The Fairy Pools
The weather was holding up and so, after a lie in and a late breakfast, we headed down Glen Brittle and into The Black Cuillin for an afternoon walk up the Allt Coir' a' Mhadaidh in the Coire na Creiche to see the Fairy Pools, a sequence of waterfalls and deep plunge pools. These are well worth seeing and the walk up to them is very easy. Once there, there were a couple of lads plunging off the high sides of the stream into the deep pools - looked really cool as it was getting warm.
We continued on up the Allt Coir' a'Tairneilear and further into the head of Coire na Creiche to get a better view of Sgurr an Fheadain and the Waterpipe Gully. It's certainly an impressive bit of scenery as you can pan round to view Bruache na Frithe, Sgurr na Bhairnich, Bidein Druim nan Ramh, Sgurr an Fheadain, Sgurr a' Mhadaidh and Sgurr Thuilm and you get a real sense of being deep within the Black Cuillin without having climbed very far at all. It's definately well worth the little extra effort required to do this and it made the day so much better. A really great place to sit back and enjoy a pack lunch!
From the head of Coir' a' Mhadaidh, we then attempted to traverse round the side of Bruache na Frithe over to the cairn on Bealach a' Mhaim. From there it would be an easy stroll back down to where we parked the car but we lost the path about a third of the way round and Lorna really doesn't like tramping through such rough and boggy country so we cut back downhill to the Allt Coir' a' Mhadaidh and retraced our steps from there.
One of these I'll get back there and climb the ridge but sadly I'll need to do it without Lorna as, while she loves hill walking, she's not one for exposed scrambles of this kind. I'll need to get a good bit fitter than I am now though :(
Having spent a good few hours up on the hillside and with the evening coming on, we'd forgotten about the most feared creature in the Scottish countryside - Culicoides impunctatus, the Highland midge! It's easy to wander around with your shorts on and sleeves rolled up, bearing both arms and legs, and just enjoying the pleasant weather but once the sun goes down a bit these wee blighters rise from the grass like a cloud and attack anything with a bit of blood in'em. Luckily we had some good old Jungle Formula with us, which we started applying on the descent down through the heather slopes. By the time we'd got back to the car park, the air was black with them. There's no way you can protect every square inch of skin while trying to change out of your boots and they got everywhere - up my trousers, up my shirt and even in my hair! We've never moved faster from getting changed, into the car and off as fast as we could go. The car was full of them so we were driving with the windows full open and the blowers on full to try and get rid of them. We eventually got clear of them but when we got back to Fiskavaig and opened the boot, guess what? Yes, more screaming and running around!
If you're particularly sensitive to their bites, then it might be worth having a look at the online midge forecast before venturing out without some repellant. You can even get a forecast on your mobile 'phone by texting MIDGE to 84070, it's only 25p but bear in mind that it's a subscription service so you'd need to cancel it by texting MIDGESTOP to 84070 or you'll keep on getting a daily forecast and a 25p charge.