After finally sorting my garage roof out, it was time to do some more Scottish coast walking. I had planned to do three days of walking, but in the end managed to combine my first days walk with the planned second into one long walk. I was also looking forward to trying out my new, much better camera, on the Scottish landscapes.
I set off from Shropshire in the early evening hoping to reach Fort William before pulling over and getting some sleep. I have found driving during the daylight hours and early evening until about midnight, then sleeping for 5 hours, gives me much better sleep. I still had 104 miles to go which I would quite easily do if I set off about 5:30 the following morning.
I drove and parked in Elgol and then set off on the 18 mile bike ride around to the A851 near Drumfearn. I hid the bike behind a mossy knoll and set off across a trackless boggy moor. I had opted to wear my ‘leaky’ boots, as I wanted to keep my good boots dry for tomorrows walk. Within 10 minutes my feet were wet! The good thing about wet feet is that your feet cannot get wetter! So when I came to Abhainn Ceann Loch Eiseoirt, which feeds into Loch Eishort, I simply walked across. The tide was well out so I was able to keep close to the shoreline and I made good progress over the kelp-covered rocks.
In less than an hour I reached the small hamlet of Heasta, situated at the end of a 5 mile road from Broadford. I continued past the few houses just as it started to rain. I managed to pick up an old ATV track, which I followed for a while, until it disappeared in a different direction to one I was going. I continued over the trackless open moor until I could look down on the ancient township of Boreraig. Boreraig was forcibly cleared by the agents of Lord MacDonald to make way for sheep in 1853. There were 22 households here, scattered about the low-lying land and but now covered in bracken.
I managed to pick up the good footpath that draws many walkers to do a large circular walk linking Kilbride, Suisnish and Boreraig. The path runs blow the length of the impressive cliffs and crags of Creag an Daraich. As I walked along the path I noticed some movement on the shoreline rocks. It was an Otter. I quickly got my camera out and used the telephoto lens to get a remarkable close-up of the Otter. I tried getting closer, but it retired into the water and it was difficult to get any other shots. With my old camera it would have been impossible to get a decent photo.
I soon arrived at Suisnish, another village that suffered the same fate, at the same time as Boreraig. I picked up a good track which led me towards Torrin. As I admired the amazing views across to Bla Bheinn I noticed the underlying geology had changed and I was now walking over grey and white Limestone, or to be more precise the metamorphosed version of it – Marble. I had now left Loch Eishort and was heading towards the head of Loch Slapin, passing through the small scattered village of Torrin where I noted a small quarry, famous for its Torrin Marble.
I continued around Loch Slapin along the B8083, until I came to a turning for Drinan, which had a minor road running towards it. The road ran out and I continued along a good track, which eventually merged into another road which ran towards the small hamlet of Glasnakille. Another minor road led up the hill and continued for 2.5 miles towards my end point at Elgol. Elgol is the main village of the area and sits at the end of the Strathaird Peninsula. There were wonderful views to be had from its top car park out to the Small Isles and across Loch Scavaig towards The Black Cuillin.
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 = 24 miles
Total distance = 3,932 miles