The Armin Grewe Homepage
Picture of walkers climbing over a drystone wall For the first walk of WalkIslay 2006 we met with Donald James (DJ) MacPhee at Storakaig gate. DJ would take us on a 11 mile circular walk in Islay's Great Glen, telling us about its history and show us a huge variety of places.

After a short introduction we left for Airigh Ghuaidhre, from where we had a good view over to Loch Bharradail. Next we turned west and walked up Beinn Bharra-dail until we reached the old road towards the Dun Nosebridge. DJ explained the history of area and showed us a number of old buildings, signs of farming activities and an old but well preserved lime kiln. There are hundreds of old kilns scattered over the areas, some smaller, some bigger, some well preserved, others not.

Picture of walkers at the ruins of an old steading Picture of walkers looking at an old lime kiln
Picture of walker in an undulating landscape We continued along the old road, enjoying views over the glen while learning more about the history of the area. We learned how the glen road through the area came to pass, how the people used to live here and were also shown an area where slate was once extracted from. Lunch was had under a still bare tree, spring hadn't arrived early enough for it to have any leaves yet.

The iron age fort of Dun Nosebridge was our last stop during the first half of the walk before joining the road at Mulindry. The hill fort is thought to have been built around 850-500BC but might also have been an important centre around the Norse occupation of Islay AD 800-1150. It's certainly a commanding structure with impressive views over Loch Indaal and the glen. Some of the old fruit trees in Islay's old fruit basket can be seen from here.

Picture of a group of walkers resting under a tree Picture of walkers approaching an old hill fort
Picture of walkers on a track next to a burn After a short walk on the road from Mulindry to Cluanach we headed up the Kynagarry Road, soon following the track along Kilennan River towards Beinn Bheigier. The track goes through a rifle range, we could see parts of the targets and were shown the distance from where some marksmen can hit the target.

Near Allalladh we left the track and after a short rest started heading north. A handful of walkers headed up half way up a hill for a good view of the crannog in Loch Allallaidh, an impressive view.

Crossing a number of burns and gently undulating land our walk continued towards Storakaig, from where we had left earlier in the day.

Picture of walkers on rough ground Picture of a crannog in a loch
Picture of a gamekeeper feeding deer Arriving back in Storakaig after about 7 hours (incl breaks) and a good 11 miles we enjoyed a wee dram of Islay Single Malt, looked on by a herd of deer. The first walk during WalkIslay 2006 was complete and the first three stars for a 'walkislay mug' were in the bag.

DJ then fed the deer, giving some good photo opportunities. Unfortunately rain set in just at this point, so I wasn't able to take many pictures. It then rained quite heavily during the drive back to the hotel, a good or a bad sign for the remainder of the week?

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