Category: Young Historians

Muirneag Sponsored Walk

At 10 am on the morning the 'adventurers' met at Raonadail and, with photograph taken and wellies organised, they headed for the moor!

Katie Mackay takes up the story,

"The men set off first Donnie, David, Roy and Ruairidh, ending up at different places within the first quarter of a mile. Then came Laura and myself and last to leave were Katie Munro, Mairianne and Nina.

"The ground was very soft and spongy due to recent heavy rainfall and it made walking difficult. We were soon joined by the four quads, Alasdair and Murdo - the experts and Stuart and Ewan - the novices!

"Laura waited for Katie and Mairianne; I of course had to carry on walking. All I could think of was, the sooner I get there the sooner I'll get home!

"As you walk along you get the occasional fright from a grouse, but you begin to respect your surroundings. It was beautiful! There were lots of unsuspecting dips and hills to climb over, but it was the challenge that we were supposed to be looking for, I guess. The number of lochs you pass is phenomenal, many looking as if they were uninhabited by fish. The trail which had been left for us by the quads made it easier NOT to get lost!

( Confession - I got a SHORT, enjoyable lift on a quad to catch up with Ruairidh because of a call on my mobile, 'DON'T WALK ALONE!').

"It was amazing to watch the quads going up the side of Muirneag, the hill that would take us ages to reach and then even longer to climb. Donnie and David were almost at the top.
At the hill, just before Muirneag, you can go to the left or the right in between two lochs. We decided to go to the left as it looked less boggy.

"As we reached the bottom of Muirneag we gave a deep sigh of relief.. I had eaten half my lunch and drank three-quarters of my water, with Ruairidh's help, by now.

"I left Ruairidh behind half way up the hill. The brilliant welcome I got from Aly, Stuart, Murdo and Ewan when I got to the top made it all feel worthwhile. Ruairidh followed closely behind me, then Roy , then Mairianne and Nina, and Laura and Katie arrived just after them. We had all made it!

"At the triangulation point at the top of Muirneag, Nina lay a tablecloth and candelabra with candles to prove that we did things in style! We had our lunch and then took in the breathtaking view of the various places. Port of Ness was just fantastic and hard to take in that it was actually Ness we were seeing. The Harris Hills were just unbelievable. Back was such a beautiful sight to see and so was Point and last but not least the full scale beauty of our own bonny village.

"David decided to leave early, but not without leaving us with a banana/penguin joke that we didn't understand!

"Time to pack up. Donnie and I thought it would be only proper that we should run down Muirneag, but I could not keep up with him. The quads were last of the top.

"As you walk back you think to yourself, 'Where am I?' The view is completely different. You cannot tell where you are going. All I did was head for the horizon.
The quads offered me a lift, but I refused because that would have been cheating although I was 'knackered'. They carried on and waited on top of a hill quite close to the old road. I reached them, they offered me a lift and I definitely wasn't going to refuse it this time! We could see the other walkers on the horizon and were convinced that they were getting further away.

"I jumped on the back of Murdo's quad and held on tight. My knuckles went white and maybe my face went white as well!

"The number of cars waiting to greet us at Raonadail made it seem as if there was a search party waiting to go out. The same faces that had wished us off were there to welcome us home.

"Soon everybody was off the moor tired but satisfied.

"If I had to sum up the walk to Muirneag I would say that it was a beautiful, scenic walk and I would do it again - no bother!"