Overcast and overshadowed

It’s just great being on the tops of mountains, but its also amazing walking between them.

This was just one of those, on a bit of a dull day; but at least it didn’t rain!

I had to work hard to make photos this time; the light was quite “flat”.

Three of us plus Molly set off from a lay-by near to Knockan Crag and headed north west, following a track all the way through Gleann Laoigh. This took us between the two fabulous mountains of Cul Mor and Cul Beag, rising up each side of us for most of the walk.

I’d not really noticed how similar they were from this angle; definitely siblings. In the distance was Stac Pollaidh too.

It’s actually the 23rd of May, and the leaves are just out on most of the trees, but the heather, grass and bracken are slow to go. We’ve had a cold, prolonged winter.

The other consequence of such a long winter is the lack of food for the herbivores (aka red deer), and it looks like someone has trimmed the bog myrtle with an agricultural machine!

We get to a lovely waterfall that tumbles down the lower slopes of Cul Mor, through a grove of trees and decide to have lunch sitting on some rocks. The trees are mainly birch, with a few rowan and an occasional aspen. From a distance, they look lush, but sitting among them, it’s very noticeable that there’s a lot that are dead or dying. Which would be OK if there were regenerating saplings too. But there aren’t. So it isn’t good news really. It’s generally (but not universally) accepted that this is due to the grazing pressure of too many deer. It’s my point of view too, but I know it’s contentious.

The ground flora suggests old woodland, with primroses, bluebells, violets and wood sorrel.

Lunch done, I clamber up to get a photo of one of the lower sections of waterfall, and it’s harder than it looked!

The other 2 get bored waiting and shout to me. Luckily, I’ve got the van keys, so I know they won’t just leave me.

Back in the glen, we follow the burn to a sandy beach at Lochan Gainmheich, whose Gaelic name gives clues.

Time to turn around. The odd thing about this walk is that it’s basically downhill all the way out, and therefore uphill all the way back!

There’s signs of previous habitation; a collection of buildings and a couple of decaying fences. A long way from a modern road.

We walk back through the twin peaks, and tally about nine and a half miles by the time we get back on tarmac.

It really is a great low-level walk.

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