Sunday, 13 March 2016

Weekly Rundown: Sunday's Walk, Part 1: Lighthouse & Glencallum Bay

This time last week I was waiting down at the south end of the island for my friends to join me for the day's planned walk. There's a group of about eight of us who have decided to meet whenever possible, usually on a Sunday, for walks around the island.

The island is pretty good for walks because although many of the routes require you to walk along 'main roads' without paths, we're not talking dual carriageways or motorways. In some places they're barely wide enough to qualify as a two-way road and they're fairly quiet at the best of times. You usually have plenty of warning when there's a car on it's way (though more commonly it'll be farm traffic, like a tractor).

There's always enough of us walking that there's someone to talk to and no one gets left behind. And if you can't make a walk one week, you know there'll be another one up in a week or two that you can join in on.

Last week's walk was part of the West Island Way. It's a walk that I have done once before, many, many years ago but hadn't ventured on recently because the last time Mr Click and I tried walking that way there had been some trouble with erosion and rock slides which made the path unsafe so we turned back.

While I waited for the girls to show up, I called my Mum to wish her a happy Mother's Day then wandered up to the cemetery at Kingarth and had a little look around. It's one of those places you often drive past but rarely get out to walk around. My little wander earned me 0.8 miles before we'd even started.

The beginning of the walk was familiar to me, I did the first part by myself a couple of weeks ago when I took a stroll out to Pebbly Beach. The ground was just about as boggy as it had been when I was there last. There were a couple of times where we had a bit of trouble picking our way across and before we'd got very far several of us had wet feet, myself included! It turns out that my new walking boots aren't so waterproof on top.

The path leads up to a kissing gate which is right beside a cave. The last time I ventured this way, I didn't get any further than that. It's also here that the path gets a little more treacherous. The path was narrow; to your right were rocks and a steep grassy slope, to the left was a drop to some rocks and the water. This was probably my second least favourite part of the journey (I'll get to my least favourite bit in a moment).

I'm not the most coordinated of people, I'm pretty clumsy, and I'm constantly finding new and unusual ways to injure myself. On our last walk, when we were required to walk alongside a stream on soft muddy ground, one of my friends commented that I looked like Bambi as I wobbled along. Well, on last week's I ended up with one of the party in front of me and one behind, to make sure I didn't throw myself down onto the rocks; at one point someone was holding onto my backpack to keep me upright while I Quasimodoed over the rocks.

Interestingly, my Fitbit showed a massive heartrate spike at this bit of the journey.

It was worth the trouble though. We came out onto a flattish area which prompted a discussion about how it looked like it was straight out of Middle-earth and/or Jurassic Park (the seagulls flying in the distance could almost have been pterodactyls). There's a lighthouse out this way; Rubh an Eun. It's on a little mini island/rocky bit which you can get to as long as you don't mind jumping over a small chasm. We decided against doing that and headed down to the beach.

This is Glencallum Bay and originally was one of the main routes onto the island. There's a rocky ruin of an old inn at the back of the beach. We stopped for lunch here before beginning our climb up a pretty steep slope on the far side of the beach. The path wasn't immediately clear but it sort of zig-zagged back and forth and made it fairly easy to pick out the route. The scenery was beautiful up there, but sort of dizzying as well.

At one point I was leading the way when I happened to stumble upon a hidden loch. I could see the land dipping behind the ridge we were walking along, so I strolled up to the top to take a look, and was really surprised to see a small body of water down there. This is Loch na Leighe, but I couldn't help but be reminded of the Mirrormere in The Fellowship of the Ring.

And this is where I'll leave us today, it was quite a long walk and it deserves quite a long blog post.

Check back tomorrow to hear about how I demonstrated my crazy clumsy skills.


  1. I have crazy clumsy skills too. And the scars to prove it :-(
    The Glasgow Gallivanter

    1. I'm glad I'm not alone there then.

      (My personal best was driving 4.5" of wood into my leg whilst teaching a P4 maths lesson, it's probably my favourite scar).

  2. Replies
    1. It was lovely. Such beautiful scenery.


Let me know what you think. :-)