Mar 7th, 2015
Well this morning in true Loch Goil style it was pouring with rain as it has been for the last few days. R and I walked out as far as the loch in the early morning, but the sky was so dull and grey, and the rain so heavy and unrelenting, that unusually for us, we turned tail and went home. On the way back we noticed that the Donich and the Goil rivers were just about as full as we have ever seen them…
About half an hour later however, a friend of ours turned up on the doorstep and made us an offer we couldn’t refuse (in spite of the weather). I had mentioned we had never seen the Cormonachan Waterfalls or the ruined settlement above them and he was offering to show us them.
We drove over to the other side of the loch, about half way between Lochgoilhead and Carrick Castle and parked. Amazingly, within twenty yards of the road were views to one of the most tremendous waterfalls I have ever seen – and today it was in full spate. We walked up to a viewing spot where the spray from the falls would have been soaking us through had it not been for the fact that we were as wet as we could be already. We took some videos and then went on up to the ruined settlement.
I thought I was reasonably fit, but our guide soon was outpacing us, particularly as the route was not so much a path as a full blown stream. A couple of times I put my feet down in what I thought was an inch or two of mud, only to find it was in fact over a foot of mud. But we made it over some rather treacherous felled trees to the ruined village at the top of the falls. Apparently this settlement has been abandoned for centuries, but the walls of four or five houses are still standing to chest level. It is an atmospheric place, particularly in the driving rain, and you can’t help thinking of the people who lived up there with their animals, and who didn’t have to care about access to electricity or speed of Internet access because there was no electricity and no Internet. It rather reminded me of the ruined fishing settlement at Fethaland in Shetland which we have visited many times but is rather better known as a tourist attraction than the Cormonachan one –
Anyway, then we went back down which was even more exciting than the way up because it was very slippy and a couple of times I went arse over tit. I have to say that R watched my progress with quiet smugness from inside his waterproof trousers, coat, hat and walking boots because he wasn’t hardly wet at all.
It was straight in for a hot shower when we got back, but we had a great time and got to experience a fantastic piece of the area which we hadn’t seen before. Many thanks to our guide and we will have to go back when the weather is a bit more clement.