Colonsay Day – 4 visit Dun Gallain an ancient Fort. Great last day wandering.Seeing the Waverley Steamer.

At last we had a day out Kalie as she had finished her bee course. We had the ferry late early evening so we had a wander from Colonsay Golf course to look for the old fort at Dun Gallain. We parked near the golf course near the airport. It was a great wander along the coast lots of rock to scramble on and a wander up to the hill fort well hidden.

Colonsay Golf Cpurse : If you would like to enjoy a golfing experience similar to that enjoyed by the very first golfers in Scotland (therefore, the world), then this course is for you. Colonsay Golf Course may not be the grandest in the world, but it’s certainly one of the most beautiful.

The 18-hole course is situated on indigenous machair, shortish grass growing in sandy soil, typical of the finest Scottish links golf courses. When you arrive at the first tee, you will be struck by the beauty of the course’s setting. Two beautiful, sandy Hebridean bays form the western fringe of the course: the first is called Traigh an Tobair Fhuair (“Bay of the Cold Well”). The second is called Port Lobh (which, unfortunately, means “Malodorous Bay”). Two burns traverse the course from east to west. From many points on the course, you can glimpse the sands of Ardskenish peninsular to the southwest. The course is fringed to the northeast by the rugged, craggy Beinn nan Caorach (“Hill of the Sheep”). 20 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean (next stop, Canada), in most weathers, you can spot Dubh Hearteach lighthouse. The panorama is completed by Dun Ghallain, a cairned headland where a ancient fort once stood.

The golf course !

To help you to visualise the course, think about the Masters course at Augusta, where every blade of grass appears to be meticulously manicured; then, picture the polar opposite! Colonsay’s unique course is completely natural, having been designed by the Supreme Architect of Golf. The greens are mown and rolled during the season by local golfers, with some help from the sheep and some hindrance from the rabbits. In the winter, they are joined by the cattle of Kiloran Farm. As a consequence, you may have the unusual task of having to clear some livestock from your line of fire before playing your shot. Fear not, though: local rules allow preferred lies on all fairways and a free drop for balls disappearing into rabbit-holes or taken by the ravens. More good news: there are no bunkers! In keeping with the “primeval golf” theme, however, you will come across the occasional sheep-scrape in the sandy ground, which some believe to be the origin of the modern bunker. At all times, if irked by the ruggedness of the course, you can find comfort in remembering that you’ll not find a lower green-fee anywhere.

The ancient fort is on top of the hill Dun Gallain it took a bit of looking for as all there is left is the foundations but what a vantage point. We wandered back via the Golf course amongst the Machair great views and rabbit holes lots of rabbits everywhere even on the greens but what a situation.

Great views.

It was such a lovely walk and Kalie was at last free for a walk. We sat on the wee top admiring the view then headed back past the airfield. I must have landed here during a search for a Dutch Atlantic plane that crashed of the coast on a NATO exercise. 14 September 1978 – A Dutch surveillance Breguet crashed in the Iries sea west of Scotland after the explosion of the right RollsRoyce engine. All the crew were rescued safely.

Wandering amongst the Machar (A machair is a fertile low-lying grassy plain found on part of the northwest coastlines of Ireland and Scotland, in particular the Outer Hebrides.) is so pleasant

Fields in of Iris’s

There were also so many orchids and Iris’s abound it’s lovely there were flowers everywhere. Apart from a couple of canoeists on the sea and a few others on the beach yet we had most of the area to ourselves. There was a great peace in this place with its blue seas and goes. The oystercatchers were a constant companino with their high pitched call.

We had plenty of time a wee sleep on the hill in the sun out of the wind great views of Jura and the mainland. Then a tea break lunch before heading back. We had another brew on the Colonsay Hotel and a wander up to the monument by the pier.

Magic unmentioned

Kalie had booked a meal before we went and after a some last minute shopping we had a meal at the pier just making the ferry. Then it wax the two hour ferry back on a vey empty ferry. Sadly we had no bees with us ( that’s another tale) The Waverley steamer popped into the harbour before the ferry. What a sight and so many memories.

The Waverly steamer.

We got back on the mainland thr Waverley was berthed in Oban Harbour. Then it was a long drive home me at 0130 Kalie a bit later. A superb few days away from the madness of the media.

I have great memories of the visits to the Islands exploring more and Islands and areas. The weather was exceptional and a great companion Islay. Highlights include a swim in the sea the flowers birds coastline and sea. Of course good company of Kalie. Really tired today now home getting sorted out.

The Bee course !

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Golf, Islands, Local area and events to see, Mountaineering, People, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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