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" Scotland - 5 - The Headland at Reiff "
Date & start time: Wednesday 17th May 20107, 3.30 pm.
Location : Out towards the western headland of Rubha na Coigach.
Stayed at : The Brochs of Coigach
Places visited : Reiff headland and Camas Eilean Ghlais Bay.
Walk details : 2.4 miles, 270 ft of ascent, 2 hours.
With : Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Sunshine and blue skies again . . . but a stiff breeze off the sea.
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The poor weather cleared away as promised in the forecast . . . and Scotland returned to sunshine and blue skies.
We plan to venture out to the 'end of the road', as far onto the peninsular as you can drive, and enjoy a walk from the quiet village of Reiff.
But before we go . . . we had an appointment to keep.
It is Wednesday and that means it's 'visiting fishmonger day' at the local Village Hall.
This is the Piping School Cafe and Craft Shop and what used to be the village hall. It became a bag-piping centre for a while.
It now sells refreshments and lunches and seems a very popular place.
The new hall was a Millennium project and brings the local facilities right up to date.
The garden was created when everyone "just brought a plant" and planted it. It amazing what grows in this coastal environment when you try.
They had an excellent local craft display . . . and a purchase from a local lady Ann Marie concluded our visit.
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Our fishmonger turned up outside as advertised and supper was sorted.
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After lunch we took the short drive to Reiff.
The path around the promontory makes a nice walk . . . starting at sea level and climbing gradually to steep cliffs at the far end.
First views of Reiff . . . with clear views all the way out to the Outer Hebrides.
Clear seas too so nothing to deflect the strong, warm breeze as it blows in from the south west.
You can often tell the direction of the prevailing wind by which way they tie the sheds down !
Tucked in under the bank . . . someone's pride and joy . . . but in need of a little t.l.c.
There was room at the end of the road for a few cars so we parked, crossed the bridge and walked out onto the headland.
The short stream flowing from the Loch of Reiff to the sea has a wall on one side which serves as a sheltered jetty for unloading small boats.
On the far bank an old croft house, minus its roof, sits quietly by the shoreline.
Its replacement has been built further back, closer to the road.
There's one fisherman working today . . . the Grey Heron
Looking back at the houses of Reiff as we walk up the gentle slope.
On old house of some sort stands near the small cliff edge.
It has a close up on the world . . . especially if it were to blow a gale.
On the flatter slopes the old cultivation beds are remarkably wide
and seem to sweep up and round, reflecting the contours and general shape of the hill.
By now we've gained height and the rock scenery becomes more impressive.
At the top end of the promontory the strata has lifted the land
and a second brown map contour means we've reached a height in excess of 20m (66 feet) above the sea.
A grand place to sit and enjoy the view.
In the bay is a rock stack, only accessible by boat.
Above the opposite headland we can just make out the lighthouse buildings
at the Point of Stoer, some 11 miles away to the north.
From our lofty perch we also enjoy a view south . . . back to Reiff
and beyond to the Coigach and the An Teallach mountains.
We could return down the opposite of the lake but chose to extend the walk.
The map shows a croft house which goes by the name 'Camas a' Ghlais Lean', which is just a nice distance away.
First we leave the headland and walk around the bay.
It has a lovely white sandy beach at one point.
Harry has muddy paws from a peat bog so we'll stop on the way back to give them a wash.
The croft at Camas . . . and the first sighting of a Great Skua (or Bonxie)
The croft is in reasonable state . . . obviously owned and maintained by someone,
but it has not been lived in for a while.
One the way back down the grassy slope Harry breaks into a jog !
His speed on these walks is very much dependant on surface and slope, down being better than up, but that's the same for many of us.
I must go down to the sea again . . .
Fine white sand with a selection of seaweeds to chose from.
Time to make sure Harry's feet are washed . . . Dylan stays by my shoes
. . . he doesn't understand waves and so stays well clear.
Along the Loch of Reiff now . . . on our way back to the car.
Fine sparkly water and a couple of graylag geese.
On the other side of the wire fence are a local herd of Hebridean sheep . . . plus one white one.
Fine looking sheep, with a thick coat to protect against the weather . . . they live outdoors all year.
More greylag geese as we approach the houses.
Old houses lie abandoned . . . and stand as memorials to times past.
I was just intrigued by this 'bath and basin' set . . . a fine space saving idea.
Now it has been recycled into a planter, with flowers growing under the anti-sheep mesh.
Shouldn't be any difficulty keeping them watered . . . just turn the tap on.
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Back at the house now and I think it's time to sample another small glass of that complimentary Islay whisky.
Am I seeing double or are those very large sheep ?
No . . . the local red deer have come grazing . . . jumping the field boundary fence with ease.
There were ten or so in the end . . . all looking for an evening meal before the light failed.
I think we might do the same . . . but ours comes courtesy of the fishmonger and a little preparation time spent in our kitchen.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's new Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 Compact System Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . the return of the sun and the sparkling water.
Previous walk - 15th/16th May - Scotland - 4 - A Potter across to Lochinver
A previous time in the area - 8th to 18th May 2015 - Durness and Northern Scotland
Next walk - 18th May 2017 - Scotland - 6 - Meall an Fheadain