217. Skye: Armadale to Skye: Drumfearn via Point of Sleat

I would be covering a fair distance  for this days walk, which would involve some track, road and off-road walking, plus some duplication and an out and back.

I set off from Armadale pushing my bike down the minor road through the small village of Ardvasar, which is very close to Armadale. The minor road had many ups and downs, as it wound its way  for 3.5 miles down to the dispersed settlement of Aird.  The road remained quite high on the coastline which gave good views down the Sound of Sleat towards Ardnamurchan. At the end of the public road I went through a farm gate and onto a very rough track which continued for a further 2.5 miles down to the Point of Sleat. The track also had a number of steep up and downs. I was passed by a couple of land rovers, probably from the 4 or 5 houses that are located at the end of the track. To get to the Point I had to dump the bike and proceed along a rocky footpath, which then split off from a path to Camas Daraich and proceeded to the Point. I looked down onto the Point of Sleat but did not continue onto the small lighthouse as I was conscious I had to retrace my steps, with the aid of the bike back to Armadale and then continue with the walk proper.

On the track to Point of Sleat with Eigg in the background
The beach at Camas Daraich
The Point of Sleat

I cycled back, where I could, to Armadale and secured the bike to a post. I then proceeded on foot back up the A851 as far as the minor road to Achnacloich. I followed the road which rose steeply to about 190m, which afforded a brilliant views towards the Cuillin range. Shortly after the bealach the road began to descend past the lovely Loch Dhughaill down to the small settlement at Achnacloich. There is a nice  small beach here and I could see a number of sea kayakers on the water. Half a mile up the road I passed through the much larger village of Tarskavaig and continued on past Loch Ghabhsgabhaig down to the beach at Torkavaig. The beach here was much larger with , what appeared to be dwarf Silver Birch trees facing onto the beach. A nice touch was  a gazebo with food and drink set out  with  a honesty box. The road rose again quite steeply before descending steeply into another small settlement called Ord. Here the road headed inland back towards the A851, however, I headed off north towards a small hill called Sgiath-bheinn an Uird.

Looking back towards the Sound of Sleat from the minor road to Achnacloich
Looking towards the Cuillins at Achnacloich
Looking towards The Cuillins from Tarskavaig
Looking towards the Cuillins from the beach at Ord

At 294m, Sgiath-bheinn an Uird is not a very high hill, but what makes it unique is that it entirely composed of a pure white Quartzite. I don’t think I have ever walked on such a ‘Whiter’ hill, even chalk. In fact the blazing sun made the colour even stronger. NB: On my photos the rock only appears as a dirty grey, but it was white! The area is quite complicated geologically, especially as it sits very close to the Southern part of the Moine Thrust and within a geologic inlier. The brilliant white rocks that make up Sgiath-bheinn an Uird are the basal quartzites from the Lower Cambrian. The walking on the hill is very good with a lot of rock outcrops making for very easy walking. Just a few kilometres to the east is the slightly higher Marilyn of Sgorach Breac, a much older  hill composed of reddish pink sandstone from the Torridonian Applecross formation. From the summit I could see my next target, the small settlement of Drumfearna. I set off keeping to the higher ground and avoiding any bracken. In Drumfearna I joined a public road and continued along it until I was back on the A851.  Almost  certainly the highlight of this walk was the small but distinctive hill of Sgiath-bheinn an Uird

On Sgiath-bheinn an Uird looking south to Rum
Looking east towards the Marilyn of Sgorach Breac from Sgiath-bheinn an Uird
Looking towards Drumfearn from Sgiath-bheinn an Uird with Ben Aslak in the distance

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=24166

Distance today = 20 miles
Total distance = 3,867 miles

 

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