In the morning I had to get dressed and fully prepared for the off inside of my small one-man tent. I knew heating any water for an early brew would be impossible, unless I wanted a fine concoction of Midge Soup for breakfast. As soon as I left the tent they descended. I was prepared though, with my midge net hat and hands covered in repellent cream ( I’m unsure if it repels them or they just ‘drown’ on the skin surface’! Within 10 minutes I had packed the tent away and I was moving. It was 05:00 and not a breath of wind.
I climbed up to the old drover’s “road” and continued along it. Within 30 metres I had lost the track through overgrown bracken. I lost and found the path another 5 times before I realised the 5 miles to Kylerhea was going to take a very long time!To make matters worse the sun was now up and it was already becoming unbearably hot.
I knew I had to get onto much higher ground, to break free of the bracken. I headed up through the steep de-afforested hillside, crossing through bracken, heather, fallen trees and bog. My progress was painfully slow and with the sun burning down it was tough going. Eventually I reached the higher ground of the Marilyn – Beinn na Seamraig (561m). I had no intention of making a tiny detour to claim the summit top, but chose to stay on its northern slopes, in the shade. The ground had become easier now, with rock and short grass making the early morning struggle a thing of the past. I emerged onto the summit area and continued to the top of Beinn Dubh a’ Bhealaich (546m).
I decided that I would ditch the idea of getting to Kylerhea and continue onto Ben Aslak (610m). But first I had to lose some height by dropping down to the bealach and cross a boggy area. On the summit of Ben Aslak I had wonderful views towards the Cuillins and Broadford, west to Loch Hourn, south to the Sound of Sleat. There was a gentle breeze blowing on the summit and I decided to make a brew and get some porridge going. I considered what to do next. I had read about and also had a good look at the western end of the Sleat peninsular and decided that the pathless and deafforested 4 mile section back to Kyleakin would be too much in this heat and with a full pack. I opted to drop down to the Bealach Udal and continue back down Glen Arroch along the road to the main A87 some 7 miles away.
The minor road down to the A87 was all downhill and very quiet, apart from the odd car coming and going to the Glenelg Ferry. Unfortunately a few miles down the road I came across a young Adder that appeared to have been run over by a car.
The less said the better, about the 4 miles along the very busy A87 back to Kyleakin. On arriving back at the car I vowed, not for the first time, never to use that heavy pack again!!
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 = 15 miles
Total distance = 3,847 miles