Posted by: natsevs | July 29, 2010

Loch Ainort to Airigh Drishaig

I realised pretty quickly once in my tent that I had set up with a hump right in the middle of the floor. The new roll mat did a good job though. It was a windy morning so I was safe from midges for packing away and breakfast. I managed to eat the rest of my cereal bars as I packed away.

It started raining just as I was ready to pack up the tent so was delayed as I put on the waterproofs. I got straight onto the A-road and was on there for most of the day. The rain was constant but varying in intensity, just to keep things interesting. As a result I wasn’t taking any breaks and was going for it as I had a hostel booked for the night.

My radio headphones were already breaking but they also act as an aerial so I can’t just get a new set. There was a path to Broadford next to forestry and once there I went into a little shop then two seconds later there was a proper one so I went in there too. Suddenly, Skye was full of shops, you’re screwed if you don’t have a car though.

The busy and boring road took me from there to Kyleakin and Skye was completed. I was at the hostel at four so had to wait an hour for the reception to open, but I was able to wait in the communal area out of the rain. I stayed in one of the caravans this time as it was cheaper and the place was almost fully booked because of tours stopping there. I ate early to avoid the rush then relaxed for the rest of the evening.

As I was in a hostel there was the guaranteed snorer in the room. Add to that the guy that came in at 1, complained about the snorer then didn’t shut up for an hour and I had a rubbish sleep.

I got up at 8 expecting the kitchen to be empty like last time but it was overflowing. I hid in the lounge. It started clearing and I took my chance before heading back to the room to get sorted. It was raining obviously. It wasn’t long before I was on the beach and feeling the relief of leaving Skye though.

I had to go through Kyle of Lochalsh again then out along the road towards Plockton. Between rain showers it was too warm so I was sweating under my waterproofs. From Plockton I took a path to a castle then single track road through woods.

It was here that I saw a fairy. If a psychiatrist asks, it was an insect, but in my opinion: definitely a fairy.

I had bought a pasta pot in Kyle so had that a bit further on which was a major treat. My boots had started rubbing now they’re kind of dry and I had developped a blister on my right heal that was giving me serious jip.

Down the south shore of loch carton were road works which always confuse me a little. I never know if I’m allowed within the cones or not as that is the safest place for me. I then had a very steep hill to go up and down where I was offered a lift as usual. Once round the loch head I came to Lochcarron the place around 6 and missed the campsite. I did find it when I went back on myself and checked into the Wee Campsite. It was very wee and only £4 so happy days.

The night actually got quite cold so I had to add an extra layer to get a good sleep. In the morning, I went to the village shop which is apparently the best in Scotland, amongst other awards. It was actually quite a good one as well. I stuck to the coast road out of the village past a tartan shop and down to North Strome. The road goes all the way to the end before it stops. At the end I was able to get onto a track around a little loch then inland slightly to meet a path that goes over the top to Kishorn. It was a fairly good path for a change and I got to kishorn easily.

It appeared to be one big building site. Another road took me around the head of loch kishorn and onto the Applecross road on the other side. I came off that before it climbed over the top to stay on the lochside. A dirt road took me down past an industrial site, then I was blocked off by fences of a fish farm.

I went round the edge in slightly boggy land forcing me uphill a bit. When I reached the quarry there was a deer fence in my way stretching right up the hill. I wasn’t about to go up there so I nipped over the fence into the quarry. There was no one about at this time so it was pretty safe. Getting through the site was easy and out the other side there were the remnants of a track for a very short while. I had to get over a river and managed better than I had with most lately.

From there it was slippery beach walking but I managed to stay upright. After a while though I was forced upwards and followed pylons along the top. I thought I was making good progress but a map check proved otherwise. Then came a second river. This one was a torrent and definitely not easy to cross. I walked up and down it looking for a dry way over then just looked for a safe way that wouldn’t result in me being dragged down to the sea. I found the best looking spot and successfully got over with very wet feet.

After thar it was more or less beach and rock until I saw the house that meant I was below the path to Toscaig. The climb up was really boggy and the midges were already going for it. I found a flattish dryish spot and set up for the night wet, cold and tired. It’s amazing how cosy a tent can feel when it’s  miserable outside.

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Responses

  1. Hi Nat, we met you in Craig Bothy, what a guy! Fantastic achievement to do what you are doing, apart for the mental & physical challenge, the logistics of the walk must be be a nightmare, particulary on the West Highland coast.
    It’s a pity you never met the man who lives in Toscaig cottage, I went for a walk there a few days after meeting you, you probably saw the welcoming sign on his gate, I went by his door to be greeted by John who immediatly welcomed me in, made me a cup of tea and a offer of biscuits, we talked for 30 mins or more, he gave me a tour of the lovely cottage, telling me how he has transformed it into a very homely place, installing at great expence to himself, electricity, new floors, an Arga cooker (by helecopter!) and an electric shower to name a few, and as he is only renting it (£1 per month!) from the estate it will never be his.
    Great chap, and on leaving he said if I ever wanted to stay I would be welcome, and gave me his card, so I’m sure that if you had met him (I did ask him if he had seen you) he would have offered you a bed for the night.
    Anyway keep it going, its all downhill now!
    You’re a hero in my book.
    Best wishes and good health. Alan

  2. I would like to hear more about the fairy!

  3. We were taught a neat way to cross streams and keep your feet dry. Put each booted leg in a black bin liner. Tape the bin liner to your trousers or leg with insulating tape. Walk across the stream and stay dry! Thanks to Brian, the very best Ramblers leader we ever had.


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