Posted by: natsevs | June 28, 2010

Tayinloan to Achnamara

From Tayinloan, we all (me, Mum, Dad and Allie the dog) set off along the beach on part of the Kintyre Way. It took us round the point and on the other side came up off the beach onto some fields. Or at least it was meant to. Some posts were up top while others had fallen down to the beach along with the ground they had been in. We figured it would be easier and wiser to stay on the beach.

As we neared the road there was a lone scuba diver backing into the water which wasn’t what I would have expected to see at all.

We were then back onto road walking on and off for a good while, although the Kintyre Way had at least put path in for a bit of it. We came off the path and down a dirt track to go around another point. This one was more successful than the previous day’s. There was a fair bit of clambering over rock but nothing serious and Allie was actually quite agile for a dog that spends half the year being fat.

We stopped for lunch on the rocks and took in the scenery. After lunch we headed across a beach to where there was a track for a bit. At the end of the track we could have headed inland to Clachan but stayed on the shore. It was slightly muddy but nothing too bad at all. We were walking along an oyster fishery and the shore was teeming with fish trying to get at ragworms as the tide came in. Soon we came to a track I thought went up to our cottage. I was wrong, however, and it instead came up to a moody man.

Back down to the beach and we walked past what was definitely the path to our cottage and onto a farm dirt track. This took us back to the road while still heading in roughly the right direction. We almost didn’t get to it as when we came off the beach we were surrounded by bog but mum purposefully sought out the track, obviously keen on getting up onto better ground. Mum and Dad stopped at the Islay ferry port and I walked on with no particular place in mind. They were just going to pick me up wherever I was at 6 as I’d be on the road anyway. I got almost to west Tarbet and took the turning to go around the head of west loch Tarbet and effectively off Kintyre. Before that the taxi drove past with mum and dad in on their way to pick up their own car, and the driver stopped to give me a cheque for £40 for the Stroke Association before they carried on their way.

Along the other side of the loch was a single track road that took me past an eco house. then there was a deer right next to me on the other side of the fence. I was quite pleased with this until I walked on and realised I was next to a deer farm. There were loads of them. Dad drove up just before Torinturk and we headed back.

I was a little bit tired in the morning after spending most of the evening working on catching up on blogs. Unfortunate that I’ve been very lazy with them since. Still, we had started walking by 10. It was all road walking so really quite dull for most of the day. I was hoping for a shorter day so I could sort all my stuff out before the parents left in the morning.

Just before Kilberry I finally saw my first cuckoo after weeks of having to listen to them taunting me. I managed to get a photo and video of it so there’s one for SpringWatch. We were at Kolberry at 1pm so mum tried to book a taxi back for around 3.45 from Druimisharaig. It was a no go however as they were all booked up for the school run until gone half 4. The rest of the day was easy going and was along the shore to finish. There was a seal swimming around in the water and the view out into the loch was very pretty.

We actually arrived in Druimisharaig at 3 so we had quite a wait for the taxi. Ormsary wasn’t much further so we carried on to there and went down onto the beach. It would have been pleasant if not for the flies, and so much for getting back early. We started walking back when the taxi was due. On the way back we stopped off at Tarbet to get food supplies and fish and chips for tea. There was a swan with loads of cygnets in the front. The organising didn’t take long at all but my last proper shave took forever. Definitely not going to bother again.

I woke up and got straight into packing after breakfast. It was major effort and my bag was jammed full of food. We got to Ormsary at 11 and said our goodbyes. I set off into what was potentially three months of solitude. The first bit up to lochhead wasn’t too bad although it was already quite hot and my bag was feeling heavy after a week off. After that I had to go inland a fair bit on the roads to get over some rivers. I stopped for the first half of lunch at Lochhead house then carried on down to Ellary. The beaches were quite impressive in the sunshine.

At Ellary the road stopped and it was onto dirt road climbing up over the hill. That was a killer. Great views though. The path took me inland a bit then past some lochs and out towards the end of the headland. I re-met the road at Kilmory on the other side. There’s lots of new houses built around ruins of old crofting places. Most of the old chapel still stands though.

I was on that road going up for the rest of the day. It took me past Castle Sweeny and through Inverlussa and Achnamara. I was still boiling and had gone through most of my water. At Achnamara, I desperately looked for available water and but there was only a dirty looking stream. Around the corner there was a nicer looking one at Seafield farm so I filled up there. I went through the farmland onto the track out of it into the woods. I met the owner of the land on the way but she was very nice and said it was fine that I was going through.

Soon enough I was into forestry comission land but there wasn’t a glut of camping opportunties and the midges were awful in there. And they’d brought friends. I started setting up in one spot but the ground was too hard so I had to carry the tent half built along the dirt track. I found a spot in the woods but it was inevitably full of bugs. I got anti-midged up very swiftly. I got the noodles cooked with my headnet on then tried to walk around whilst eating them. After dropping them the second time I gave up and dived into the tent to hide. Severely fed up. And then as I tried to get photographic proof I discovered that my camera had given up on me. The on/off switch was broken. Mobile signal was also crap making it hard to ring someone and have a good moan about how rubbish everything was. I had cookies and scones for tea in the end then needed a wee. The little so and so’s barged into the tent after me when I came back so I spent therest of the evening killing them. All in all a rubbish day

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