272. Laid to Hope Bridge

I had spent the night in the car, in a small off-road parking slot that shielded me from the worst of the winds at the head of Loch Eriboll. I wanted to get an early start on the road, so was up and away by 06:30.
Today’s walk was along the A838 and because of the absence of public transport I would have to do an out and back using my bike. The early start would mean I would have the road to myself for the first couple of hours, before the NC500 brigade finished their breakfasts and put foot/hand to throttle. I must admit I don’t mind road walking, it’s generally dry underfoot and you can make good progress as well as enjoying some amazing scenery, it’s just when you are constantly verge-hopping that it becomes a pain. I drove to a small pull-in I had detected on Streetview on the open moor about a mile east of Hope Bridge. This would be point where I would set off across the moorland towards Whiten Head on my next walk, but today was getting around Loch Eriboll. I got the bike out of the car and set off back down the road towards Laid.

I arrived in Laid, by the tea rooms and immediately turned around. The weather had improved slightly with a drop in wind, but the persistent showers continued. I started pushing my bike along the A838 towards Hope Bridge. Most of the higher hills around me where still cloaked in cloud. I started thinking and planning how I would tackle the remaining sections to John O’Groats. It looked like for most of the way I could keep off the main road and after reaching Tongue public transport would not become an issue.
After passing through the small hamlet of Eriboll and just approaching Ard Neakie, a small piece of land connected to the shore by a narrow isthmus, the camper vans and motorcycle convoys began. The road climbed steeply out of Loch Eriboll and eastwards down towards Loch Hope and Hope Bridge. By the time I reached my car I was soaked and a bit cheesed off.
I drove into Tongue to get a drink and contemplate what to do next. The persistent showers continued. As I waited in a car park on the Tongue Bridge, with the rain continuing and the forecast of more of the same tomorrow, I decided to call it a day and headed home.

Near the head of Loch Eriboll looking east
Looking north up Loch Eriboll
A piebald Cob near Eriboll
Looking back down Loch Eriboll
Limekilns and small quarry on Ard Neakie
Looking down on Loch Ach’an Lochaidh from Torr na Bithe
At Hope Bridge looking towards Loch Hope
Looking back westwards towards Loch Hope

NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=24605

Distance today =  14.5 miles
Total distance = 4,926.5 miles

 

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271. Durness to Laid via Faraid Head

It was time to begin the walk eastwards along the ‘roof’ of Scotland, but first I needed to walk around Faraid Head. I also had to arrange some transport, as between Durness and Tongue there was a gap in public transport availability. Fortunately, The Durness Bus Company provided a dial-a-bus service that operated within a fixed radius of Durness, which I could utilise for a part of my journey. A few days before I travelled north I booked to be picked-up from the small strung-out village of Laid, on the western shore of Loch Eriboll, and to be dropped off at Keodale, at the road end to the Durness Ferry.

As I usually do, I drove up from Shropshire the day before and reached Rhiconich before pulling over and sleeping in the back of the car. There were some fearsome winds during the night which rocked the car. The following morning I drove through Durness and onto Laid, where I parked near to the tea rooms.The Dial-a-Bus arrived bang on time at 08:00 and Sarah, the driver, dropped me off at the road end to the Durness Ferry. The journey cost me the princely sum of £2.05!!

I set off along the ferry road and continued on past the slipway. I was able to follow a well-trodden footpath along the low-lying cliff-tops that rise above the Kyle of Durness. This is Durness Limestone country and the walking is dry, well drained and grassy. The Cambrian limestone is actually a Dolomite and an important marker in understanding the complex geology of the area. With the receding tide I get down onto the beach to walk, but large pools soon block my way forward and I am forced to return to the cliff-top. I enter Balnakiel Bay and walk through the Golf Course.
I head out along the white sandy beach of Faraid Head. The walking underfoot is easy, but I am walking into a strong headwind, which brings in persistent rain showers. Most of the Faraid Head peninsular is overlain by sand and large sand dunes. As the beach runs out I head up through the sand dunes and pick up a narrow tarmac access road. The road services the MOD facility, with its large control tower for the Cape Wrath bombing range. Faraid Head itself is fenced-off and no access is permitted. I follow the security fencing to a cairn on Cnoc nan Sgliat which offers  great views down to a very rough sea and the impressive twin sea stacks of Clach Beag/Mhor na Faraid. I head southward through 2 miles of high sand dunes. I visited the ruined broch of Seanachiasteal Dun and head over Aodann Mhor where I picked up a green lane which lead me into Durness.

At the Durness Ferry
Heading along The Kyle of Durness
On the beach for a while
Approaching Balnakiel
On the beach heading towards Faraid Head
MOD land at Faraid Head
The control tower at Faraid Head
Heading south through the sand dunes
The twin Sea stacks of Clach Beag na Faraid and Clach Mhor na Faraid
Looking back to Faraid Head across very rough seas
Durness

In Durness I pop into MacKay’s for a coffee and a snack. I continued along the A838. I pass a sign for the John Lennon Memorial Garden. Intrigued to know what the connection with Durness is I investigate. I find that as a young boy John Lennon spent many holidays with his cousin, Stan Parkes, in Durness. According to his cousin, Lennon referred to his time spent at Durness in his song “In My Life”, which he co-wrote with Paul McCartney. The garden is now a bit tatty and looks rather run down.

Further on I pay a quick visit to Smoo Cave, which I last visited 16 years ago. It is still a very impressive natural feature and well worth a visit. I notice it has lighting now and guided tours to the deeper recesses.

I continue on along the road leaving Durness and the roadside footpath behind. I arrive at the site of the abandoned township of Ceannabeinne, emptied in 1842. Like many other sites I have visited in Scotland a victim of The Clearances. At Ceannabeinne Beach I come across the 230m long Golden Eagle zip line which runs over the Allt Chailgeag. With the ride being completed in 15 -20secs, the £12 charge seems rather expensive. The zip line ride was shut when I arrived.

The rest of the walk was along the A838 which now headed south as it entered Loch Eriboll, a large sea-loch which I must walk around. The afternoon traffic of the NC500 is still present, in particular, the motorbikes which were particularly noisy. At Laid I popped into the nearby tea room. I was not particularly looking forward to the next day’s walking which was all road and more rain forecast.

The John Lennon Memorial Garden
Entrance to Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave with blow hole visible
Ceannabeinne township
Golden eagle zip line at Ceannabeinne Beach

NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=24601

Distance today =  19 miles
Total distance = 4,912 miles

 

 

 

270. Southwold to Aldeburgh

I thought I would follow up my recent trip to the Suffolk coast with another visit. Although this walk would be longer the logistical problems of getting back to my start point were much harder. There was no direct public transport between Southwold and Aldeburgh and unless you wanted to start your walk around mid-day, the options for a morning start required some thought. After much deliberation I opted for the drive to and park at Southwold, continue my walk south along the coast to Aldeburgh, get the #64 bus to Saxmundham, then get the train to Beccles and finally get the #146 bus back to Southwold. In the end this is not what happened!

I set off from Shropshire at some ungodly hour, with the benefits of traffic free roads but in the knowledge that my travel plans required me to finish my walk before 13:00. I set off walking at 05:45 on a lovely still sunny morning. It was not long before I arrived at the banks of the River Blyth and headed inland for about a mile to a bridge over the river. I retraced my steps albeit on the opposite side of the river and emerged on the shingle shore near to the village of Walberswick. The Suffolk Coast Path, which I ignored, disappeared on one of its many detours inland.

The route ahead was very clear with the Sizewell B Nuclear power station dominating the view southwards. I searched for and found my ‘sweet’ walking spot close to the water’s edge, a narrow band of firm wet sand. Walking over the shingle would have been murder. The beach was quite deserted, a good job really, as I had an urgent ‘call of nature’ and with no cover, it was needs must!

Looking south from Southwold with Sizewell in the far distance
At Gun Hill, Southwold
Crossing the River Blyth near Walberswick
Heading along the beach towards Dunwich

I was making excellent time and soon arrived at the small village of Dunwich. Here I decided to walk along the cliff-tops, as it can get a bit boring just walking along the shoreline. I was joined by the Suffolk Coast Path, which I followed for a little while. I passed the ruins of Greyfriars Abbey, a Franciscan monastery founded in the 13th century. The location of the original Abbey suffered coastal erosion and was transferred slightly inland in 1289. I continued on through a lovely mature woodland and emerged on a quiet road that led to Dunwich Heath. I passed the coastguard cottages and dropped down to a well-worn track that lead along and above the shingle shore. I dropped down onto the shore line and continued on towards the Power station.

Decommissioning of Sizewell A Nuclear Power Station began in 2006, while Sizewell B is still generating and will continue until 2055. While another Power Station – Sizewell C is currently planned. After passing Sizewell I head back to the shoreline and continue onto towards Thorpe Ness. Here I come across some council signs that said that due to coastal erosion of the sea defences, access along the beach towards Thorpeness was prohibited until 2020! I took a diversion along the cliff-top and headed into the village of Thorpeness. As a forerunner to holiday camps, Thorpeness was developed with this in mind by its landowner, Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie. Annoyingly, I was unaware of The House in The Clouds (basically a decorated water tower), but did get a good view of the impressive Westgate Tower, a cross between a church tower and mock-Tudor building!

The ruins of Greyfriars – Abbey Dunwich
The Coastguard Cottages at Dunwich Heath
Sizewell A & B Nuclear Power Stations
Jack-Up rig just offshore
Sea Kale near Sizewell

I continued over a grassy expanse of dunes towards Aldeburgh. As I approached Maggi Hambling’s The Scallop, a bus pulled up and emptied its young passengers who immediately descend on the controversial sculpture. I continued into Aldeburgh and terminated my walk at the far end of the town.

I had made excellent time and was desperately trying to go over my travel options in getting back to Southwold. I had not planned on completing the walk this early. I decided to get a #64 bus to Saxmundham, get a train to Halesworth, the catch a #99A bus to Southwold. I did have a long wait in Halesworth, but I was back in Southwold at 14:15.

Local ‘Yoof’ gathered near the Scallop
The museum in Aldeburgh
Fort Green tower mill, then a residential property

Distance today =  19 miles
Total distance = 4,893 miles

 

 

269. Lowestoft to Southwold

I was determined to get at least another walking day within the month of May and so decided to do a one day trip in Suffolk. At 210 miles each way, it was not a short trip although the walk was. Public transport in Suffolk is not ideal and while certain areas have excellent links, others not so much. No such problems between Lowestoft and Southwold though. So I drove to and parked in the large free car park in Southwold.

I caught the #99 bus to Lowestoft and started walking from the bus station down the High Street towards the bridge over Lake Lothing. The sun for most part was hidden behind scattered clouds, although it remained quite warm. Near the East Point Pavilion I picked up the start/end of the Suffolk Coastal Path, a 57 mile trail between Lowestoft and Felixstowe. I also noticed a large group of runners gathering at the South Pier. This was indeed the start point of the Lowestoft Parkrun, a weekly race/run/jog over a 5km course along the promenade. It appeared to be a popular event, as checking previous entrant numbers, there are usually 350 – 500 runners taking part. As the start time was 09:00 I would be well beyond their finish line.

Crossing over Lake Lothing in Lowestoft
Runners gathering for the Lowestoft Parkrun

I continued on past the end of the promenade along a well-constructed path. There was still an excellent beach with inviting sands, but I knew it would be torture walking through/along that. The cliff top path ended close to a holiday park and I was forced to descend to the beach. The Suffolk Coastal Path had taken one of its many excursions inland, which I ignored.
I had checked on the tides in the area and knew I had about 4 – 5 hours before high tide. I got down right to the water’s edge and it was here I found the ‘sweet spot’ – a narrow corridor of firm level sand between the lapping waves and the soft sand and shingle to my right. This ‘sweet spot’ would continue virtually the whole way to Southwold. I had read conflicting accounts on various sites about paths being washed away and I had initially resigned myself to walking slightly inland using footpaths and some roads. However, 2km after passing the large village of Kessingland I decided I would see how far I got along the coast. Although, devoid of public footpaths, a path was marked on an Info Board at the Benacre National Nature Reserve and a fellow coastal walker, Jon Combe, had walked this way before, albeit 10 years ago.

On the beach heading towards Kessingland
On the cliffs heading towards Benacre Nature Reserve

I transferred onto the top of the small clifftops, where I found a footpath between a field of crops and a crumbling cliff edge. I wanted to see what lay ahead and could now see Southwold Pier far in the distance. I could also see a safe gap between the sea and cliff base, which meant I could complete well before High Tide.

I descended to the beach separating Benacre Broad from the sea and met a lady bird watcher. I regained the cliff top and found a well-trodden path along the top. My eye was drawn to the remains of a crumbling ruined church, St Andrews at Covehithe, which dominated the view west. I could and should perhaps have made the short journey inland to take a closer look at the church. But I was aware that “time and tide wait for no man” and I wanted to make sure I could get to Southwold along the coast.

I continued south from Covehithe, along the cliff top and another well-trodden path through crops. The cliff top slowly dropped down to beach level at Easton Marshes and I again picked up a good walking line along the shoreline, where I stayed all the way to Southwold. I could also make out the Lighthouse at Southwold, with its light on and the lens rotation every 8 seconds…well I had nothing else better to do! Interestingly, the light was not visible when I reached Southwold, probably because I was below its beam and it was still day time.

On the beach at Benacre Broad
Looking back at Benacre Nature Reserve
Walking on the cliff tops near Covehithe with Southwold in the far distance
The old public road road – overgrown and terminated by cliff erosion
The ruins of St Andrews at Covehithe

I had become aware of Southwold when I first started drinking Adnams Beer and had always wanted to visit this small coastal town in Suffolk. I was not disappointed. Southwold is a lovely little charming town, with very close links with Adnams, in fact the brewery has multiple buildings in and around the town. In fact the font used in the Adnams signage is prevalent everywhere, but not in bad or commercial way. The whole place had a nice feeling about it. It is somewhere I would like to re-visit. The inevitable call-in to the Adnams shop meant a lightening of my wallet and I came away £56 the poorer.

 

Looking north back up the coast from Southwold
Adnams Sole Bay Pub in Southwold
Adnams Brewery Southwold

Distance today =  14 miles
Total distance = 4,874 miles

 

 

 

268. Daill to Durness

I must admit I never really like sleeping in a tent, I’ve done it hundreds of times over the years but prefer sleeping in the back of the car or in a bothy. I had quite a fitful night’s sleep, trying to find a comfortable position that did not aggravate aching feet/legs/hips/shoulders. The aches subsided but it was quite a noisy spot with the surf from the nearby Daill beach and some bird that was creating quite a racket all night, the cuckoo started at 03:00!

I set my alarm for 03:30 and had everything packed away by 04:00. The legs seemed good and the spirit high. The sun had yet to rise, but it looked like it was going to be another lovely day. I set off along the road towards the ferry house with great views across the Kyle of Durness to Durness and The Orkneys beyond. Of course it was no ferry for me as I had to walk around to the first bridging point on the River Dionard. Just before the ferry house I took a rocky track that climbed steeply up the hillside, leading to a disused quarried area. The track stopped suddenly, which I knew from my map beforehand. I then set a bearing on my compass to the bridge over the River Grudie 2 to 3 miles away. I intended to follow the bearing and stay high over the rough ground. This was quite easy to do and the underfoot conditions were good. It was quite light when I reached a point above the Grudie River where I found the footbridge to cross. To be fair, there where multiple places to cross over the river if the river was not in spate.

I crossed over the slopes of a small hillock and walked along the Dionard River through the farm and across the footbridge to the A838. The road at this time of the morning was empty and I set off towards Durness, very pleased that I walked for 5 days and reached a major milestone in my walk around the coastline of Great Britain.

 

Looking towards Faraid Head across Diall Beach
Looking back towards Diall on the quarry track
Looking across the Kyle of Durness above the ferry house
The route ahead towards the Grudie river bridge
Looking across to Durness with the Orkneys in the distance
Looking down on the River Dionard and River Grudie
The bridge over the River Grudie
The bridge of the River Dionard
Looking back down the Kyle of Durness

NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=24551

Distance today =  10 miles
Total distance = 4,860 miles

 

 

267. Kinlochbervie to Daill via Cape Wrath

I’d been waiting to do this walk for a while, just over 3 years in fact, ever since I did my first Scottish coastal walk back in 2016. I was a bit apprehensive though, wondering whether my legs would hold up, whether the range would be closed (even though it was planned to be open) or would fatigue set in? I usually only walk for 3 days then go home, this trip could potentially see me walking for 5 consecutive days.
The plan was quite simple, leave the car in Durness, get the #806 Far North Bus to Kinlochbervie, walk to Cape Wrath, round the lighthouse, walk out towards Durness and see how far I could get before pitching my tent. I was carrying a very light pack with my sleeping bag, Terra Nova Zephyr 1 tent, some cold snacks, no cooking equipment and 1 litre of water.

I waited at the Spar shop in Durness for the bus. The shop was not open until 9 on a Saturday morning, which was a shame as a cup of coffee would have gone down well. I was joined by three other walkers who had finished the Cape Wrath Trail the day before and were now heading home. The #806 service is basically a minibus and you are required to book a seat. The bus was late arriving, but soon made the time up by going at break-neck speed southwards. I was the only passenger getting off in Kinlochbervie, but there were a large number of other people getting on. The bus departed and I was left on my own.
I now had 3 or 4 miles of road-walking as there is no public transport out to Blairmore – where the track out to Sandwood Bay begins. Most of this land is owned by the John Muir Trust, who also own a number of other estates including Knoydart, Quinag, Ben Nevis and parts of Skye. Here the Trust works in close partnership with Crofters who actually manage the land. After a couple of miles I kept a look out for the Lighthouse at Cape Wrath. When I do get a glimpse its almost 10 miles away and will be out sight until I am virtually upon it. I arrive at Sandwood Bay and immediately head through the dunes and onto the beach. It’s hard going on the soft sand, but thankfully the beach is not that long as the tide is in. I get an excellent view back to the Am Buachaille sea stack and pass the remains of a large whalebone, apparently it was a Killer whale that beached back in 2008. It looks amazingly like a large birds head with beak! I pass a tent and speak to a lady that is doing the Cape Wrath Trail and will walk to the lighthouse tomorrow.

Heading along the wide footpath to Sandwood Bay
Almost 10 miles as the crow flies to Cape Wrath
Arriving at Sandwood Bay
Sandwood Bay
Looking back to the sea stack of Am Buachaille
The remains of an Orca Whale beached in 2008
Looking back at Sandwood Bay

After crossing the outflow from Sandwood Loch I climb up off the beach. As there a few, if any paths on towards the Lighthouse I follow my own route of least resistance between the low-lying hills. I cross over the Amhainn Strath Chailleach River and over gentle slopes. The going is tough though, even with ground very dry  my feet sink into the soft grasses and moss. I can see about half a mile away to the east,  Strathchailleach bothy which I did at one stage think about staying in. It was sapping work and after making a slight route adjustment, because I had strayed too far east I could now see the boundary fence and markers of the MOD land. I crossed the Keasgaig River and climbed slowly to the shallow bealach between Sithean na h-lolaireach and Cnoc a’Ghuibhais. Here the grass and moss gave way to a Tundra-like landscape. From the bealach I thought I would be able to look down on the Lighthouse, but no was hidden by a small hill – Dunan Mor.
I set off from the bealach and shortly after wards could see two of the white mini-buses making their way from the Lighthouse to the ferry. I stayed to east to avoid a deep gulley and almost out of nowhere I was joined by another walker! It was quite a shock to have somebody appear about 20 meters away. Anyway, we both continued on towards the Lighthouse, he was into his 17th day of walking the Cape Wrath Trail, so it was really nice to share the experience together. I was getting very fatigued by this point, but it did  help having someone to talk to. We dumped our bags outside the Ozone cafe and walked out past the lighthouse. It was a fantstic setting on a gloriously sunny day with the sea a beautiful deepblue.

Crossing the Amhainn Strath Chailleach River
Crossing into MOD land
Looking towards the Lighthouse hidden behind Dunan Mor, the minibus can be seen winding its way slowly along the road
Cape Wrath Lighthouse
The foghorn

Back at the cafe we were joined by a Dutch guy who had also walked part of the CWT. They were both staying in the bunkhouse that night and would get the minibus out the following day. After consuming multiple soft drinks, coffee and a large piece of gateau I was ready to depart. I spoke to the guy who manages the Lighthouse who was cleaning out the rainwater storage tanks, a job that had not been done in many a year. I also spoke to his daughter, who was very helpful in advising where I could pitch my tent towards Durness.

After a 90 minute rest, I felt like I had a new set of legs and headed off down the road. I made excellent time and had a notion that given enough daylight I could get back to the car that night! However, as the miles wore on and so fatigue began to rear its head. Because I do not use ferries I would have to walk around the Kyle of Durness along trackless terrain and this meant I would have to pitch my tent somewhere. The miles of the road wore on and I finally dropped down to The Daill River and camped next to the bridge there. I was very tired and every bone and muscle ached.

 

Heading back to Durness looking towards Sandwood Bay in the far distance
Camping spot at Daill

NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=24548

Distance today =  28 miles
Total distance = 4,850 miles

 

266. Scourie to Kinlochbervie

It froze in the night causing a thin layer of ice to form on the outside of my tent and car windscreen. I did not sleep in my tent at Scourie campsite I just stored stuff from the car in it. I actually slept in the car, which was warmer, more comfortable and quieter than the tent. I woke up to a gloriously sunny and still morning.

After clearing the ice off the windscreen I set off to drive to Kinlochbervie and parked in the memorial car park. The car park forms part of a War Memorial to both World Wars and has a separate area dedicated to a local man – Robert McBeath who was awarded the VC for his actions in 1917. He was only 24 when he died, but he did not die in France. He survived the war, married and emigrated to Vancouver, Canada where he joined the Police Force. He was shot by a drunk American in 1922. His story is quite fascinating as it is tragic.

The Memorial Car Park Kinlochbervie
The story of Robert McBeath

I walked to a bus stop and waited for the #806 bus, run by “The Far North Bus” or simply The Durness Bus, which would take me back to Scourie.

Back in Scourie I immediately set off down past the campsite heading for a path that would take me up and over moorland to the isolated settlement of Tarbet. The footpath was reasonably easy to follow, snaking its way between small lochans. Apart from the start of the path, which had a section of gorse to negotiate, the path was easy to follow and had small regular cairn piles. I had great views across the Sound of Handa to Handa Island which is run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Handa is a very important reserve as a breeding area for seabirds with up to 100,000 birds, made up of Guillemots, Razorbills, Great Skuas, Terns and Puffins.

I descended steeply into the small settlement of Tarbet, which provided a small foot passenger ferry service across to Handa. A number of people were waiting for the next boat. I followed a steep road out of Tarbet and went along the shore of Loch Gobhloch. The road continued to other isolated settlements of Fangamore and eventually Foindle. Only a single car passed me on this road and it was a delight to walk along.

Shortly after leaving Foindle I left the road to cut across pathless terrain to meet up with the A894 saving me about 1.5 miles of road walking. However, the rough underfoot conditions meant I got little advantage form this shortcut. Back on the A894 the traffic was not that bad. I had a good verge to walk on and the views across to a snow-capped Arkle and Foinavon were amazing.

The route ahead from Scourie
On the footpath to Tarbet
Looking across to Handa Island
Looking down on Tarbet
Looking back to Tarbet
Loch Laxford in the distance near Fangamore

The A894 road has long straights or sweeping curves and you can see the road miles ahead, which can be a bit dispiriting for how far you will have to walk. I knew I had some 9 miles to go once I had got to Laxford Bridge, so I was quite happy when I finally reached this quite inconspicuous but important little bridge. I sat down beneath the bridge, making use of the shade available, listening to the occasional traffic above me.

After restocking my water supply from the River Laxford, and adding a purification tablet, I set off down the main road. I passed through some road cuttings which showed some remarkable dykes cutting through the 3 billion year old Lewisian Gneiss. The dykes were predominantly pegmatites with large crystals of feldspar, quartz and mica, I collected a few samples.

Arkle
Foinavon
Below Laxford Bridge
Pegmatite dykes running through Lewisian Gneiss with bore holes for blasting on this road cutting

I arrived at Rhiconich and hoped to get a cold drink at the Public bar in the hotel, unfortunately it was closed. I turned onto the B801 and continued on through the small hamlets of Achriesgill and Inshegra, both were littered with a collection of used industrial plant and cars – in fact a scrapyard. Close to the end of my walk I passed through Badcall and noticed a small shop The London Stores, mentioned in other people’s reports as a place to get anything! I bought some cold squash and a diet coke which went down very nice in the heat of the late afternoon.

By 5 o’clock I was back at the car and soon heading north to Durness where I would park for the night.

Looking down Loch Inchard
Looking back at the less flattering views of Foinavon(l) Arkle (c) and Ben Stack (r) from near Achriesgill

NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=24545

Distance today =  19 miles
Total distance = 4,822 miles