The Armin Grewe Homepage
Picture of a group of walkers crossing a bridge over a burn (stream) On Tuesday morning we met at the Bridgend Auction Mart for the fourth walk of the week. Jack Adamson would take us from Gortantaoid (north east of Loch Gruinart) across Islay back to Bridgend at Loch Indaal.

Car shares were quickly organised and with several four wheel drive cars we set off for Gortantaoid. We drove up the eastern side of Loch Gruinart and then followed the track we had walked back the previous day. Just before Gortantaoid we stopped, once everyone was ready our walk could begin.

We turned south and soon crossed a bridge to open land. The first mile we walked across mainly flat grassy ground, crossing a few burns and finally following Abhainn Airigh nan Sidhean for a short time.
Picture of walkers on a wide open plain, hills in the background Picture of walkers walking along a burn (stream)
Picture of walkers standing at the ruins of an old cottage (Sornasairidh), guide pointing out something We stopped at the ruins of Sornasairidh for a rest and a snack. Jack explained the area and how people used to live in the harsh conditions out here.

One of the nice things of the Islay Walking Week is that there are always some local participants, several of them having now retired after growing up on Islay and either having returned to the island or lived on it their whole life. They are always able and willing to contribute another anecdote or historical background.

Moving on we climbed the side of Beinn nam Fitheach, walking south along its western flank. From here we had a great view west, illustrating the reason why I decided to call this walk the Loch to Loch Walk. We could see the two main sea lochs cutting into Islay, for a better view you can try the Quicktime VR Two Lochs View panorama over Islay, taking in Loch Gruinart and Loch Indaal:
Picture of a panoramic view over an island with two sea lochs visible on each side
Picture of walkers crossing a ditch with a dried out burn (stream) We stopped for lunch in the shadow of Beinn nam Fitheach and Beinn a'Chuirn. A nice rest with a view over this wild landscape in one of the more remote parts of Islay.

Refreshed from the break we continued south. From Beinn nam Fitheach we walked south towards Toll a' Chapuill Bhàin, crossing through a wide glen. We then followed the contours of the hill between Loch Leathan and Beinn Chàm. Just south of Beinn Chàm we had a nice view over Loch Càm.

We then turned west to walk past Feur Lochain towards Lòn Bàn. Here we stopped for a rest, frequently looking back towards Loch Càm. Another walk was supposed to be in the area at the time, led by Walter and Beth Ramsay. We had hoped to meet them and indeed saw them in the distance after a while.
Picture of the view over a wide glen with rough ground, a burn winding its way through it
Picture of deer running across the path of a few walkers The area we were walking in was quite nice, slightly different to what you'd normally expect on Islay. Wide open glens providing a feeling of open space. The ground was quite rough, tussocky in many places, boggy in others. We had to cross a number of burns on our way through them.

We saw deer in a number of places, at one point they crossed right in front of us.

From Lòn Bàn we turned south again, walking around Sliabh nam Feur Lochan into Glen Drolsay. It runs from Loch Skerrols in the south east towards Loch Gruinart in the north west. A very nice glen with Loch Drolsay in the centre. For a better impression you can also view the Quicktime VR panorama of Glen Drolsay with Loch Drolsay on Islay:
Picture of a panoramic view of a glen with a loch
Picture of deer on a hill with interestingly shaped hills and cliffs in the distance Now for the final stretch of the walk: After crossing through Glen Drolsay and passing Loch Drolsay we climbed up to Beinn an Fhuaraudh and Cnoc Carrach. Here we saw some further deer with the cliffs over at Sanaigmore providing a spectacular background.

Coming over the hills near Cnoc Donn Beag we had a very nice view over Loch Indaal with Bowmore on the other side. Unfortunately a short shower passed over us just at this moment.

But the sun came out again quickly, following us as we walked past Knockdon Farm and through Eallabus until we reached Islay House. Jack provided us with a short overview of the house and told us about the recently opened community garden next to it. A very nice end to a great walk with a lot of new impressions!
Picture of walks walking over the top of a hill, a sea loch with a village on the other side coming into view Picture of a large house (Islay House)
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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