With the wind coming in from north to north west it was quite a day here on Luing – the perfect day to go for a walk if it’s fresh air you are looking for. I had no preconceived plan and no map – the Isle of Luing isn’t that big and maps blow away on windy days anyway.
I had some idea that the eastern side of the island would be the most sheltered from a wind that was at times in the gale force category – not a day for a sensible walker to be up on the ridges. I parked Yeti in sight of a raised Dun of no name.
It’s easy to imagine a wooden palisade on top of that flat topped rock giving protection for the few wooden hovels housing the laird plus extended family when this was part of the Kingdom of Dalriada or even before then. The grass and rush covered area immediately surrounding the raised Dun would have been at least a metre deep in water back then giving extra protection from invading forces.
Modern drainage systems and an additional culvert running out to the Sound of Luing by the shore where we were ‘mossifying’ yesterday has lowered water levels sufficiently to allow summer grazing.
OK – enough of the history lesson for one day – I’m off across the road to follow quad bike tracks amongst the ridges which should give some protection from the stinging hailstones coming in on wild squalls from the Isle of Mull direction. The only useful thing I’ve had from Mull so far is the idea to grow tea bushes at Bardrishaig – yes they have them growing successfully just across the water.
Off on a tangent again – must be an ‘age’ thing. Took a quick shot of the stone wall so I had something to take back to the mossochist who I had left a bit disgruntled making scones in the kitchen.
That should keep her happy – now onto bigger things. A stone walled sheep fank in good nick with views to the mainland by Loch Melfort – can’t get much better than that.
Don’t let the sunshine fool you – it was Blowing a Hoollie and it was all I could do to stay on my feet at times. The walking poles certainly came into their own today. When I was younger and fitter I thought of ‘poles’ as just something else to carry and lose. Changed days now with my ‘wonky’ knee – the poles act like four wheel drive.
Skies are darkening over Mull with snow or hail on the way – even the view in the other direction to Ardmaddy and Loch Melford has changed.
It’s about lunch time and I look for shelter. The wind is taking me off my feet on the ridge and it would make sense to get down to lower ground but a glance up to the hilltop on my right gives me the surprise of the day —
A man-made entrance – it must be Leccamore Hill Fort – I thought it was somewhere behind me. I had been doing my best to ignore it so that Helen and I could visit it together for the first time.
But – any port in a storm and the wind velocity took me right up through the stonework at the entrance —
There’s still a bit of shape to the interior and a second north facing opening on the far side —
With steps to the watch position atop the broad wall which gives open views to every point of the compass —
Leccamore — I saw out the hailstorm up there while enjoying my lunch and thinking of the people who had sheltered on that windswept hilltop in previous centuries.I even coined a word for the feelings that seized me – Leccamoritis – and couldn’t resist another look back as I left the valley below.
It’s quite marshy now in November – just imagine what it was like before this deep culvert was put in to drain the waters southward to the nearby Loch Lliter.
My route back across the ridges into the teeth of a gale brought me out above the picturesque old grain Mill with the original millwheel still intact —
Across the road was a more recent piece of history – it may have had glass in the frames at one time but there certainly isn’t a sign of it now.
Possibly a sign of how easy it is to fall in love with Luing. It’s a beautiful place – with History in every pore but I doubt if it has ever been an easy life on this island. The slate workers certainly earned their corn – so do the commercial fishermen to this day and having been involved in farming rough places in the past – all the way back to the days of the horse – I am under no illusions about the amount of back-breaking toil that has been needed to put the island in it’s current more easily managed state.
It all looks peaceful by the gate —
But bracing myself as hard as I could – I barely held position long enough to take that pic in the howling gale.
A novel excuse for my blurred photo – Don 🙂
and – A warm welcome to canadawanderlust who has just signed on to follow my blog. I guess you are wondering why I’m bitching about the weather when in Canada you have the real thing. I actually enjoy a bit of weather and even in my days as a regular motorcyclist I would be out there playing in whatever came along – this time on a winter’s day on the Welsh Berwyns.
That XJR1300 was never ‘raced or rallied’ sir — and never saw a wet day either 🙂