History, Prehistory and Precipitation
Post by Lynn and Paul Henni
Easter weekend in Tarbert was a wild affair weather-wise with rain followed by mist followed by sun with a stunning rainbow appearing in the middle of it all.
Tarbert, the Gaelic for an isthmus or a place over which a boat can be dragged (there are a few places with similar names in the west of Scotland) is a lovely wee harbour setting popular with sailors, especially during the Scottish Series Yacht Race which takes place around the end of May each year. It’s also well known for its annual seafood festival; Tarbert prawns and locally caught scallops feature on most menus in town.
There is also a lot of history in the area – nearby is Dunadd Hill Fort. The site first occupied in the Iron Age, was later used by Gaelic kings of Dál Riata in the 6th to 9th century. The Dál Riata tribes subsequently merged with the Picts leading to the establishing of the kingdom of Alba. The site is open to visitors and has some interesting carvings including a boar and 2 human footprints thought to be used in ceremonies to inaugurate new kings. The setting is dramatic, with the hill rising above the Mòine Mhòr, Gaelic for the Great Moss, a huge flat area of marshy land around the Crinan Canal.
The Kilmartin Glen has the highest concentration of prehistoric monuments and historical sites in Scotland. On our wet walk to Dunadd, we found a couple of impressive standing stones in an otherwise unremarkable field.
The canal is also a favourite with yachtsfolk who want to cross from one side of the peninsula to the other – it provides a short cut from the Sound of Jura at Crinan to Ardrishaig on Loch Gilp. Having battled the rain and wind, we were lucky enough to spot this rainbow hovering over the yachts moored on at the Bellanoch Marina on the Canal.