Posted by: natsevs | July 6, 2010

Corran to Invasion bay

I was stupidly late to sleep as usual, as is always the case when I have a TV to distract me. I felt ok though despite slightly achey legs from the previous day’ walk. As I made and ate breakfast I chatted to a girl who was up to do a bit of hill walking. I packed up in pretty good time with most of my stuff dried out. I got onto the ferry in bright sunshine, a major difference from the day before.

Once over I set off along the road through Ardgour. As it was road walking it wasn’t massively interesting, but the weather was lovely and I had constant great views. After a while I had to come in onto a smaller road that ran parallel to the coast past a freshwater loch. It was a steep climb to start but as I came down the other side there was a really picturesque beach. I sat on a rock at the top of it to have my lunch in the sunshine. As I walked on I passed an adventure centre then carried on along the road right by the coast. I could see Ben Nevis really clearly now all the scenery was generally stunning.

Eventually I had to leave the coast at Kingairloch Estate to come in up over a steep climb before coming down and over a couple of rivers. There was meant to be a path round the coast out from Kingairloch. It was completely non-existent for the most part but at least I was going forward again.

The bracken was shoulder high which was the main factor in the loss of path and I was getting covered in cuckoo spit. Once I’d got to the shore again I could at least get out of the vegetation but the path was due to go up a hill to avoid a jutting out rock. I hit the rock but there was no sign of the path. Up I headed through the bracken again, falling over constantly then had to cross a stream gully. It was absolutely boiling as well so my pleasant day had become a major chore.

After a constant pattern of losing and finding the path I came down to a ruin with a copse of pine (mostly fallen down). It was completely flat and the perfect spot for camping, plus the wind meant no midges. After a sweaty day I though a sea dip would be refreshing. It was still freezing. I had a little fire and generally had a very pleasant evening in the end.

At 7am I woke up and it was really light. I managed 15 minute sleeps until 8.15 but by then the tent was too hot and I got up and had porridge on the beach. Breakfast with a view. I was off along the beach to start with everything looking really blue in the morning light. When I had to come up off the beach the path was actually quite good although the bracken was still present in force.

I arrived at a quarry in the middle of nowhere and it was like a little city with landrovers nipping about all over the place. The assistant site manager offered me a lift through for my safety but I politely declined. He was a nice bloke though. I came out along a dirt track which then became path. It was quite a climb and was seriously muggy so the sweats were back. The first loch was soon reached though and there were red deer all over the slopes around. It was more level after that but the path had a tendency to disappear into bogs now and then.

Coming up to the second loch there was a helicopter going back and forth carrying massive pipes on  a rope. I completely lost the path here so just headed to the loch and along its shores before I reached the hub of activity. The copter had stopped whilst they all had a lunch break. The track down was obviously recently renovated for the pipe work so the journey on from there was easy going. It took me down to Ardtornish and i got there at around 2.30. From there, another dirt road took me to lochaline and a shop! The mull ferry leaves from here and i passed the port before hitting the shop. A forestry track went from the pier up to the road, headed out and I was on it for the rest of the day. I finished a few miles short of Bunavullin in a nice spot in a field. My bag was feeling very heavy for the last few hours.

I woke up to a midge free morning and had quite a pleasant pack down as a result. The clouds were back though and there was that annoying misty rain about. Once I reached Bunavullin I was able to head off the road and onto a coast path to Doirlin. It was a 6-mile stretch along dirt track through slightly soulless terrain but the mist was actually quite pleasant and cooling. After 5 miles the path came out to views over to mull with Oronsay right below me.

The descent down goes through some woods to a bay and a lone house. The old guy there chatted to me briefly and, as well as telling me how to get from there to the next strech of path, he also told me there were otters about. I went round the corner and there was an otter right there on the beach. It was wandering around oblivious to me and came so close, it was awesome. Unfortunately the day got a lot worse.

I found the path again ok and followed forstry track for a good few miles to the head of loch teacius. A road took me round the head and then I went out from behind a house to go over the top on a path. It started as tyre tracks going straight up really steeply. It was absolutely knackering, going up 300m in about half an hour. That lead to nowhere and the refreshing mist suddenly became disorientating mist. I couldn’t see any of the landmarks and what I could see didn’t match with anything on my map. The map itself was becoming very damp as well. I set off in the direction I supposed the path to be in and ended up wandering the hilltop aimlessly in the mist.

The high grass soaked my legs and my boots started letting in the water too. It was ok though because I was soon knee deep in bog with water rushing into my boots. Basically: not happy.

Inevitably I did eventually stumble upon a sign and was able to navigate my way along by looking desperately for the next post. When I found a river I knew that if I followed it I would get down to the road. It was hard going and I was constantly slipping over. I reached the bottom and was severely fed up and got even more annoyed when I stopped for a much needed rest and was mobbed by midges. I finally hit dirt road at 5.30 but didn’t stop walking until 7.45 just out of forstry land and right by a fish farm but it was the first half decent spot I’d found. I ate my noodles in the tent because of the midges but had to pee meaning loads got in as I went in and out. The rest of the night was hen spent killing the blighters

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