Posted by: natsevs | July 23, 2010

Camasunary to Carbost

I didn’t sleep amazingly well in the bothy due to the combination of a wooden bed and a deflating mattress. I made an extra large batch of porridge and checked whether things had dried. Everything but my socks and boots had done.

When I ventured out there were really dark clouds over the mountains but blue sky out to sea so the day could have gone either way. The bridge over the river next to the bothy had been washed away a long time ago so I had to walk in to find the stepping stones across. The path from there was clearly visible but slow work still.

I had read about the ‘bad step’ in my book and in the bothy visitor book but was slightly disappointed (and relieved at the same time) when I reached it. I was expecting a thin ledge over a sheer drop or something but it was just a scramble up the rock. The path then took me down to Loch Coruisk where it leaves the coast.

The loch is very pretty, as is the bay it’s tiny river goes out to. I got over the river, past the monument and off the path. From the opposite side it had looked impossible and very steep so I wasn’t looking forward to it.

The first bit was beach then under a waterfall to get round the bay. After that it was slow again but possible at least. I negotiated a mixture of rock slabs on the shore and craggy climbs up and over outcrops. Just out of the bay I spotted some seals on the rocks and more in the sea, then round the corner there were even more, at least 15 in all. They all fled to the sea and their bobbing heads watched me scramble around.

The sun won the battle with the cloud where I was at least but the wind was really strong. Every time I climbed over an obstacle I was smacked full on by the force of it. There were quite a few tricky and slippy sections. One particular occasion was where I was climbing down a rock face and halfway down couldn’t find a single foothold. A few deep breaths and a bit of shimmying rectified the problem but it made me realise I should be more careful out in the middle of nowhere.

Around 2pm I came down onto a really nice pebble beach. As it was sunny I decided it was the perfect spot for some food and a break and took off my boots. When I started again I had a climb to get out and then the cliffs started. I followed deer tracks most of the way but there were a lot of ascents which took their toll.

I got round the corner though and started along the headland just as it darkened above and the rain came. All the waterproofs came on and my just-dried boots started to soak up the water again. Suddenly it wasn’t so fun.

The headland was all long grass, hilly and boggy and I soon hit a massive ravine cutting right across my route. I made my way towards the edge and lost my feet down massive holes a few times before deciding it would be better to go uphill to find a crossing than down. I got across ok and carried on in the glumness.

The rain did start to let off but the damage was done. I started across to the other side falling over a lot in my tiredness. I actually just lay there in the wet grass for a couple of minutes after one fall. I finally got over and onto landrover tracks heading back down the other side to Glen Brittle. The hostel was right in the glen so another mile inland but it was very nice. It has a little shop so I got a bit if extra food although they had no bread.

The free tea meant I didn’t sleep very well again. I got chatting to a guy called Mark whilst I had breakfast then set about packing up again. The boots had dried out again in the drying room, as had my now solid socks. I made my way back to the coast and didn’t even make the beach before the heavens opened up. I was going to go to the campsite shop but it would have been out of my way again. Instead I crossed the river bridge and started along the next headland.

I was following a cow track when my whole leg went down a hole and my hands got covered in crap. It was going to be one of those days.

As I made my way along I was gradually making my way uphill as well before the slope got too steep to manage. It was hard work particularly as I was really tired. I felt pretty crappy in general and it wasn’t helped by the fact that the only food I had for the day was chocolate hobnobs and a mars bar. The slope became cliff and there were loads of gullies to go up and down. The rain then got a whole lot worse and was joined by gales. There were sheets of it flying across.

Then there was a huge gully blocking my way forcing me inland. I found a point to get over the trench and up the other side before heading back to the coast along a very long boggy valley. I could see Eynort now at least and I went along above Kraknish farm before finding the dirt track to the forest.

The farmer came to the gate as I was closing it so I held it open for him to drive through and chatted to him briefly. I got onto the forest track then five minutes later realised I had gone the wrong way. I was meant to have taken a path to a track lower down. I headed back and cut through the trees to the beach without seeing  a path inbetween. The beach was soon blocked by rock so I had to go through the trees before finding a kind of path.

That took me to a neglected forest track. There were fallen trees frequently blocking the way then a wall of dead trees completely blocked my way forcing me into the trees on a climbing mission. I’d had enough. I decided that if I made Eynort I would cut across the headland to Carbost and come back to complete the headland the following day. Carbost was three miles across but it was better than another 10 hour day when I already felt rubbish. I booked into the waterfront bunkhouse for 2 nights and had an overpriced burger in the pub because the shop has closed at 3.

The radiator was on all night so I had yet another bad sleep. I made myself porridge before going over to the shop. It had a rubbish selection and what it did have was severely overpriced. The weather was appalling, a Canadian guy said the wind was predicted to be 50-70mph and loads of rain. I set off with my day sack after eating 150g of dairy milk.

The rain and wind were lashing at me and it was actually painful. There was a road sign that had been ripped half off with the force of it. I thought I knew the way back to Eynort but things started to look unfamiliar. I wasn’t about to get my already suffering map out in this weather though. That’s how I ended up in Talisker instead. I had missed out a cliff section as a result but that was probably for the best in the conditions.

I went out to see the bay then headed back in a bit to meet the path over the top to Fiskavaig. The path was actually a stream today and my feet were soaked. Yet again not much fun. Once I got to Fiskavaig it was mostly road for the rest of the way with a few detours. I got back to Carbost at 2.30 and was able to have a chilled afternoon. The guy doing the laundry was a really nice bloke and I chatted to him a fair bit. The Internet wasn’t working so he sorted it then opened up the charge box and put about £5 back in so I had about 3 hours free. I was finally able to get the photos off my broken camera using his laptop as well.

I had pizza for tea the watched tv in the lounge for most of the rest of the night. I had the room to myself as well so pretty happy with that.

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Responses

  1. I am utterly amazed at your guts, determination and physical endurance. You are an inspiration. Much love, Nick


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