I was pleased that today I would finally have some off-road walking to do and that I would not be cycling or pushing my bike! To enable to happen I had to first drive and park my car at Poolewe and then catch the o8:05 Westerbus back to Gairloch. Bob (the guy running the AirBnB) had offered to assist me in completing the section to Poolewe by waiting for the bus to arrive and then giving me a lift out to Rubha Reidh. I had already ruled out doing the whole of this peninsula in one go because of the available daylight hours. I set off from the visitor car park at Rubha Reidh, walking eastwards, not wishing to lose too much height as I headed for a footpath that ran along the cliff-tops.
After meeting up with the footpath, I could to see the amazing coastline features this part of the peninsula had to offer. What was also amazing was the early morning views north into Assynt. Although I had views of Assynt from northern Skye, I was now able to easily identify the iconic mountains of Sutherland and the Fisherfield Forest. The early morning light gave them all an amber glow that defined their colour and relief. The footpath hugged the cliff top and required care in certain places. The northern part of the peninsula I was on had high moorland to the west and a low-lying side to the east, full of small lochs. I began to lose height above Camas Mor, an isolated sandy beach that is quite popular and a major reason walkers make the trek out here.
As I arrived at the old ruins of Camustrolvaig, I found Ivor’s bothy, set into the hillside and not easy to see from the approach I made. I don’t think the bothy is part of the MBA and you can probably see why. To be honest it looks like it might fall down at any minute. The bothy has just a single room and seems to have a tarp for a roof. Although very dark inside, it looked very cosy and dry.
I now headed for the settlement of Cove on the far side of the peninsula on the shores of Loch Ewe. I knew once I got down onto the low-lying area it would be much more difficult navigate, so I headed for a Loch I identified on the map and would continue from there. For such a low-lying and boggy area the underfoot conditions were not bad and I was able to hop between outcrops of slightly firmer higher ground. I navigated between the small lochans and crossed over the Allt Glac nan Cuille. Shortly after, while walking over boggy terrain, I went ar$e over tip as my left boot went into a pothole. I was ok, just landing in grass and getting a muddy knee! Soon afterwards I arrived at the strung-out settlement of Cove above Loch Ewe.
Loch Ewe has some fantastic history, particularly what happened there during the Second World War. Arctic Naval convoys gathered in Loch Ewe before setting off on the treacherous journey to Russia. Reminders of this piece of history are still present around the Loch . The road walk down to Poolewe was quite uneventful but offered some beautiful views into the Fisherfield Forest with dramatic views of Beinn Airigh Charr, Beinn Lair, Beinn a’Chaisgein Mor and A’Mhaighdean. After passing through the hamlets of Cove, Inverasdale, Midtown and Naast I arrived back at the village of Poolewe.
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 = 14 miles
Total distance = 4,499 miles