Friday, 2 May 2014

The 30 hour adventure - beach life

 The beach on which we'd landed for first luncheon was composed of fine shingle and small pebbles, glistening in the sunshine.  The terraces of stones stepping up the beach and onto the turf above showed the power of the winter storms which had lashed all of Britain recently. 

A closer look at the shore showed lots of quartzite pebbles, giving the beach the pale glint visible from many miles away.  We found comfortable spots to sit in the warm sun and enjoyed first luncheon; already we'd settled into the rhythm of our small adventure.

The bedrock here is a schistose type with intricate layers and swirls within the tilted planes....

.....some of the folded patterns were quite exquisite.

Schist breaks down readily to fertile soils, in cracks between the bedding planes Thrift (Armeria maritima) was well established; the flowers just about to open.  This remarkable plant seems to thrive in the harshest of environments, being found on seashore, cliffs and right to the tops of the mountains across Scotland.

Above the beach was an area of Birch and Willow wood.  The whole slope was studded with one of the iconic springtime flowers of the west coast, Primroses (Primula vulgaris).  The pale yellow flowers are a great spring sight on sunny banks and in woodland clearings, so welcome after the muted winter colours.

After a leisurely lunch, accompanied by a very small sip of 15 year-old Dalwhinnie, it was time to move on.  Our route now continued south west along the Kintyre coast past other small shingle beaches, towards Skipness Point.

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