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Breathtaking views from high up above the shores of Loch Eribol taking time to wander through a Bronze Age
This line of Bronze Age cairns are at an altitude of 330m above the shores of Loch Eribol. There is evidence of eight cairns; however some are more obvious than others. It is thought that this could be a Bronze Age cemetery. The line of cairns is on a small quartzite ridge overlooking Bealach Mor, which is the pass between the fertile limestone valley of the Kyle of Durness and the shores of Loch Eribol. High on the end of the Ben Spionaidh to the south there is the solitary cairn of Cairn an Righ, perched on an airy cliff overlooking our line of cairns. The views up here are breathtaking on a clear day and well worth the effort. Looking eastwards there are the lovely limestone shores of Loch Eribol, starting at the northern end with the dramatic Whiten Head. Across the Loch, you get a view of Ben Arnabol, where the geological feature, the Moine Thrust was first discovered. Here it was realised that the older rocks of the Moine were laying over the younger rocks and at the interface the rocks showed signs of great trauma. It was thus proved that the Earth’s Crust has, in its past, undergone great upheavals. Nearby you can see the line of the Moine Path heading upwards and away towards the Hope Valley. Over Bealach Mor, to the north and west you get a glimpse of the golden strands of Faraid Head and Durness. The cache is approached from Loch Eribol from the southern end of the settlement of Laide. There are a few pull-offs on the side of the single track road near the start of the walk, however please do not obstruct passing places. The best approach, which also offers the driest approach to the cache is up the northern bank of the stream, Ault na Tighe. The stream is quite small and in dry weather is completely dry. The stream meets the road at N 58° 28.753 W004° 43.956. Follow up the right hand bank, keeping on straight up the hill side. In places the stream is running in a narrow rocky groove and others it’s running on wide quartzite pavement. In dry weather these pavements provide easy walking, however when it is wet, these can be quite slippery. The walking on the banks is through short heather and grass. Keep following the stream until it disappears into peat bog at about 2.5km from the road. Aim for the first and most southern cairn at N58° 29.348 W 004° 017 which is about another 600m from the top of the stream. This first cairn has partly covered in heather, however as you walk round you cairn you see how it might have originally looked made up of bright white quartzite blocks. There are hints of what might have been an entrance. The row of cairns are on a very slight ridge, heading north to the pass. Take your time to wander through this Bronze Age landscape and ponder on the peoples who built these cairns. Please treat the cairns with respect and don’t move any of the stones or feel the need to add any more. The cache itself it hidden well clear of the cairns, just to the west. Stout footwear is required, as the going is rough and in wet weather parts of the walk can be quite boggy. As the walk takes you up to 330m (1000feet) be aware that the weather can change and suitable clothing is recommended.
Va gur tebbir