Saturday, 14 April 2012
Exploring the sights of Loch Nevis
The overnight rain ceased at 7am sharp and the morning looked promising. We planned to meet up again at Inverie in the evening, Dave, Karen, Andy and Diane would walk over the hill pass of Mam Meadail whilst I paddled along Loch Nevis.
The view back to the upper loch shows Ben Aden (hill of the face) to the left and the ridge leading to the summit of Sgurr na Ciche (peak of the breast) in the centre. Sourlies lies at the head of a bay just to the right of this ridge.
All along the south shore of upper Loch Nevis are signs of former occupation, as here at Ardnamurach (perhaps height of the shellfish). There was a small community here with a larger house and some smaller dwellings.
This ruined cottage was nearer the shore. The ground here is now very wet but there are signs of former drainage channels and walls.
Some dwellings are grander than others! This impressive building at the entrance to Tarbet Bay seemed to be unoccupied and in need of a little TLC. What a place though....
On the way up the loch, through the mist and drizzle, I'd glimpsed a whale on the shore of the loch. No, seriously.....
A whale! Moby is a 30 metre, 60 tonne seagoing vessel comparable to a Sperm Whale in size and is the creation of Tom McLean, adventurer and owner of Ardintigh Outdoor Centre.
As I was taking a photo, Tom called from a window to invite me ashore for a cup of tea. I spent a pleasant half hour chatting. Tom rowed solo across the Atlantic in the 1960's. Twice. What a character!
Across the loch at Port Longaig (port of the longship place), a tiny inlet shows signs of a much older type of vessel.
The right hand side of the inlet was meticulously cleared of rocks to provide a "noust" or beaching place for either a longship or the lighter Highland version, a Birlinn. A spike of rock had been driven into the earth above the noust to secure the vessel. I wondered about the people who used this place; were they clansmen of one of the families along the west coast or effectively pirates?
Either way, they'd chosen a spot concealed from most angles and sheltered from the prevailing weather. Their boat noust has survived many centuries after them.