196. Acharacle to Achateny

After yesterdays walk I drove to and parked at the same car park as I stayed last night. I had quite an uncomfortable night’s sleep as I had forgotten to pack my thermarest-type ground mat.

In the morning I drove a few miles to the end of the public road to Achateny. From there I caught the #506 to Acharacle. There was only the bus driver and myself on board for the first three miles. However, the day was to have a very sad start. As we neared Glenborrodale I heard the driver shout and then there was a thump from the front of the bus. We had hit a deer. The driver reversed back up the road and we both got out. The deer was lying in the road, it was just a fawn. It was still moving, although its twitching was probably just nerves. A couple of cars stopped to ask what the problem was. The driver said he would speak to a keeper at the next stop, who would be dropping his children off to catch the bus to school. Myself and the driver carried the young deer and placed it on the grass verge. It had stopped moving by now. The driver was quite upset about it and I know how he felt. I suppose there are scores of deer strikes throughout Scotland on a daily basis – but it was still sad.

Just before the school in Acharacle I got off the bus and began walking  along the A861. I was not on it long before I turned left down the B8044 heading towards Kentra Moss. After a kilometre I turned left again down a minor road  towards Arivegaig where the public road ended. Crossing the Allt Beithe by means of a bridge I continued along an Estate track heading towards Gorteneorn. At Gorteneorn the track disappeared into the forest and carried onto Gortenfern , where I crossed another bridge. The track next climbed up onto high moorland, becoming rougher as it reached about 180m. As the vehicle track veered off to the NE I continued along a faint footpath which clung to the steep hillside. I had to be careful as there where numerous frozen puddles and ice pools covering the path and ground. However, the frozen ground made for fast walking as I soon emerged overlooking the northern shores of Ardnamurchan. As with yesterday I had splendid views across to Eigg, Rum and Skye. I could also see across to Knoydart with the snow-capped Ladhar Bheinn prominent.

The footpath descended steeply down towards a vehicle track which continued onto the small settlement of Ockle. Ockle marked the start of the public road. I had made very swift progress again with the aid of a strong wind at my back. I continued along the road passing by the small hamlets of Kilmory and Branault before joining up with the Achateny road and thence back to the car.

Tuesday morning rush hour in Acharacle
Looking over Kentra Bay with the Rois-Bheinn group of hills right
The route ahead over Liath Dhoire
Looking north to Eigg, Rum and Skye
Narrow path above the Allt Eilagadale
Looking down north towards Eigg
Heading towards Ockle
Looking down on Swordle Bay, site of a Viking Boat Burial

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=23980

Distance today = 14 miles
Total distance = 3,478 miles

 

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