This was to be a three-day trip in which I hoped to get to Red Point and to take advantage of some unseasonably warm and mild weather. I tried in vain to locate some reasonable and affordable accommodation in the Torridon area but had no joy. I decided therefore to make use of the free campsite situated next to SYHA in Torridon. Although the campsite has public toilets next to it, it is prone to water logging and some ferocious winds – as I found out over the next two nights. It was also very difficult to drive my tent pegs into the very stony ground.
I checked on the availability of public transport, but nothing was available in the direction I was travelling. So I needed to take my bike along which I would need on at least a couple of days of this trip.
I drove up the day before and called in at Aldi in Inverness to get some last-minute provisions. I made it to Kinlochewe and decided to sleep in the back of the car for the night, at the Incheril car park. It was a very quiet location and I was not disturbed at all in the night. I set my alarm for 06:00 the following morning. The next day I was in no rush as I still had 1.5 hours before it got light and I could do any walking. The drive down Glen Torridon was especially beautiful with the Alpenglow falling on Beinn Eighe and Liathach. I parked in the campsite, which was empty, and found a reasonably dry spot to put my tent up. By this time it was light enough to start walking and I set off down the A896 pushing my bicycle. As usual a couple of people kindly stopped and enquired if I had a puncture. Unfortunately, for me, they were not heading in my direction, so I could not cadge a lift. There was little or no traffic on the road and I made excellent progress. I bypassed the village centre of Shieldaig as I would walk through the centre on my return.
A mile out of Shieldaig I turned off the A896 down the Applecross road which was opened as recently as 1970. After numerous up and downs while also enjoying the views across Loch Torridon to Diabaig and Inveralligin. I arrived at the small hamlet of Ardheslaig, here I turned around and began the cycle back to Torridon. When I reached the turn-off for Shieldaig I got off my bike and walked along the small loop road through the village with its impeccably neat and tidy white-washed cottages. I noticed the vivid autumnal colours reflecting off Loch Shieldaig. I passed a small Carronade gun which had an interesting story attached to it. Apparently, back in the early 1800’s a local man fell out with the Minister for failing to observe the sabbath. One Sunday while sailing past Shieldaig island, the local man gun set off the gun to annoy the Minister, unfortunately the gun misfired and blew off the man’s arm – divine intervention or just something somebody had made up?
I rejoined the main road and continued cycling. The late afternoon sunshine with the views across Upper Loch Torridon of Beinn Alligin and Liathach were outstanding. I arrived back at the campsite in Torridon village and decided to continue on up the road towards Inveralligin. I still had a few hours of daylight left and I decided to make best use of it. I continued along the road pushing my bike, the road climbed quite steeply and I soon arrived at the walkers car park near to Inveralligin. The car park is used by many as a base for most ascents of the Munro Beinn Alligin. At this point I decided to head back to Torridon on my bike. It was already beginning to get dark.
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 = 16 miles
Total distance = 4,435 mile