Expedition 122 - 16th October 2004

We haven't had a lot of luck with the weather this autumn, and this was just about the worst forecast imaginable. It was also in the middle of the half term holiday so numbers were understandably a bit down on our recent impressive turnouts. There were seven explorers and four adults: Alexander, Alexandria, Allan, Chloe, John Donaldson, Katie and Sarah; with Francis, John Evans, Philippa and Sandra and Lady as the solitary canine member.

I had hoped that the tide would let us examine the beach with its clay deposit and stone heaps, but the water was right up to the road so we went straight up the old track into the woods. On the way up we passed the only alder plantation in Sunart before we reached the high field where Allan took time out to climb up a solitary alder near the track.

We went off the path to look at the waterfall but, in spite of a lot of recent rain, it wasn't putting up much of a show. Some of the team stopped to look at an old fence made with split oak posts - a tree had grown right round the fence wires.

A little further up the track crossed a stream by a well-built culvert and this was examined pretty carefully. Autumn was well advanced and there were a lot of fungi on the ground and growing on the dead trees. There were signs of recent tree cutting and the road had been improved so that we could climb quite high on the hill before turning and heading across open ground towards the sea.

We stopped on a small hill and I read out an account of a fire which occurred in this wood in 1755. It mentioned a small island off Camusaine, which the explorers could easily pick out. After a break we carried on down across some old peat cuttings and a few wet feet were noted. Then we re-entered the oak woods and crossed to the track once more.John Dye


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