Mull behind the ferry

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!

David and Jon (hidden behind his telescope), look at the storage
Conveyor belts
Sand just about to be dumped onto a conveyor belt

We walked on.

Tern of some sort being photobombed from the front by a young gull

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.

Clearly not worried by us, as long as we stayed we we were. We could even move around.