Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Rannoch Moor and "The Moss"

The easiest way to get to “The Moss” area of Coireach A Ba is by walking or cycling along the old drove road from the Inveroran Hotel end of Loch Tulla.

Constructed by General Wade in the late 17th century, the road was built to assist the fast deployment of government troops against the rebel highlanders during the Jacobite Rebellion. The road now forms the backbone of the West Highland Way which was Scotland’s first and most popular long distance walk.

Once the road reaches the swamps at Lochan Mhic Pheadair Ruaidhe, its time to turn left on foot and head to the west for the higher ground.

I have never seen another soul while walking in this area, not even a footprint in the mud to indicate that others go here. There are no paths to follow. Huge balls of sphagnum moss grow beside deep dark peat hags in this sodden landscape.

Care has to be taken not to fall through the soft spongey raft like structure of living vegetation or you may sink forever into the murky mires deep below. If you jump, you can watch the shock waves ripple across the ground for many meters around you.

It’s a place where only the fit and healthy survive. The weak will die and few will know why.

I love to relax on the higher ground listening to the silence and feeling the solitude of the place as I gaze over the miles of quagmire and little lochans that guard and keep “The Moss” such a special place.

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