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Monday, 3 November 2014

Back in Doune

We really enjoy our visits to Doune.  As well as making lace we get out and about quite often.  It’s good after a morning, afternoon or whole day of lacemaking to have a leg stretch, up the hill, off to Inverie or Airor, or over to the Dun that gives Doune its name (left),P578 above the ruinsP529 the dun perhaps to see ruins of the old settlement from which the people were evicted in the 1850s to be replaced by sheep – what is referred to as the Clearances.  P569 Field system

The old field boundaries and field system are still obvious (left), P531 corn kilnas is the old grain kiln in the shadow of the large rock on the right of the photo on the right.  I took quite a long walk around various sites and up to the top of three small hills around about, more than I have been able to walk for several years.

Another day, Morag, Mike and I set of to walk uphill to the road, then along the road towards Inverie (IN ver EE) and down a track to Sandaig, another bay along the coast. P1090868 Unfortunately Morag developed a sore foot and decided to turn back, Mike going with her, so I continued  alone. P1090891P1090902

P1090903 The tide was way out when I reached the beach  in front of Sandaig House (left) so I decided to walk right down to the water’s edge.  It was interesting to see the worm casts of sand and little holes where marine creatures have buried into the wet sand when the tide was retreating. some had little “wicks” coming out of them.  I wasn’t going to dig down to see what they were!worm cast 2

Back at Doune later, I was amazed to learn that I had walked about 8 miles (including the walk to the water’s edge and back)!   and it hadn’t seemed like a hard slog!

During the second part of the week we had the company of a couple who went walking each day.  They would go with Gavin in Gripper to a point from where they could walk a good few miles to get back to Doune.  One day some of us went along on the boat for the ride! P1090698 It was the calmest day with a bit of a heat haze over the coastline as we chugged around the coast into Loch Hourn (Hoorn)  and up to Barrisdale where the two walkers had to clamber onto rocks and over to the shore where they started their walk. P1013148

Here’s Gavin returning to the boat after accompanying the couple ashore.

P1090721The views on the way back were stunning.  The haze had lifted, leaving the sky a brilliant blue for our return.


in GripperWe even saw some porpoises leaping through the water, but otherwise there was no sightings of other wildlife at Doune, - well, apart from the split second view of a couple of stags on the hill above the road on the way to Sandaig.  Still, there were plenty of wild flowers to be found.  P1090546I was especially thrilled to find the tiny delicate Grass of Parnassus, left.   wild scabiousWild  blue scabiousbramble

brambles,            knapweed                 ,purple heather








 waiting their turnAt Doune itself there were the usual wild birds who came to feast on the peanuts in the hanging feeders outside the stone lodge dining room.  Mostly chaffinches and sparrows, they queue up, waiting their turn to eat,(left) robin2while the robin sings from the roof top, waiting to pick up the pieces that drop to the verandah.the pier

Let me take you on a wee guided tour of the buildings, the people and pets of Doune, starting with a view of Gripper at the pier, and pets, Ron and Tally at the pier store..




Below is a view of the White House and the boat housewhite house.

Martin and Jane live in the White House.white house

Along the path to the stone lodges, in the last few years, a new building emerged, tucked between the rocks.  To begin with it was very raw and new looking but has now matured and “grown into” the landscape. P1090800 This is “RANZO”, (right)  home of Mary and Alan, who originally renovated the White House and built the lodges.

doune stone lodgesPassing in front of Ranzo we see the stone lodges ahead with Jamie’s house on the hill above.  Jamie, one of Alan’s and Mary’s two sons, was just a teenager when the family first spied Doune from the sea as they cruised down the coast, and is now married to Penny, who came to spend the summer working at Doune dining room some years ago..  liz's houseAlso up on the hillside but to the left is Liz’s and Andy’s house.  Liz is the lacemaker who came up with the idea of a lace week, about 20 years ago.

 P443 doune bay lodgeThen around the bay by the rocky path is the wooden lodge, where most of us stay.  It’s very comfortable, with individual bedrrooms, and a restful lounge,bedroom



and a beach all of our own!  Margaret went swimming out there, but although I waded out so far, I couldn’t quite bring myself to get right under the water.  It was ……. cold!!!      Those are sea setting offurchins  and a scallop shell on the verandah rail!  Don’t know who put  them together like this!

A week at Doune always goes far too quickly.  We arrive on a Saturday with a whole week stretching in front of us, Then suddenly it’s Wednesday, and the week just flies twice as fast from then on till Saturday is with us again and we are on our way home.  Goodbye Doune till next year.

Talk again soon.,

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