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Fossil Hunting at Achanarras Quarry, Caithness

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The family geologist (every family should have one!) is back in the north on a flying visit...
So, being enthused by his descriptions of possible finds of fossil fish (380 million year old fossil fish in the old red sandstone) we embarked on a 3 hour drive to the famous (in fossil hunting circles anyway) Achanarras Quarry near Spittal in Caithness (ND149544). 

It was a lovely clear day and the drive was a delight - autumn colours across the hills and coastal scenery to make your heart melt...

We turned left off the A9 just south of Spittal onto the A870 and then took a right onto a rough track (after about 1km) to the quarry car park. Both turns had SNH signposts to Achanarras Quarry.


The quarry is a SSSI and we read the guidance and info board, before heading off up the track towards the quarry - beside the track there were several other information rocks - taking us back through time.


There were good views of Morven, a hill we can see from Hopeman, north across the Moray Firth.


It …

Ben Vorlich

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At last a good forecast - after a week of rain and windy weather, the day dawned bright - with the prospect of no more rain and wind until teatime.

Off we go...


We set off from the car park at the Inveruglas Visitors Centre - the cafe was all shut up at this early hour, but we looked forward to coffee and cake at the end of the walk...


Across the road and south past the power station, we followed the route of the Cowal Way, through a gate onto a tarmac track heading west and under the railway bridge.


The track (road!!) was smooth and clear ahead, winding around a little hillock and then west with Ben Vane, the smallest Munro, directly ahead, stark against the blue sky.


There was a rough path around the other side of the little hillock - we umm'd and ahh'd and decided not to take this - would it take us where we wanted to go? So we stuck to the main track, only to find the other end of the rough path further up the track - we'd try that way on the way down.


The sky was cle…