The Armin Grewe Homepage
Picture of the track leading into the hillsOur second walk started at Ardbeg, Carl Reavey and Bryony McFarlane leading us on this walk. With the sun starting to break through the haze we first walked along a few tracks to reach the hills behind Ardbeg. We saw some deer, unfortunately too far away to take a picture.

Soon we reached Ardbeg Burn, which we had to cross. Except for one (who shall not be named here) we all managed to cross it fairly dry. With the sun breaking through more and more we had very nice views over the south coast of Islay and towards the Kintyre peninsula.

Picture of people crossing Ardbeg Burn
Picture of the panoramic view over to Kintyre
Picture of walkers approaching the hill with the carved facesNow it was time for the first carved faces: You probably wouldn't find them if you didn't know what to look for, but luckily we had Donald James MacPhee with us who knew where to find them. I can't recall all the details, but a shepherd carved them with primitive tools to while away the time. The first set can be found on the rockface of the hill approached by the walkers above left. They are quite overgrown with heather and moss (as well as impacted by erosion), so I tried to outline the head and the shoulders in the picture on the right. I hope you can make it out... Picture of the first carved face, lines indicating the outline
Just past the ruin at Solam (picture right) is another face carved into a large stone (picture below). There are rumours that it is supposed to be a portrait of Robbie Burns, I'll let you judge for yourself.
Picture of a carved face
About half way to the fever village there is a flat stone on the ground. When the "fever" (probably the plague) was brought to Solam by a sailor, the infected were sent to the fever village to keep them away from the healthy.Picture of the remains of the village The healthy villagers put food on to this stone, which was then picked up by the inhabitants of the fever village. If the food wasn't picked up they had all perished. Not much remains of the fever village today, if you look closely you can just make out the ruins of some houses. If I remember correctly they were burnt down after the last inhabitants died.
Picture of the ruin of the house at Solam

The stone where the food was left:

Picture of the stone where the food was left
Picture of my mother throwing a penny into the wishing wellClose to the fever village is the wishing well. To make a wish you have to throw a penny into the well while making your wish. The well looked like a lot of people had already made a wish. My mother joined in and made her wish while throwing her penny into the wishing well.

Continuing towards Callumkill on the way back to Ardbeg we came across some ingenious recycling: Old radiators used as "bridges" to help crossing very boggy parts of land along the path. Worked very well!

Finally we arrived back at Ardbeg where we enjoyed a very nice lunch of soup and sandwiches. Most of us also had a wee dram, as was to be expected at a distillery. Refreshed we were ready for the next walk...

Picture of a radiator as a bridge
Picture of people having lunch
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