I had committed a schoolboy error in preparing for the longest walk of my 3 day trip to Ullapool…. by not checking for bus services along the southern shore of Loch Broom. I only discovered there was a bus service when one passed me! It took a while to calm down at my own stupidity. Anyway, there was no getting away from the fact that I would have to do an out and back, involving an additional 3 miles and some stiff climbing, to get to the start of the walk.
I split todays walk into three sections – firstly, an out and back from Loggie up to the Bealach below Beinn nam Ban, Secondly, the minor road along the southern shore of Loch Broom and thirdly, the A835 along the northern shore of Loch Broom.
I drove to and parked in the walkers car park at Inverlael alongside the A835. I then cycled down the A835 a short distance before turning off along a road running along the southern shore of Loch Broom to the end of the public road at Loggie. Although a footpath is marked on the OS map, on the ground there was little evidence of it. I then had two miles of switching between a rocky and very slippy shoreline and climbing around small rock bluffs and vegetation. I emerged eventually at a small salmon farm which had a bulldozer track snaking up the steep hillside to the public road at the bealach below Beinn nam Ban. I was happy to turn around and descend back to the shoreline of Loch Broom. At this point Ullapool is only a very short distance across the loch and looks enticingly close.
I arrived back at the bike and started pushing it back along the minor through a series of small hamlets – Rhiroy, Ardindrean, Letters and Clachan. It was along this road I came across the 813A bus service from Ullapool….Grrrr! Still, the road walk was quite pleasant, with the sun now out of cloud. I made good time back to the car park at Inverlael. I was not looking forward to the next section which involved walking along the busy A835. However, I had to first drive to Ullapool to chain my bike to a railing near the Harbour, I did not fancy pushing my bike along the busy road. I then drove back to the car park at Inverlael.
I set off down the A835 with the sun disappearing behind an increasingly cloudy sky. The road section back to Ullapool was basically a series of long straights with some occasional bends. It was a high-speed road and I therefore had to be careful. Thankfully, the verges were quite wide and I was able to switch sides of the road depending on the traffic direction. It was not a particularly enjoyable walk compared to the early morning section. I was glad to see Ullapool again and located my bike. The cycle back to the car, was tough, even though the road was quite flat. A tough day, but glad to have reached Ullapool and probably the last of the ‘larger’ towns until I reach Thurso.
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 = 21 miles
Total distance = 4,614 miles