WEGA in the North West Highlands Geopark
Day 3 – Tuesday 30th April 2019
Today was our longest, both in time and distance. Our principal objective was Durness on the north coast, outside the Geopark, but we stopped off at a few places en-route.
Our first stop was a little way north from the “Rock Stop Shop” where we had been on Sunday. We crossed the Kylesku bridge and stopped to photograph it, but also Quinag as it was looking splendid.
Our next stop was more geological – Scourie to see a Scourie Dyke.
The dyke most easily accessible is “The Cemetary Dyke” which underlies Scourie cemetary. Presumably the dyke weathers more readily than the gneiss,producing a greater deoth of soil, suitable for digging graves. The eye of faith can detect horizontal columns in the dyke.
We continued northwards to the “multicoloured rock stop” (NC 232 486) 2.5 km north of Laxford Bridge.
Grey gneiss is cut by black basic sheets which were probably Scourie dykes. Both are cut by pegmatitic granite sheets.
We continued to the north coast where we had lunch at Balnakiel Bay before looking at the stromatolites in the Durness Limestone – actually a dolomite.
We then drove to Smoo Cave which, as always, was very impressive. There were many more people about compared to my last visit.
We drove eastwards to a layby and signs, marking the abandoned (or emptied) village of Ceannabeinne.
We walked through the ruins of the village houses to the beach where we examined the intricacies of the Lewisian and the Basal (Cambrian) Quartzite.
After looking at the marvellous rocks of Cannabienne Beach we returned to the van and took the long road back to Ullapool.