Even though my planned three days promised rain each day, I simply had to put some miles on the clock as I have found that if you don’t keep the ball rolling it is always difficult to start again. My first day would have to be done in reverse as the bus timetables did not work in my favour and I would have begun walking very late in the day. Today was also the return to school for most of the children in Scotland. This meant, potentially, more bus services but there were local variations so I stuck with doing the walk in reverse.
Today would also see me leaving Argyll & Bute and passing into Lochaber, which is part of the greater Highland region. I will be in this region for some considerable time to come. The vast majority of the next three days will be cycle path and road walking, principally walking around Loch Linnhe and Locheil.
I drove to Appin and parked in the large community car park in the village. The bus stop was close-by and I caught the 10:03 #918 bus to Corran Ferry. When I got off the bus at Corran Ferry I immediately donned my water-proofs. The rain had not started yet, but when it did it would be in for the rest of the day. I began walking down the very busy A82. The cycle path with its large green stripe to demarcate the footpath from the road was quite generous and gave some reassurance. Just as I entered North Ballachulish the rain started, it was not a deluge just incessant. By the time I crossed the Ballachulish Bridge the visibility was very poor and it was difficult to see any of the high peaks around Glencoe. I crossed over the bridge admiring its solid box structure. I had driven over this bridge hundreds of times previously, but had never got a close look. At the southern side of the bridge and set back slightly from the road is a memorial to the wrongly convicted and executed James Stewart (James of the Glen). On this spot in 1752, James of the Glen was hung for the so-called Appin Murder of Colin Campbell.
I descended some steps and joined the A828 next to the Ballachulish Hotel. I walked along the road a short distance and then re-joined the NCN78 which followed the route of the old Ballachulish Branch railway line which closed in 1966. With the vegetation and mist, it was difficult to pick out any views at all as the rain continued to fall. I passed through the village of Kentallen and managed to find a location for an igneous rock called Kentallenite (an olivine Monzonite) which is a type locality for the rock. It was quite difficult to see the pronounced minerals on the lichen covered rock. The NCN78 cycle-way criss-crosses the road a number of times until just south of Duror, here it dumps you back on the main road and for 2 miles you fend for yourself. I verge-hop for the 2 miles until the NCN re-appears. I pass quite close to the unique Castle Stalker prominent on its tiny island and then shortly through the old Appin Station with both platforms still in evidence. I finish the walk and drive north to set up my tent at a packed Glen Nevis campsite. Hopefully, tomorrow I will get just a few rain showers?
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:
Distance today = 19 miles
Total distance = 3019.5 miles