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Picture of walkers standing around some cars For the second walk of the week we met at Bunnahabhain distillery. This walk was the one walk where dogs were explicitly invited, so in addition to the almost 40 walkers there were several dogs (seven as far as I can remember).

Lindy MacLellan (who knows the area very well, as she lives in Bunnahabhain) and Bryony MacFarlane were going to take us to the summit of Giùr-bheinn (318m, I haven't been able to verify if it qualifies as a Marilyn as the lists are contradictory) and then back to Bunnahabhain via Margadale.

After a warm welcome we left for the Ballulive track, briefly stopping for Lindy to point our where we were heading. Only problem being the haze still lingering from the previous day, meaning we couldn't really see what Lindy was pointing out.
Picture of a group of walkers with one pointing out a direction Picture of a group of walkers on a track, with a dog on a leash
Picture of walkers on their way through a forestry plantation Soon we crossed the bridge over Abhainn Araig and then followed the forestry track to Staoisha Eararach. Continuing along the forestry track we walked south west until the track petered out, then following the forest ride out of the woods.

So far the dogs had mainly been kept on a lead, but now it was time for them to run freely. And how did they run, they were away like lightning. Only to come back, run away, come back again, run back, run forth, while we made our way up the hill.

Over Cnoc nan Seabhag we walked west, our destination finally coming into view again. Below it Loch Giùr-bheinn, where we were going to stop for lunch.
Picture of walkers coming up a hill, dogs on leads Picture of a group of walkers near a gate, dogs running out of the picture

We had a very nice lunch on the shore of Loch Giùr-bheinn with a great view of Giùr-bheinn right behind it. After a lot of haze earlier the first patches of blue sky started to appear, giving us hope that we might get some nice views after all.

Picture of a group of people sitting next to a loch (lake) under a hill
Picture of two mountains with just the summits visible in the haze Picture of two walkers standing on the top of a hill, a third one taking a pictureRefreshed after the lunch we left to tackle the last stretch to the summit of Giùr-bheinn.

Soon we had an interesting view: Almost like in an inversion only the top half of the Paps of Jura were visible above the haze. A view that invited pictures with them in the background.

Picture of a panoramic view over a hill, two other hill tops just visible in the distance over an inversion
Picture of several people and a dog at the summit of a hill We stayed at the summit for a while, enjoying the limited views and trying to make out features through the haze. I quickly walked over to a little knoll at the southern end of Giùr-bheinn, from here I had a nice view over the summit with the Paps of Jura in the background (the two dots you can make out on the summit are people, Lindy and her son. The others weren't visible from here). This is certainly a hill I plan to return to on a clearer day, the views must be impressive.

We left the summit towards the north east, crossing the remains of a dam at the northern end of Loch Giùr-bheinn. We continued north heading towards the glen between Creagan Corr and Margadale Hill. There was another stop at the north west corner of the deer fence around the forestry plantation before we turned east towards Margadale.

Picture of walkers crossing the remains of a dam Picture of a walkers walking into a wide glen
Picture of an adder disappearing into the grass Our walk continued eastwards, towards Margadale. But before we arrived there we had a little bit of excitement, sighting an adder. Adders are fairly common on Islay (and the only snake on Islay, so if you see a snake it's an adder), although they are not necessarily easy to find. While not deadly to a healthy adult their bite is very painful, so it is best to be careful when you see one.

At Margadale Lindy (with some help by Iain) told us a bit about the history of the place as a market place including some slave trading in ancient times.

Just before returning to Bunnahabhain we stopped at the water supply for the distillery to fill up the water bottles. Back at the distillery John MacLellan offered us some whisky, a nice refreshment after another great walk.
Picture of people standing near ruins of a building, listening to a person speaking Picture of people filling up water bottles from a spring
If you are interested in more information about Islay, Colonsay and Jura you might also be interested in my Isle of Islay pages. There you will find many more pictures and further information about Islay, Jura and Colonsay.

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