Greenstone Point ramble

The coastline of Opinan and Mellon Udrigle is a serene and tranquil place but on closer inspection there is a lot going on around this beautiful peninsula.

With crofting land bordering moorland there were Skylarks trilling through the skies, Wheatears searching out bugs and caterpillars in the heather, and a Thrush stand off.

Around each rocky outcrop along the coastline to Greenstone Point the views change and there is always something new to surprise you

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Mallards and Greylag geese were savouring the peace ….. until we arrived!

A lazy seal wasn’t overjoyed to see us either, a few minutes spent observing us then splash, he had quickly disappeared under the water

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The deep meets the wild blue yonder

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In several places along the narrow track are these incredibly fertile little spots, on closer viewing they turned out to be the local otters privy, maybe we should consider scooping up the spraints and taking then home to sprinkle on the veg beds, if this is what it does to the grass we could potentially submit some record breaking veggies to the local agricultural show!!

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Alongside a couple of the Otter spraints, were small holes in the ground, they were certainly too small for an Otter, possibly a rabbit has found his perfect burrow with a lush green lawn for a front garden.

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An ideal lookout spot

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…. with just a little bit of rock pooling

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An unfortunate caterpillar being introduced to a Wheatears beak.

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Resting on a small lochan we saw this little beauty, there are only 1,300 breeding pairs of Red Throated Divers in the UK, hopefully this one has a mate and breeds here.

Excuse the terrible photo’s we couldn’t get close enough and wanted to get a couple of shots in case we spooked him or her!

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This was a real treat to see this bird hopefully it will keep coming back.

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Spectacular views from the summit of Cul Mor

Cul Mor has got to be one of the best peaks in the area for outstanding views. It’s quite an unassuming looking hill from the A835 but hides grand views from the top. At 849m it is higher than it’s popular neighbours Stac Pollaidh at 612m and Suilven at 731m making it the perfect spot for viewing these iconic hills. According to Scottish Natural Heritage Cul Mor translated means ‘large hill of the cattle pen’.

This particular Corbett is a popular one. It’s very accessible and just an hours drive from the b&b. Parking for the start of the walk is just north of Knockan Crag so there are no long treks before you reach the base of the mountain unlike Suilven.IMG_6737

The start of this walk follows a solid, well made stalkers path for roughly 2.5kmIMG_6742

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Looking back over the moorland of the North West Highlands Geopark. Knockan Crag can been seen at the bend in the road. The fascinating spot where the long running Moine Thrust debate was resolvedIMG_6748

The small crofting community of Elphin with it’s lush fields and fabulous backdrop.IMG_6738

 

The iconic peak of Suilven emerges with the more gentle Canisp to the east IMG_6743

As the stalkers path comes to an end there is a short period of the route that is pathless but eventually heads up through a boulder strewn area where there are clear cairns highlighting the way up.IMG_6755

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On reaching a plateau at the end of the first boulder section we took the opportunity to consider our route up. There is the option of heading up the north east ridge which again has more boulders to navigate or alternatively there is the path up the corrie between the two peaks. For us the grassy path won we just had to negotiate a short steep heather covered section after crossing the small stream.IMG_6761

After climbing the corrie a fantastic plateau is reached with spectacular views over the Coigachs, Inverpolly with is lochan studded landscape and the bright blue Minch with Skye and Harris and Lewis on the horizon.IMG_6786

The peculiar looking Stac Pollaidh translated means “the pinnacle of the pool river”, it’s a short climb easily accessed alongside the Achiltibuie roadIMG_6791

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Tearing ourselves away from the majestic views we headed for the summit and came across fantastic rock formations. The sandstone had clearly taken some punishment, which we assume was as a consequence of the high winds often found on the tops. Fortunately for us there was barely a breath of breeze (which is rare in these parts).  IMG_6848

Two very different rock formations near the summit IMG_6854

The spur of Sron GarbhIMG_6802

 

More weathered rocks overlooking Suilven. IMG_6870

Lochinver basking in the sunshine.IMG_6877

The view from the 849 metre trig point with Suliven highlighted in the spring sunshine. We could have spent several hours on the top of this corbett, it’s a fascinating hill full of a variety of landscapes with awe inspiring views.

All that was lacking was a nice cup of tea!IMG_6891

For the return journey we followed the route that we had taken in and got back to the car in record time as unbelievably we were pelted with hail stones for the last 1km, the beauty of a scottish day – glorious sunshine and layers of clothes being removed at the start of the day to hail showers, 4 degrees  and all the layers and more back on at the end of the day.

But as John Muir once said “The mountains are calling and i must go”