Sunday, 15 August 2010

Canna:Carn a Ghaill & the Northern Cliffs.



Sunday Part One:

Scotland, eh ? Sometimes you think you have seen everything it has to offer then it throws up a day like this and laughs in your face In the absence of any big hills on the island I`d had a good read about the various archaeological sites on Canna before coming over in order to make the most of the day and flesh it out a bit. I needn`t have worried though...it`s a fantastic wee island.! Given the warm, sunny forecast we`d decided the previous evening just to get up the moment one of us awoke. I'd mistakenly assumed that this would be in daylight

I awoke to the sound of Bob`s stove purring gently away in the next tent. He likes a big breakfast and I don`t do breakfast at all so I rolled over for an extra few minutes kip while he sorted himself out. " It`s a great day outside Alex......it`s time you were up". Now anyone in their right mind would assume on hearing this statement that it was daylight outside. I put on a coffee and poked my head out the tent to see a feint orange glow on the horizon, the outline of the castle opposite and a fishing boat offshore working with it`s lights on....











"What exactly is the time Bob" I enquired. "Don't really know. It's too dark to see my watch."  Turned out it was 5.15am.It was a lovely morning though.! By the time I had a cup of coffee or two what I would deem to be daylight had arrived.

Proper daylight arrives....






We faffed about a bit watching the hills on Rum  change colour before heading off over the field and up Compass Hill.....




Looking over the harbour on Canna towards St. Edwards Church on Sanday. The Atlantic was like a millpond....



The sheep were still a bit bleary eyed at this time of the morning and this ram was a bit miffed when we woke him up to take his portrait...


We emerged out of the shade and immediately hit the edge of the sea cliffs just below Compass Hill.
An absolutely stunning view.! The edge of Compass Hill with Sanday and Rum in the background.



Bob was now in his shorts and it was only just after 7am....



If the views were like this all the way along the north coast it was going to be a long day. Further along the sea stack of Iorcuill came into view. We went rock climbing for years Bob and I and are quite good at gauging the height of features like this. Somehow the scale of these cliffs were hard to grasp probably because we were not expecting anything like this on such a small island. I'd guess the stack was around 120 feet or so.


Further along the cliffs....


At this point, stunning though the coastal scenery was proving, I felt the need to bag the island high point because Carn a` Ghaill was a Marilyn
Funnily enough, although this was the summit of the island it proved to be the least interesting part of the day although under normal circumstances it would be a smashing viewpoint. Back to the cliffs again with a hazy Skye on the left.
Having been brought up in Scotland the cameras were having big trouble coping with bright sun which was still low on the horizon. Messed about with this one to give you an idea as to what it is like there. Maybe we should have stayed in bed for an extra few hours








Looking westwards was better for the light. Bob walking along the cliff top...



The view down to the King of Norways  grave at Rubha Langanes...



A couple of golden eagles drifted up towards me while I was traversing below this crag but didn`t hang around for very long. No piccies I`m afraid.
We cut inland here to try and find the souterrain marked on the map but gave up after 30 or 40 minutes. There were that many piles of stones scattered over the area that could be possibilities that it would have taken too long to find the best one.

We wandered down to the shoreline at Camas Thairbearnais and then up to the top of the this small headland  for a well earned rest and a spot of lunch.












The fisherman who was arguing with the seals the previous evening passed by again.....



To be continued yet again ...

4 comments:

andamento said...

Absolutely stunning photographs. Wow!

The Glebe Blog said...

Love the new layout gents,it's so much brighter,and really fits well with the heavens you climb.
So that's what quarter past five looks like.Great scenery.

fatdogwalks said...

The blog is looking good gentlemen...and that background...just can't place it for the minute - but with all that sand it has to be Ayr!

Great photos as usual...these west coast islands are something else. I must remember never to go camping with you guys...5.15!!!

writesofway.com said...

Brilliant! What a day, what fantastic light - beautiful land/sea scapes and really excellent pictures. Looks like you made very good use of your day as well, no point hanging around in a nice cosy sleeping bag when there's so much outside to get amongst.

Your Bluesky TM weather sorcery worked a treat on the Outer Hebrides, thanks. Didn't have to put the waterproofs on once!

All the best

peter