Updated 28 June 2014

Raasay East coast walk

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Raasay East coast walk

24 May 1995


Rosie and I agreed that just about the best day's walk we had ever done was on the Isle of Raasay, Scotland in May 1995. About 8 miles, it took us 8 hours in good weather. The Youth Hostel warden called Satyam used our car to take us to the start, and we got back to the Hostel again, tired and dehydrated. Using our own map, photos and logbooks, and providing links to 40 really good photos by other people on Geograph, this webpage has brought back a lot of good memories.The key to the whole magnificent walk is: Be driven to the start; stay the night at the Hostel; and use a steep, narrow gully to get from seal level to the East side of Dun Caan.

The magic wood
The big fat seal
Inverarish burn
Slippery stones
HMS Brazen, Type 22 frigate in the bay
The way up
A steep bit
Top of Dun Caan
Home across the moor

Wed 24 May 1995 From JOHN's logbook

Slept well. Woke at 7. No rain, warm & milky outside. After breakfast, Satyam drove with us to near Brochel, the start of the East Coast walk. Satyam drove our car back for us. Mike came too, the thin climber we met at Glenbrittle. The walk first goes through a dense conifer forest, but where there is light and water, the greenery of moss & trees & lichen is magic. Then we left the conifers & followed a path half way up the green slope, black clifs of basalt towering above us, boulder strewn shore beneath. We saw a seal, then saw it dive & it had a tail (an otter?). But it had a seals head. In fact both seal & otter were there, diving for food in the quietly lapping water. Bluebells, primroses, even white flowers of shamrock. Its a magic place. Across the bay we saw a naval ship (frigate) with helicopter pad at stern & a helicopter. Nearby was a submarine, tall fin & conning tower a long way forward. Nuclear attack submarine? Trident sub? We went a bit wrong, walked too far along the shoreline, jumping between huge boulders of basalt, and there was a path 20ft above. The sea is like a millpond, its become very hot & humid & still. The frigate (F91) is going in circles & across the water (at least 1 mile) we can hear its loudspeaker. 4.15pm. On top of Dun Caan. Great views in all directions. There is a wide path up to Dun Caan from the West, but we had to climb to a Lochan & then steeply up to a gulley which is narrow, steep & a bit hairy. More slogging & we reached the trig point at the top. Hot, still & misty. The steep walls of the 2 lochans to our West are a surprise. The walk across the moors to the hostel was hard. Every ridge had a valley & another ridge beyond, we cossed maybe 10 ridges before, about 6.30, we reached the hostel, tired and dehydrated. The walk has taken about 8 hours, the weather lovely, but hot & humid.. Gave myself a good wash, first for days!

Wed 24 May 1995 From ROSIE's logbook

Up at 7.15am - Slept until about 6.45am - Went into ladies lavatory for obvious and washing bottie. Went back into dorm-cum-office to wash rest when as I was drying myself, in walked Satyam!! About 9am Mike, thin fellow in shorts from Glenbrittle YH, rolled up & at about 9.30 am Mike came with us & Satyam in car to near Brochel where a foot- path starts for E.Coast through Raasay forest. Satyam drove car back. Mike did "his own thing" and John & I walked along East Coast first through forest & then along a rough coastal footpath. We were briefly rained on & then gradually weather improved & it was very warm & sunny for the rest of the day! We had a laugh 'cos we saw a seal (commonseal?) & then John says "No, its an otter!". I sez, "Don't be daft, that's a seal!" "No, its an otter!", sez he. It turned out that there were 2 animals, 1 a seal & t'other an otter. Seal just submerges to fish & otter dives to fish & you see his tail as he goes under. Later we saw 2 seals basking on submerged rocks. They looked very uncomfortable! We saw plants that were of the Oxalus family?? Wood sorrel (white flowers with pink thin stripes). In the sea, between Raasay & Applecross were a naval frigate & a nuclear? submarine. Many bluebells along coast so there must have been deciduous trees at one time there. [Moss grows everywhere in the conifer forest either side of the footpath]. Dead sheep everywhere inc. 1 in process of dying. We went wrong here, we should have turned right and up over a cliff - instead we had to rock-hop which was not very pleasant as rocks were often slippery due to being washed by dripping water from above and were covered by green plant life. Eventually we got onto the footpath by climbing up the bank. We turned up a gully and above Loch a Chadha charnaich which was on our left. Turned right up steep grassy, rocky slope & then through a dodgy bit of a gully (loose bits of rock). Onto grass, heather & rocks again (Beware of 30ft drop on righthand side of top of gully!!) to summit Dun Caan. Down official path to Loch na Meilich, which is the island's water supply [Saw 2 or 3 (Black Guillimots) black "ducks" with white side patches, in sea]. Up path to small lochan where a party of children had gathered, some swimming! They were with 2 adults & were staying at the Outdoor Centre. Water was very cold in deeper bits! John & I then went by compass + 3 cairns across the vast undulating moorland back to hostel. This comprised of ridges (where the cairns were) and gullies all the way back to hostel. We were exhausted by time we got back about 6.45pm! [On Dun Caan & other high places I have seen leaves of a lupin-type plant]. Bed about midnight.

    Photos in Geograph

  1. Gate and track to Raasay forest NG 579 460
  2. Ruined longhouse on Raasay's east coast NG 580 458
  3. South Screapadal, Raasay NG 58 44
  4. Creag na Bruaich, Raasay NG 58 43
  5. The rocky east coast NG 586 428
  6. Jumble of rocks NG 586 428
  7. East coast NG 586 428
  8. Drium an Aonaich, Raasay NG 58 41
  9. Bracken hell NG 586 411
  10. The way up, Raasay's east coast walk NG 587 401
  11. Rough coast walk NG 586 401
  12. Loch a' Chada-charnaich, Raasay NG 58 39
  13. Loch Chadna charnaich NG 584 393
  14. The path to Dun Caan NG 5758 3945
  15. Dun Caan NG 578 394
  16. Summit view, Dun Caan NG 5793 3948
  17. Basalt cliffs, Dun Caan NG 5792 3954
  18. Rocky outcrops on Dun Caan NG 5789 3947

    Photos in Geograph

  1. The ascent of Dun Caan NG 5783 3953
  2. Loch na Meilich NG 5744 3975
  3. On top of Dun Caan NG 579 395
  4. Loch na Meilich NG 575 394
  5. Dun Caan NG 575 393
  6. Summit of Dun Caan NG 579 395
  7. Dun Caan NG 579 395
  8. Dun Caan NG 578 395
  9. Dun Caan, Raasay NG 57 39
  10. Loch na Mna NG 578 386
  11. Loch na Mna NG 578 388
  12. Loch Na Mna NG 5791 3870
  13. Cairn on the Dun Caan path NG 5771 3823
  14. Cairn on the Dun Caan path NG 577 383
  15. Glaciated exposures by the Inverarish Burn NG 575 377
  16. Inverarish Falls, Raasay NG 574 372
  17. The Dun Caan path NG 5748 3764
  18. A first view of Dun Caan NG 5754 3797
  19. Path going down to Inverarish burn NG 570 370
  20. Waterfall in Raasay Forest NG 566 370
  21. Raasay Youth Hostel NG 553 378
  22. Raasay Youth Hostel NG 553 378
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