After a reasonable nights sleep in the back of the car, I awoke early as I had to drive around to Kilchoan to park the car. I parked in the small car park opposite the church and rustled up a warm drink and porridge from my small stove. It was still dark as I waited for the 7:50 Shiel Buses #506 bound for Fort William, the same bus as I caught yesterday.
A number of children heading for Acharacle Primary School were picked up along the route together with a number of adults heading for Fort William. I had to pay close attention to where I wanted dropped off, as the road looks very similar. I got off at the old Forestry Commission car park at Camas nan Gall. The road was quiet this morning and I walked a lot quicker not having to push the bike. It was a lovely sunny morning, crisp, still with a few high clouds. One of my goals for today was to deviate my route to include the sub-2000ft Marilyn – Ben Hiant. Although only 528m, it commands a brilliant 360 degree perspective. I had read a number of trip reports of Ben Hiant and I was keen to climb it on fine and clear day. I was also hoping to that I may get a better view of the volcanic ring complex to the west.
I continued along the B8007 past the hamlets of Laga and Glenborrodale. I managed to get a glimpse of the red sandstone castle of Glenborrodale Castle, currently on the market for offers of over £3.75m, boasting 16 bedrooms and 132 acres, as well as the Isle of Risga. I found an interesting sign on a number of gates , displaying a slightly threatening message – “Glenborrodale Castle PRIVATE trespassers do so at their own risk”. At risk of what, being shot? Catching the plague?
I continue on past the Ardnamurchan – Adephi distillery built-in 2013 and producing it own single malt. The road climbs steeply up towards Ardslignish, where I am confronted with a glorious view across Camas nan Geall towards Ben Hiant, which shows an interesting array of slopes, cliffs and greenery. I continue along the road which hugs the very steep hillside. As I the road tracks north along the slopes of Ben Hiant I headed up the steep er slopes making for the first step of rock bands. The underfoot walking was easy, with most of the bracken died back and the grass short with not too much moisture. I gained height easily and within 30 minutes I had gained the main ridge. I joined up with the path coming up from the road and climb onto the small summit area of Ben Hiant. I am treated to a brilliant view which took in Rum, Eigg, Muck, Skye to the north ; Mull and Morvern to the south; down Loch Sunart to the east and to the North West the faint outline of Barra and South Uist in the outer Hebrides – a truly great viewpoint.
To the west I could see the road heading towards the village of Kilchoan, spread out along the northern shore of Loch Sunart. I descended steep slopes from Ben Hiant heading towards the footpath passing behind the north flank of Beinn h-Urchrach. The going was easy as I headed to the B8007 road. Climbing over a deer fence gate I entered a deer enclosure, obviously a farming technique practices by a number of Estates in this part of Ardnamurchan. I arrived at the road and continued into Kilchoan. By the time I reached my car outside of the church, a funeral service had just taken place and there were scores of mourners and cars parked around the Church.
At this point and to advance my walking mileage and curtail the distance to get around future walks along the northern shore of Ardmnamurchan, I continued walking for another 3 miles towards the lighthouse at Ardnamurchan point. I climbed up the minor road out of Kilchoan and arrived at the cemetery just as the hearse was arriving. Scores of mourners had driven up the steep road to pay their final respects to the deceased. I quickly passed by them feeling out-of-place. I continued on for another mile to my bicycle which I had stowed away the day before hoping for a quick descent back downhill back to Kilchoan. In 15 minutes I was back at the car and soon heading south back home. Hopefully, I may still reach Mallaig by Christmas.
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 = 18 miles
Total distance = 3,307 miles