The fine weather over most of the UK meant I could get three good walking days in the NW of Scotland. My objective over the three days was to reach Ullapool, a destination I had originally intended to reach by Christmas of last year.
I set off from Shropshire the day before in glorious sunshine and a new hottest Winter temperature of 20 deg C (with an even higher temp 21.2 deg c the following day). I drove to and parked in the large observation point car park near the Corrieshalloch Gorge. With little or no public transport in the area I had to make use of my bicycle, with the cycling direction governed by the severity of the road inclines.
I parked at the road end at Badcaul and set off on my bike, making good time down the predominantly downhill section of the A832. At the turn off for Badrallach I jumped off my bike and started pushing it. Although I was on level ground at first the road climbed steeply to about 230m, at the bealach below Beinn nam Ban. This road is actually a cul-de-sac and ends 3 miles down the road at Badrallach, where a well constructed footpath continues on along Little Loch Broom to the isolated community of Scoraig, where I would be heading the following day.
Although it was quite grey and overcast, with cloud lingering on Sail Mhor and An Teallach, it was dry and remarkably warm for this time of year. At a small car pull near the highest point of the road I got on and my bike and enjoyed a virtually a free-wheel back down to the A832, where I chained my bike to a fence and continued walking onto Badcaul. I soon came across my first flock of feral goats. The goats have been in the area for some time and I first saw them on An Teallach back in 2002. They seem to be doing well, with a number of recently born kids joining the flock. It’s difficult to say what future lies in store for these animals, given that they are regarded as a ‘pest’ by some Estates. Hopefully they will retreat to the hills for the Summer and not be bothered. I passed the Dundonnell Hotel which was closed for another two weeks, I remember staying there some years back.
It was becoming very warm, as the lingering cloud began to lift. Although a busy road in the summer, today the A832 only had the occasional vehicle on it.The road climbed gently and I soon came upon the second flock of feral goats. This time they were sprawled out across the road causing the traffic to stop. I arrived back at the car, with the sun now showing itself. I then set off for Ullapool and my Airbnb room for the next two nights.
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 = 12 miles
Total distance = 4,576 miles