183. Lochaline to Kinlochteagus

I had changed my mind a couple of times on how to tackle the next two remote walks along the northern coast of Morvern. I was originally going to do a single walk with an overnight wild camp roughly half-way. However, I did not fancy carrying a full weight rucksack over 40 miles – unless I really had to. So I decided to break the northern section into two walks.

I had also changed my normal procedure in driving to the Highlands. Instead of setting off after a few hours sleep and then driving up through the night. I decided to drive up in the late afternoon of the day before and sleep in the car. This allowed me a better nights sleep and had me more refreshed to start the walk the following day.

After an overnight stop at Dalrigh near Tyndrum, I headed to the Corran Ferry to catch the 6:30 across to Ardgour. First port of call was the end of the public road at Kinlochteagus, where I dropped off my bicycle. I then drove around to Lochaline and parked up at the ferry terminal. It was a lovely sunny morning with a stiff breeze. No need for public transport today as I would be walking to my bicycle. Before I set off I got some early morning carbs down me, as I had realised as I drove up that I had left all my cooking gear – cutlery, crockery and stove – at home! Doh! So I bought a nice haggis burger with bacon and a cup of coffee from the snack shop at the ferry terminal.

I set off down the Drimnin road at 8:15 and the road was quite quiet enough  to relax and not worry too much about traffic. I had great views across the Sound of Mull towards Mull, I was also walking with my back to the wind which made for quick progress. The Sound of Mull dominated my view and I could see a number of boats going up and down the Sound. After a couple of miles I could see a naval vessel travelling south towards me. I examined it through my small binoculars and could see that it was a Norwegian vessel – M352. I later found out this was an Alta-class Minesweeper called Rauma and was built-in 1996.

I came to Clach na Criche (The Wishing Stone), which appears to be a vertically inclined basalt dyke, with a large hole in it. Legend says that the stone would grant a wish to anybody that passes through the hole without touching the sides. I climbed through the hole ok, but would have to say the only way to pass through the hole without touching the sides would be to attempt a Fosbury Flop, although the landing may be rather painful with all the rocks thereabouts.

Looking north up The Sound of Mull from West Pier, Lochaline
Norwegian Minesweeper Rauma – M352 in the Sound of Mull
Clach na Criche
Clach na Criche
Looking north towards Ardnamurchan, with Tobermory left
Tobermory
Looking south down the Sound of Mull with Ben More in cloud

As I approached Drimnin I could see the picturesque village of Tobermory on Mull. I could also see the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, which I would be walking around in weeks to come. The path around Drimnin House had directed me up the hillside onto the old drovers road east to the former old inn at Diorlinn. The drovers road is a delight with high level walking at a steady height with views across to Sgurr na Seilg, Kilchoan, down Loch Sunart and Ben Hiant on Ardnamurchan. The track ran for about 5 miles above Loch Sunart before it dropped down through the cliffs at Sgeir Bhuidhe and across the Drambuie Bridge to Druimbuidhe (which was occupied). Approaching Diorlinn the path petered out and I knew I had to negotiate about 700 metres of very rough pathless ground. After beating my way over bog, bracken and waist-high vegetation I found the path I was looking for. I passed through a deer fence and continued along an ATV track. I had entered Loch Teacius and the path I was now on would take me through a series of forestry roads all the way to Kinlochteagus.

On the drovers road looking across to Ben Hiant and Kilchoan on Ardnamurchan
Looking east along Loch Sunart on the drovers road
At the Sgeir Bhuidhe above Loch Sunart
The route ahead at Diorlinn
Deer Fence with gate

 

 

Looking back up Loch Teacuis at Kinlochteagus

After something like 8.5 hrs walking I arrived at my bike. I now had to cycle 7.5 miles back to Lochaline which was tough going as the wind that was with me in the morning was now a headwind, and a strong one at that!

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=23844

 

Distance today = 23 miles
Total distance = 3,195 miles

 

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3 thoughts on “183. Lochaline to Kinlochteagus”

  1. Hi Ruth, good question. I’ve now included a photo of the deer fence I passed through. Most deer fences I have come across in Scotland vary from 5ft to 9ft. They are easily climbed over and I have never seen barbed wired used in them. Where Estate roads pass through them, there is a gate (normally locked), usually with a pedestrian gate at the side or a large stile going over the fence. Some of the gates (like the one in the photo) are tilted inwards towards the fence, which means gravity closes them as you pass through them. The fence in my photo is 6 – 7ft high and most full grown stags will easily be able to jump over this fence. Deer fences and gates/stiles are not marked on OS maps and if you come across one on the open hill, the best option is usually climb over it.

    Liked by 1 person

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