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Arch Walk 9 - Dùnan and Upper Coll

Volunteer's account report author D I Macdonald

The 10 volunteers for the comann’s 9th and final archaeological walk left the carpark at the Coll Centre on a warm and dry Saturday the 10th of July. (It was amazing, given the well-known vagaries of Lewis summers, that we had 9 successive Saturdays of perfect walking weather.)

Tracing a route into the moor at the Tong/Gearraidh Ghuirm border, we followed Allt an t-Snìomh northwards, detouring to the solemn Neolithic cairn known as Dùnan – Ian Mchardy, our archaeological guide, speculated that some of the stones were so massive at least one of them might have been monoliths surrounding the tomb in the past.

Another site, also thought to have been a chambered cairn (although less majestic than Dùnan), was our stop-off point for lunch and a rest, before cutting up by Allt Cro nan Uan and back through the Upper Coll village (where we became the object of considerable interest to the local cows -- the tourists becoming the attraction for once).

Certainly one of the easier walks on the programme, but full of interest, and a great chance to see one of the oldest known monuments in our district.

Having completed the walking phase of the project, the Comann would like to thank all the volunteers who came on the walks. It is a simple fact that we could not have run the project without you. (A special mention must go to Donald Macdonald, Dòmhnall Dalick, who made it to all 9 walks – ’s math a rinn thu a Dhòmhnaill!) It was a great way to meet people, make new friends, and appreciate anew how beautiful Sgìre a’ Bhac is.

Personal highlights for me included the stunning coastal scenery between Gress and Glen Tolsta, and the long - but rewarding - walk up the Gress River to Muirneag. The vast blue sky and the deep silence of the moor as we walked down the gentle valley of Allt a Deas Muirneag I don’t think I will ever forget.

We hope these reports, along with the data compiled and written up by Ian Mchardy, might inspire you to make your own expeditions. We certainly proved one thing – there is much more still to discover!

D I Macdonald

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