Sunday, September 20, 2009

Walk 232 -- Dundonnell to Little Gruinard Beach

Ages: Colin was 67 years and 135 days. Rosemary was 64 years and 277 days.
Weather: There was a cold wind. Sometimes it was sunny and sometimes it was grey. Occasional drizzle.
Location: Dundonnell to Little Gruinard Beach.
Distance: 11 miles.
Total distance: 2136 miles.
Terrain: We walked beside a main road all day, with occasional but fast traffic. There was a greensward most of the way. Undulating.
Tide: Going out.
Rivers: No.218, Allt Airdeasaidh at Ardessie where there was a rather nice waterfall. No.219, Gruinard River at Gruinard.
Ferries: None.
Piers: None.
Kissing gates: None.
Pubs: None.
‘Historic Scotland’ properties: None.
Ferris wheels: None.
Diversions: None.
How we got there and back: We were staying in our caravan in Ardmair, and we had hired a car locally so we had two. This morning we drove both cars to Little Gruinard Beach where we parked our own car opposite the beach. Then we drove the hire-car back to the layby at Dundonnell where we ended the walk yesterday.
At the end, we ended the Walk at our own car. After tea and biscuits, we drove back to Dundonnell to pick up the hire-car. We drove both cars back to Ullapool where we returned the hire-car because our week was up. After visiting the Morefield Hotel, we drove back to our caravan at Ardmair.
The weather deteriorated during the night, and it turned extremely windy. The caravan was bouncing about so much it was frightening. So we decided enough was enough, and headed for home the next day. We made an overnight stop in Callander, near Stirling.

We had stunning views all the way on today’s Walk! This really is a lovely part of Scotland. But there was a cold wind, so we walked in full wind-proof gear, which really is our waterproof gear with thermals underneath.
Very early into the Walk we came to a stone shed and discovered we could get completely out of the wind if we crouched behind it. So we sat there and ate our slices of quiche (no pies today). We idly watched a flock of sheep on a mountain path the other side of the loch — they were all in a line, that’s what caught the eye. We wondered if they were on the path to Scoraig, but then realised we weren’t far enough along the loch. They weren’t on any real path at all but they seemed to be coping with the rough terrain OK. Probably a lot more easily than I would have coped with it!
The sky looked grim, so we put on our overtrousers before we left the shelter of the stone shed. Soon we had to take them off again because it got too hot to wear them. We wished the weather would make up its mind! But we weren’t really fussed because everywhere we looked it was all so magnificent. If it wasn’t for the fact we were walking along a main road, everything would have been perfect! But even then we had a greensward most of the way so we didn’t have to do much traffic-dodging, and it was soft underfoot.
Further along we passed a brewery, and Colin got very excited. He wanted to know all about it, but there were no notices announcing it was there — obviously a private concern. All we could see were beer casks tantalising behind the gorse bushes.
We passed a B&B, and discovered we could once more get out of the wind if we crouched by their side fence. So we sat there and ate our lunch.

Opposite, on the other side of the loch, we could see the road over the top from Altnaharrie, and the tiny settlement of Badrallach along the loch-shore. That is as far as the road goes on the northern shore of the loch.

We passed a waterfall which we hadn’t noticed when driving past earlier to set up the Walk. It was really very nice. People walk miles and/or pay good money to see falls as good as these, but no one seems to notice these ones. Cars shoot past, as we did, and fail to look from side to side. We appreciated them, anyway!
We passed a fish farm, probably salmon, and then came to a caravan site which said it was closed. However there were two vans parked up in there — I wonder if they had electric hookup!
At Badcaul we passed a lane which continued along the loch-shore to Badluarach. That is the hamlet opposite the isolated community of Scoraig, and from where the inhabitants of Scoraig board a boat to cross the loch and get home. Do they have the usual services over there — electricity, running water and a phone? How are these things connected when they are so cut off?
The road to Badluarach is a dead end, so we didn’t take it. Our road climbed the hill and short-cutted the headland. As we ascended we had wonderful views of the mountains all around, and also of Scoraig. I did wonder about the people who live over there, they must like isolation. I don’t like crowds or cities, but I couldn’t live cut off like that either.
We slowly climbed, and the wind got colder the higher we got. We started down the other side and could see the sea ahead. We could now see Gruinard Island which has a grisly history which (thank goodness!) we didn’t find out about until later. During the Second World War, experiments in biological warfare were carried out on Gruinard Island. The British wanted to know what the effects would be if they blew anthrax spores about amongst the enemy! (The fact that they even considered such a terrible deed makes me feel sick to the core! I’m ashamed to be British when I read about such things!) So they tethered some sheep to a post on Gruinard Island, and let off anthrax ‘bombs’ at measured distances from them. The sheep dutifully died — horribly! — and their contaminated bodies were later burned on the island to avoid the risk of spreading the disease further afield. It was concluded that anthrax could thoroughly pollute German cities, rendering them uninhabitable for decades. The only measure of common sense in this whole sordid affair, which was TOP SECRET, was that it was subsequently decided not to use this type of weapon on humans even if they were our enemy.
But it was realised that the soil on the island was now highly toxic. The island and the sea surrounding it was put strictly off-limits. Nothing was done for the next forty years during which time the War was long since over and nearly two new generations had grown up. It was 1981 before newspapers started talking about Gruinard Island and people began to call for its decontamination. As a protest, sealed packets of soil — reputed to have come from the island — were left in public places; but only the one left at Porton Down contained anthrax bacilli. In 1986, bowing to public pressure, the authorities officially began a decontamination process by spraying the island with formaldehyde diluted with seawater. This continued for four years, and a flock of sheep (yes, poor old sheep again!) were left to graze on the island to see if any of them died. In 1990, the island was declared officially “safe” though many professors doubt whether it will ever be so. As of October 2007, there have been no cases of anthrax among the island flock — but that is only two years!!
I wouldn’t walk there. The island is less than a mile offshore — that’s close enough for me!
I began to feel very tired, so much so I wondered if I would make it to the car. We still had a few miles to go. I put it down to the fact that we had been walking on four consecutive days, I didn’t know then that I had a medical condition which made me feel ‘sluggish’. We had been doing concentrated walking because we were paying for the hire-car by the day, and it seemed such a waste of money if we didn’t use it. When we get to more populated areas we can revert to using public transport again, or even have half a chance of traffic passing us if we need to hitch a lift. Colin made valiant efforts to boost my spirits, but I just wanted to lie down and sleep!
We got down to beach level, and there was a beautiful sandy beach — the first we have seen for ages! But it was behind a barbed wire fence and we couldn’t get to it — frustration! It was still very windy even down there, the wind was coming in from the sea. We found a gateway where we stopped, intending to eat our apples. But I couldn’t find my lunch bag in my rucksack, and realised I must have left it in the undergrowth when we stopped for lunch. That really was the final straw! I had no apple nor chocolate. Colin kindly shared his apple with me, but I felt very low.We carried on, walking through a wood and then through a magnificent gorge. If only I didn’t feel so tired! It was spectacular, as was the fast-flowing river with huge boulders in it.
We were in the Gruinard Estate and there were a lot of notices stuck to trees and fences. There was to be “no fishing”, though nailed to the same tree was a notice telling us there was parking for fishermen! There was to be “no camping”, and another notice told us “the enclosed area has been fenced with the assistance of a Forestry Commission grant for the purpose of allowing the natural regeneration of the many different seedlings in the area”. I wonder if that had anything to do with the miserable history of Gruinard Island, less than a mile away.
We stopped again in the wood and Colin shared his chocolate with me — isn’t he kind? After that I felt a lot better, it boosted my energy levels temporarily.
It kept raining, but we kept going.
We crossed the Gruinard River, passed some more amazing rocks, and eventually came out above a lovely sandy beach — Little Gruinard Beach. Our car was parked in the little car park opposite.
Despite my weariness, I just had to go down on to the sands and feel the grains between my fingers!
That ended Walk no.232, we shall pick up Walk no.233 in the little car park opposite Little Gruinard Beach. It was five o’clock, so the Walk had taken six hours. We had our tea and biscuits, then drove back to Dundonnell to pick up the hire-car. On the way we stopped at the spot where we’d had lunch. I scrabbled about in the undergrowth where I’d been sitting and found my lunch bag, apple and soggy bar of chocolate complete! We drove both cars back to Ullapool where we returned the hire-car because our week’s hire was up. After visiting the Morefield Hotel for a snifter, we returned to our caravan at Ardmair.
We had been planning to move on to Gairloch the next day and do a couple more Walks, but the weather deteriorated during the night and it turned extremely windy. The caravan was bouncing about so much it was frightening. So we decided enough was enough, and headed for home instead. We made an overnight stop in Callander, near Stirling, driving on to Malvern the day after.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Walk 231 -- Ullapool to Dundonnell

Ages: Colin was 67 years and 134 days. Rosemary was 64 years and 276 days.
Weather: Bright at first, but windy when up high. Then showers developed which became increasingly ferocious.
Location: Ullapool to Dundonnell.
Distance: 9½ miles.
Total distance: 2125 miles.
Terrain: We pretended to catch a ferry across Loch Broom. We climbed a steep stony track and sat in our hire-car to eat pasties because it was raining by then. We continued down a narrow road with virtually no traffic, then along a main road where we were able to walk along a greensward.
Tide: Going out.
Rivers: No.217, Dundonnell River near Dundonnell House — we couldn’t take a short cut over a footbridge because it was in someone’s private garden.
Ferries: No.17 across Loch Broom from Ullapool to Altnaharrie — which we pretended to take because it closed “a couple of years ago”.
Piers: None.
Kissing gates: None.
Pubs: None.
‘Historic Scotland’ properties: None.
Ferris wheels: None.
Diversions: None.
How we got there and back: We were staying in our caravan in Ardmair, and we had hired a car locally so we had two. This morning we drove both cars to Dundonnell where we parked our own car in a layby. Then we drove the hire-car to the nearest point we could to Altnaharrie and parked it just off this very narrow road. We walked down a steep and stony track to the jetty just across the loch from Ullapool.
At the end, we ended the Walk at the car parked in a layby in Dundonnell. After tea and biscuits, we drove up the narrow road to fetch the hire-car. Then we drove both cars back to our caravan in Ardmair.

The half-mile ferry across Loch Broom from Ullapool to Altnaharrie closed ‘a couple of years ago’. So we pretended to take it, and started our Walk on the jetty at Altnaharrie. Ullapool looked beautiful across the loch from where we were standing — except for the big blue tent and the sound of thumping drums. Yes, the music festival was still in full swing! The noise was even quite loud from where we stood, and completely incongruous to the magnificent vistas we were enjoying.
At Altnaharrie there is a little wooden jetty, and a big white house which, we assumed, used to be the Ferry House. Somebody must live there now for there were three cars on its driveway. At the jetty itself were several boats and a stone shed with a grass roof. The track leading away was very steep and stony, and it seemed to take us a long time to get up to the top. The views improved as we ascended, but the repetitive thumping of the ‘musik’ didn’t seem to get any less. I felt a wave of sympathy for all the inhabitants of Ullapool — apparently this was due to continue for four days!
As we neared the top of the hill we came across a big green caterpillar. Colin hadn’t brought his camera today, so I took three photos of it. He was very scathing of my efforts, declaring they were ‘out of focus’! But they were all crystal clear, I chose this one as the best of the three. I don’t know why he was like that today, he seems to think, sometimes, that I’m incapable of wildlife photography — just because I haven’t got an SLR camera.
As we went over the brow of the hill we lost the sound of thumping drums, and were both heartily relieved. I photographed some recent peat cutting, which still goes on in these rural parts of Scotland. Then it started to rain, which was a bit nasty in the wind. We had left our rucksacks in the car because we were about to walk back past it, so I had nothing to protect my camera from the rain except my hands. But they sufficed for the short distance involved.
We went through a gate on to a tarmacked lane. A notice on the gate told us, in six languages, that there was no ferry at Altnaharrie — just so’s you know! Another notice nearby told us that CCTV was in operation due to sheep rustling! We saw this same notice in at least two other places. Apparently the stealing of whole flocks of sheep is an increasing problem in our modern age, and obviously the local farmer had suffered here. They used to hang people for stealing sheep, didn’t they?
The wind and rain weren’t very pleasant, so when we reached the hire-car which we had parked just up the road, we sat inside and ate our pasties. By that time it had stopped raining and it turned quite nice — except for the wind. We took our rucksacks when we left this time.
At the gate behind us we had the choice of turning right or left. If we had turned right, it would have taken us nearer the sea. BUT — the lane goes downhill for three miles to the settlement of Badrallach. Beyond there the lane turns into a track for about a mile, followed by four miles of mountain footpath which seems to get more and more faint on the map. The contours are very close together for most of the way, and we have experienced such a footpath between Achiltibuie and Ardmair. We suspected that the going would be far from easy! It ends up in the settlement of Scoraig which is a completely isolated community. The only way to get there by land is along the footpath just described. However, there is a jetty, and it is possible to get there by boat from Badluarach across the loch, though no regular ferry. We would have had to negotiate with a local fisherman.
But we decided that there was a limit to how far we would interpret “nearest safe path to the coast” and called the path to Scoraig a dead end, which it is. So we turned left. This took us inland, but only until we had crossed the Dundonnell River. Then we would turn towards the coast once again. To illustrate just how isolated these communities are, the only traffic we encountered along the lane the entire time we were walking it was a Post van making its way towards Badrallach. Later the same Post van came back.
As we walked down the hill, we were more sheltered from the wind and it was quite pleasant, for a short while. We had sweeping views across the next loch to Dundonnell, and we could see our car from quite early on. We came to some trees which completely sheltered us from the wind, bliss! It was the wind that was making us cold, here we were quite warm. So we sat on big stones and ate our lunch.
As we were finishing our repast, it started to rain hard. That was the pattern of the day — prolonged heavy showers interspersed by bright periods. I put my camera away and we both donned overtrousers. I didn’t take that many photos after that because I had to stop, heave my rucksack off my back, get my camera out of its waterproof bag and then be very careful not to let the rain get on it every time I wanted to take a picture! I daren’t leave it out as the rain would start again very suddenly. We were both mighty glad of our new kags — the water just rolled off and there was absolutely no condensation, so we were quite comfortable.
We got down to the bottom of the hill near the river, but we still had to walk for over a mile in the wrong direction before we came to the first bridge. We passed some majestic-looking trees which looked as if they had been there a long time. We wondered if it was some kind of avenue planted several centuries ago. Some of the trees were missing, just a stump left. One of these was covered in toadstools.
The first bridge marked on the map is a footbridge, but we couldn’t use it because it is enclosed in a private garden behind high fences. So we had to walk further upstream to where the lane crossed the river on an old stone bridge which is quite beautiful. This added an extra half-mile to our hike. We sat on a stone near the bridge and ate our chocolate as it had stopped raining momentarily.
Soon we were out on the main road, and walked back the way we had just come except we were now on the other side of the river. This main road bit proved to be a lot longer than we had anticipated. There was little traffic, but what there was came fast — much too fast. Fortunately there was a greensward we could walk on which wasn’t too lumpy, so we didn’t have to walk on the actual road much.
Most of the traffic seemed to be speciality cars. No less than three Lotuses came towards us and sped past while we were tramping that stretch of road. Lots of Classic cars came from behind and sped ahead of us. All going fast, and many quite noisily. The wind got up and it rained really hard, it was most unpleasant especially when we got away from the shelter of the trees. We were so glad of our new wet-weather gear which was fantastic — really kept us dry!
We reached the Dundonnell Hotel, and there were the Lotuses and Classic cars lined up in the car park. Colin spoke to one of the drivers who told him they were part of a weekend rally based there. While he was talking another car came in and conked out! Several of them pushed it into a parking space — I think they wanted to get out of the rain quickly and into the bar!
The petrol station at Dundonnell was closed, but their toilet was open which was a relief! Our car was parked about a hundred yards up the road.
That ended Walk no.231, we shall pick up Walk no.232 at the layby just beyond the Dundonnell Hotel. It was twenty to five, so the Walk had taken five hours ten minutes. We had our tea and biscuits before we drove up almost to Altnaharrie to fetch the hire-car. From there we each drove a car back to our caravan in Ardmair.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Walk 230 -- Ardmair Point to Ullapool

Ages: Colin was 67 years and 133 days. Rosemary was 64 years and 275 days.
Weather: Hot and sunny at first. Then some cloud and a cool wind.
Location: Ardmair to Ullapool.
Distance: 7 miles.
Total distance: 2115½ miles.
Terrain: Nearly all road. Near the end we crossed a golf course, went along a little beach (where the tide was practically covering the path) until we crossed a river via a footbridge, and then took a grassy path round a small Head. Finally we walked through ‘tent city’ set up for a music festival, and along the waterfront to the main jetty in Ullapool.
Tide: Coming in.
Rivers: No.215, Allt an´t-Strathain at Rhue. No. 216, Ullapool River in Ullapool.
Ferries: None.
Piers: None.
Kissing gates: None.
Pubs: The Ferry Boat Inn in Ullapool where we drank Caledonian beers. I had Deuchar’s IPA and Colin had 80/-. Morefield Hotel, also in Ullapool, where I drank Thatcher’s Gold Cider and Colin had Atlas ‘Equinox’ and Cairngorm ‘Stag’. (We did go to these pubs on different days, and neither of them today because we were still too tired after yesterday’s Walk.)
‘Historic Scotland’ properties: None.
Ferris wheels: None.
Diversions: None.
How we got there and back: We were staying in our caravan in Ardmair, and we had hired a car locally so we had two. Yesterday we had left the hire-car in Achiltibuie because we were too tired to fetch it after our Walk. So we drove our own car to Achiltibuie this morning, then took both cars straight to Ullapool. We left the hire-car parked on the waterfront, and came back to the caravan in our own car.
At the end, we ended the Walk very near where we had parked the hire-car. So we got in it and drove straight back to our caravan at Ardmair.

We started today’s Walk after lunch which we had in the caravan after collecting the hire-car from Achiltibuie and parking it in Ullapool. While eating, we looked again across Loch Kinaird to the mountain we had walked down yesterday, and still found it difficult to pick out the route we had come. We felt a certain sense of amazement at what we had done!
We walked round the perimeter of the caravan site, which is on a small promontory, and before we left the site we could see a seal in the water. It was some distance away, so I did not get a very good picture of it (Colin didn’t bring his camera today). We also saw two canoeists and Colin was envious! I think he would have preferred to canoe round the coast of Britain rather than walk.
We exited the site and walked down the road as far as the turning to Rhue. We passed a shingle beach, and then ascended a hill to cut off a headland. We decided there was to be no walking across rough country today because our knees were still too tender after our marathon yesterday. It was a bit of a drag, walking along the main road, but there wasn’t too much traffic.
We chose to walk part way down the lane to Rhue even though it was a dead end. (I think we still felt a little bit ‘guilty’ about making up excuses to take a short-cut on Walk 228 when we were coming down to Achiltibuie!) We were rewarded with lovely views across Loch Broom.
We came across some weird chickens, they must have been a rare breed because neither of us had seen chickens quite like that before. Each bird had a crown of feathers which looked like a wig! They were running quite free across the lane, I hope they laid good eggs.
We walked to the end of the tarmacked lane where we could see the lighthouse, but we didn’t go down to it. Then we retraced our steps to the main road, we had to in order to cross the river.
We watched a ferry from the Outer Hebrides ploughing its way along Loch Broom to Ullapool. One day we’ll go on it and explore those magical islands! Next to the main road we came across a shrine with candles and flowers. It seemed to be round a rock, but we couldn’t work out what it was all about. The flowers looked untidy and the candles had, of course, blown out. It looked as if it had not been tended for several days.
We walked alongside the road for about two miles, until we came to the golf course. We had fantastic views of Ullapool as we walked down the hill. We noted that there was a big blue tent on the edge of the loch, and speculated as to whether there was a circus in town as it did look very like a Big Top. We were to learn, later, that we are far too old-fashioned in our thinking!
We heard some snorting in the undergrowth behind a fence to our right. It sounded very like pigs, and sure enough it was — saddle-back type. We thought our little grandchildren, Natalie and Frank (now both approaching their second birthdays) would have been very amused with the ‘piggy’ noise!
We turned in at the golf club and walked down to the waterfront. The tide was almost in, and we wondered if we would be able to get round to the footbridge over the river. We asked some dog-walkers that we met if there was a path round above high water mark, and they told us to go through a gate further on which is labelled “Private Fishing”. Before we did that, we stopped and ate our chocolate. (Today was only a short Walk, but we felt we still needed the extra energy boost after our efforts yesterday — that was our excuse, anyway!)
The water was right up to the path, and over it in some places. But we were always able to get past without getting wet. As we approached a house, a lady came out and said we could walk through her garden if the path was under water. We thought that was very kind of her, but we didn’t need to as we just about made it on the other side of her wall. I wonder if she ever gets flooded, I wouldn’t like to live there despite the amazing views!
There was a painting of a forest fire on a big board by the loch-edge, but it was a bit abstract. It reminded me of my days at College forty-five years ago, when some of my friends did an Art course. Ann could paint, and went to a lot of trouble to produce beautiful landscapes. I always thought her pictures were fantastic. Joan, a much more flamboyant character, couldn’t do anything like that. One afternoon they were given two hours to go away and paint a picture to be brought back for criticism after tea. Ann worked hard, and produced a lovely picture in her usual style. Joan frittered away the afternoon doing anything but painting. I was studying a different subject, and only met up with them at tea. There Joan asked me if she could borrow a postcard I had of a picture of Vesuvius. I had to fetch it from my room, and this left Joan a mere five minutes to paint her picture of an erupting volcano. The Art lecturer went into ecstasies about it, praising Joan to the hilt. Ann’s picture got a glance and a grunt. To this day, I still feel sorry for Ann, I just don’t believe in all this modern art rubbish!
Getting back to the present, I forgot to look on the back of this painting where, apparently, there was another painting. Something distracted me and we walked on, Colin is not interested in Art at all.
Further on we met a lady coming through the bushes with her dog. “I hope you haven’t come for a quiet weekend in Ullapool!” she said. She then told us that the big blue tent had been put up for a ‘Music’ festival and they were just about to get going. Again this is not real music, but what passes for ‘music’ in this day and age — an unholy row! She told us that everyone living within earshot — and that must be the whole of Ullapool for it is only a small town — had been given free tickets worth £150!! But most, like her, didn’t want to go, they just want peace and quiet. How glad we were that our caravan is four miles away and behind a hill at Ardmair!

We crossed the footbridge, then walked round a grassy patch on a bank next to the water. We came across another painting, supposedly of waves on the sea but it wasn’t very good. On the back was a picture of a bird in the hand — it looked as if a child had done it!

By now we were approaching the big blue tent. A loud thumping noise was coming from inside, and every time it stopped girls screamed and cheered. It seemed a bit incongruous with the scene we were experiencing outside, sunset over the loch.What is our world coming to? Most young people seem to have completely lost touch with nature and the natural world, particularly natural sounds.
We had to walk on the shingle beach to get past because the grassy sward had been fenced off and there were ‘bouncers’ everywhere. Then we came to the caravan/camping site — and to think I very nearly booked us in to this site because of its proximity to the town! Horror of horrors!! At every site we have stayed at so far in Scotland, we have been told to leave a set distance between caravans for safety reasons. Then if one caravan catches fire, it doesn’t spread to the next, it’s as simple as that. But here the caravans were parked cheek by jowl, in many cases you couldn’t have even walked between them.
When we got to the tents it was the same story. Pitched right up against each other with guy ropes crossed over, we could hardly get through. The site was already jam-packed, and still they were arriving! They had to carry all their stuff in from the road outside because there was hardly room for their tents, let alone their cars. It was chaos!
We picked our way over guy ropes to get on to the sea wall, and thence round the end of a row of fishermen’s cottages. It was relatively peaceful round there, though the ‘music’ could still be heard, particularly that awful beating of the drums. We sat on a seat for a while to look at the view down Loch Broom and take stock. Ullapool is a beautiful place, but it doesn’t sound a beautiful place during a music festival!
We tried to work out which cottage was the B&B we stayed in when we were up here about ten years ago. It was one of the best, and I remember being able to lie in bed in the morning and look right down the loch. We thought it must be “Point Cottage” and we wondered if the same people were running it. They came from Winchester, I seem to remember, not Scottish at all!
It certainly wasn’t the derelict cottage a few doors up. We walked along to the jetty where the ferry no longer runs to Altnaharrie, but it used to so we are going to pretend again! Although it was a beautiful evening, there was a cold wind blowing along the loch. Colin felt particularly cold, I’m sure it was because he was tired though he’ll never admit it.
That ended Walk no.230, we shall pick up Walk no.231 officially at the jetty on which we were now standing, but in reality on the jetty at Altnaharrie on the other side of Loch Broom. It was seven o’clock, so the Walk had taken four hours. Our hire-car was parked nearby, so we got into it and drove straight back to our caravan at Ardmair — over the hill and out of earshot of any drumbeats, rock music or screams!