Posted by: natsevs | August 9, 2010

Airigh Drishaig to Redpoint

I managed to  set up my tent on a lump again so slept badly. Nothing had dried over night, so on went the damp shorts and t-shirt, followed by my waterproofs. The rain was really going for it as I packed up then I had the river to get over immediately. It was a challenge to find a decent crossing but even when I did my feet still got wet. Or wetter.

The path goes up and over a deer fence and was surprisingly clear but that’s probably because most of it was now a stream. The rain stopped but it was really miserable still and now the midges were out as well. I got down to Toscaig around midday and was able to take a road along from there. It looked really scenic around there even in the gloom. A family wearing some awesome jumpers were loading a shed from their car then offered me a lift when they drove past.

I branched off through a village before Applecross and came to a shop. Fortunately I went in because it was the only shop I passed that day. The bay at Applecross was another attractive place. It was a long slog along coast road from there but with pleasant views. There was a hamlet every hour or so and in the last part of the day it got quite sunny with a decent wind. For the last half hour I was looking for a camp spot with little success. Everywhere was either boggy or lumpy. After getting through Fearnmore, I found a flat, dry spot finally. The wind was a problem setting up and was really testing the tent once I was in it.

Thankfully my tent survived the wind and I actually slept well for a change. It was getting a battering again in the morning though so I packed away before I was blown into the sea. Once I had started, the weather got really annoying. There were showers on and off so I had my waterproofs on but in between the rain I was boiling. The constant hills didn’t help with that either. It was all road walking again and not majorly interesting although I had one or two phone calls to break up the day.

I got to Shieldaig after 1 which was later than I was hoping but looking at the road sign it was also a lot further than I’d thought. The shop there was open even though it was  a sunday luckily. I carried on to Torridon from there with a lot of hills along the way again. The Torridon mountains were really impressive as I neared them. I got to the hostel at the foot of them just after 4 but the reception didn’t open until 5 so I made myself comfortable in the reception. I took off my boots and socks and checked the blister damage on my right foot. When I did check in the guy was really helpful and the hostel was a good one.

I had breakfasted and packed by 9.15 and walked down the road out of Torridon. The shop was at the end of the road just after half 9 and it was closed. There was no sign saying the opening hours but two woman across the road were kind enough to shout ‘it’s closed’. One then came over saying it wasn’t open until 10.30 and you have to be patient around here. Patient and unemployed apparently.

She told me the nearest shop was Shieldaig, only 8 miles back on myself. I had no food left on me so I headed back to the hostel to wait it out. Matt, the hostel guy, kindly offered me the remains of a loaf but I would be needing snackage too. When I returned the shop was open. And rubbish. It was also expensive so I bought the minimum and the minimum is what they were offering. I love snack makers who put the rrp on the packaging because shops never over charge on them even though everyone who goes in knows they are charging well over the rrp on everything else anyway.

Shopping done I headed down the road and was throwing on my waterproofs in no time as the rain lashed down. After a while I took a track along passed Torridon house. Stopping for a wee in a quiet spot to look up and see a security camera pointed at me from the top of a post. Oh well.

The track took me to the next village from where there was a path to Aligin. There was then another path from there to Diabeg which wasn’t signposted but I found it easily enough. The start was in thick bracken but that thinned out and it became craggy and boggy terrain. It was quite an interesting walk but would have been much more pleasurable in the sunshine. Progress seemed slow even though I was gunning it and I had the usual problem of wearing waterproofs to keep out the rain but sweating underneath them. A house turned up in the middle of all this rock with no obvious way to it but it’s residents were there and gave me a wave. After that there was a lot of uphill and climbing before Diabeg became visible in front and below me.

The path went down a bit but then started rising again which was slightly confusing. It then stopped abruptly with a drop of about 4m at the base of which, it started again. I’d been warned in the morning about this by a guy who’d walked it the previous day. I had to climb down even though I could see no route. It was pretty hairy getting down and my bag was a real hinderance. Once I had managed it though, it was easy going to get to the village. Unfortunately I then had a stupidly steep road climb up just as the sun came out to boil me.

At the road end was the path to Craig and Redpoint. The path was really good for a change and there were a fair few people on it. By this I mean two women and three boys. I passed the woman then one of the boys was so determined to stay in front of me that he kept running ahead and looking back. It kind of made me feel uncomfortable. He eventually got knackered though and let me pass giving me a proper evil whilst he did. Then one of his brothers called me mum as I approached them. Not sure what that says about his mum with my beard well and truly back.

The sun was properly out now so I was able to take my waterproofs off and instead of stopping at the bothy at craig I walked on to Redpoint. I did pop in though and met a nice couple and one of the guys from the hostel was there. I reached Redpoint in good time and set up close to the beach by a derelict fishing hut. I cooked on the beach and had a little paddle then walking back to the tent saw a pick axe lying on the ground. Further on was a sledgehammer. If a nutter turned up the I was going to be in trouble.

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Responses

  1. Nat, the pick and sledge are for repairing the path, there are a group of volunteers that do it every now and then…. I sheltered in that hut back in September 1996… eating pepperarmi and chocolate, yes at the sma etime, gotta try sumert a bit mad every now and then, have fun!!

  2. Hi Nat, It was us that you mentioned “met a nice couple” in Craig, cheers for that, I left a message for you on your last Blog, All the best Alan & Ele


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