231. Skye: Stein to Skye: Hinnisdal Bridge

I had set my base up at the Camp and Caravanning Clubs site near Edinbane on the shores of Loch Greshornish. My newly purchased tent turned out to be a great success with lots of space and my sleeping compartment having space for a large blow-up mattress. I also had room to sit down on a chair in the vestibule and read. However, one of the annoying things about the site was the locking of the front gate between 23:00 – 07:00, which is a pain for trying to get away early – although you could park outside of the gates.

This day would be quite similar to yesterdays, beginning with some off-road walking and then a long stretch of road walking. I drove around to a road junction on the A87 about half a mile south of the village of Kensaleyre – a small village at the head of Loch Snizort Beag and dropped my bike off. I then drove around to Stein on Waternish where I parked the car.

I set off up the track I had walked along yesterday, turning off after 1km following another forest track that climbed up onto the open moor. I was heading for a ridge of low-lying hills of just under 300m in height. I left the track and proceeded over trackless terrain. The going was not that bad. I reached the first hill of Beinn Charnach Mhor, continuing onto Beinn Bheag Gheal and then onto Beinn Sgumain. The drop between the hills was negligible. I was heading for a small loch called Loch Vorvin and the nearby Dun an’ Larla. From Dun an’Larla I could quite easily look down onto the forest where I intended to head  next and the fire-break I needed to pick up. I could have proceeded over the Marilyn Beinn Chreagach, but I was not that  bothered about bagging it. I headed for the fire-break over increasingly rougher ground.

It was with some relief that I reached the forest road, which required me to negotiate a quarry that had been used to upgrade and dress the forest roads. The forest track took me down to the A850.

Setting off down a forest track
Heading up Beinn Charnach Mhor
Looking across Loch Snizort to Uig
Heading towards Beinn Bheag Gheal
Approaching Dun an’ Larla
Looking back along the low-lying ridge
Heading down towards the fire-break with Loch Greshornish in the distance
Quarry at the end of the forest road.

The rest of the route would be along the A850 and A87 roads, both quite busy. I began the long plod along the road passing through Edinbane and around Loch Greshornish. As my route passed-by the camp site I was at, I called in at my tent, got some food on and had a brew – it was a great respite from the boring road trudge. I set off refreshed along the A850 heading through Bernisdale and Skeabost where I turned off up the B8036. This road took me to the A87 and the junction where I had left my bike. It was decision time. I could simply call it a day here by cycling back to the car OR I could continue on foot up the A87 and get a bus back to this junction and then cycle back to the car. An idea had been growing in my head that I could possibly turn my 5 days of walking into 4. However,  I needed to put in additional miles on todays walk to do this. I left the bike and set off down the A87.

There was a good verge alongside the A87 for most of the walk north, just as well really as the road was very busy and the vehicles were travelling very fast. I was now on Trotternish, my final Skye peninsular. Although most of the views was across back to Waternish, I caught glimpses of the Trotternish ridge which appeared less dramatic on its western side than the cliffs and crags of its eastern side. I reached the Hinnisdal River and decided to call it a day. There was a bus stop here and I waited for the next 57A service back to the B8036 junction and my bike.

Looking north towards Trotternish across loch Greshornish. The campsite can be seen across the loch
Remnants of the old bridge across the River Hinnisdal

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=24281

Distance today =  26 miles
Total distance =  4,140 miles

 

 

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