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Shiaba and Traigh Ban from Skoor

Shiaba and Traigh Ban from Skoor


Postby MacThomasmor » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:22 pm

Route description: Shiaba and Scoor, near Bunessan

Date walked: 03/06/2012

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 6.25 km

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Start of the journey at Skoor
This was our second big walk of our recent trip to Mull (we will upload some photos from the other three later) and it was certainly 3 year-old MacT Og's favourite (for several reasons - all to do with the dead). At about 10am, we started off at Skoor House and made our way up the banked path, towards the moorland and old sheepfold. MacT Og was on fine form (we had informed him that the walk would culminate in a visit to a ghost village and a beach) and only complained once - after the previous day's rock climbing at Dun I on Iona, he wanted more rocks to climb.
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'Sleeping' Mouse
At the sheepfold MacT Og found what he called 'an old sleeping mouse' lying in the grass. The thing looked so peaceful and MacT Og was so taken by it that we didn't have the heart to tell him that it was dead. After the sheepfold we veered left onto the higher of the two hills which lead to Shiaba. I would imagine that on a normal Hebridean day this section between the sheepfold and the dirt track over the other side of the hill would be pretty boggy underfoot: there were still some fairly boggy bits after two weeks worth of baking sunshine and heat.
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School Master's House
Down the hill, we joined the dirt track which leads to the village and after a couple of minutes we saw the first house in the distance, the so-called 'School Master's House'. It was framed by Cnoc nan Gabhar and nan Creagachain on one side and the mainland and top of Jura on the other (quite a sight).
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MacT Og shows me the way
The first house that you pass before the descent into the village contained another surprise for MacT Og: a quite obviously dead sheep in the centre of the track. The missing eyes, exposed ribcage, and the flies made it difficult for us to create a narrative of somnolent bliss for MacT Og's benefit. We instead incorporated it into the ghost village story.
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Crossing the Styx
We finally arrived at the village to some fairly incredible views over the islands to the south and the cliffs and hills which lead round to the Carsaig Arches. MacT Og told us as we entered each and every house that 'a bad man had taken the roof off of the house and the people had to run away' (he had asked about the reason for abandoned villages on our last visit to some cleared townships and so was now the expert).
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From School Master's House towards Jura
All in, the trip to the village took around an hour and a half. After MacT Og's humorous guided tour of the village, we noticed that the white sandy beach of Traigh Ban looked like a pretty decent spot for some lunch.
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View from Village towards Traigh Ban
So we walked down the hill for about 20 minutes (having to negotiate the odd boggy patch on the way down) before sitting down to some well-earned lunch on the deserted beach.
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Traigh Ban
Shoes off and tuna rolls: bliss.
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Feet up
We returned the way we came.
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MacThomasmor
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Re: Shiaba and Traigh Ban from Skoor

Postby ronofcam » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:24 pm

The small house in the first photograph used to belong to Jimmy McKeand of Sgurr. A right character he was, and I stayed in that house a couple of times. He died in 2001 and is buried in the Kilvickeon church, on the road up from Bunessan.
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Re: Shiaba and Traigh Ban from Skoor

Postby MacThomasmor » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:34 pm

ronofcam wrote:The small house in the first photograph used to belong to Jimmy McKeand of Sgurr. A right character he was, and I stayed in that house a couple of times. He died in 2001 and is buried in the Kilvickeon church, on the road up from Bunessan.


Thanks for the info. I thought that it had been used in the not-too-distant past: the chimney still had rendering on it and the fireplace had the iron fronts still in situ. I read in the walkhighlands report that it was the School masters house.

I would love to know what being inside that house in a storm would have been like! Pretty exposed.
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MacThomasmor
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Re: Shiaba and Traigh Ban from Skoor

Postby MacThomasmor » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:27 pm

ronofcam wrote:The small house in the first photograph used to belong to Jimmy McKeand of Sgurr. A right character he was, and I stayed in that house a couple of times. He died in 2001 and is buried in the Kilvickeon church, on the road up from Bunessan.


Ah, just realised that when you said the first photo, you actually meant the first photo - my brain wasn't switched on today (thought that 2001 was a bit recent - even with the rendering!).


:?
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