Two tough days of walking had made me rather apprehensive about completing a third day of even longer length, especially with high temperatures forecast. I had intended to walk all the way around the Stoer Peninsular but decided to leave this section of the walk to my next trip up north and so decided to terminate the walk at Stoer village.
There is a bus service that runs from Drumbeg, a small hamlet on a narrow road to Kylesku to Ullapool via Lochinver – the #809 service run by George Rapson. However, you must pay very close attention to the timetable, particularly around school holidays and where you want to be picked up. None of this vital information is mentioned on the Scotland Traveline site, which I actually got from the bus shelter in Lochinver the previous day. I had requested that I be picked up at Clashnessie, but as I was now cutting my walk short, this would mean an extra mile of road walking. Fortunately, as I drove very early through Stoer towards Clashnessie I saw the #809 bus parked up at the village hall, so I parked there and waited for the bis driver to appear. It would save him driving a few extra miles there and back to Clashnessie and save me a mile of road walking. The driver appeared at 7:00 and we set off towards Lochinver, picking a few passengers up on the way, including another backpacker who had a very compact bicycle folded up into the size of a briefcase!
At Lochinver I got off the bus and started walking out of the village, after half a mile I realised that I had left my walking stick at a park bench shortly after leaving the bus, I contemplated leaving the stick but decided to retrace my steps and pick it up…………..grrrrrrr!
Take two and I set off again walking out of the village. I was heading for the small hamlet of Baddidarach on the opposite side of the loch. Here I would pick up a footpath which would take me to Ardroe and thence the road out to Achmelvich. The footpath was well trodden and of excellent construction. With the sun at my back and a gentle breeze, it was lovely to be out walking in the North West of Scotland. Looking at the terrain either side of the footpath, it was not difficult to imagine that without a path, this type of terrain would be extremely challenging to get around. I arrived at the few houses that make up Ardroe and continued along a rough road, which lead onto a narrow tarmac road.
I soon arrived at the shoreline hamlet of Achmelvich, where a large-scale build of wooden chalets/pods/yurts was underway to add to the existing static caravans and youth hostel, it seemed a very popular place. I crossed over the small beautiful white sanded beach heading up a rough track and picked up the footpath that would take me back onto the road. The footpath was another well-trodden path and very enjoyable to walk along. I passed by a few isolated holiday homes at Alltan a’bradhan and up a small ravine where I emerged onto the B868. The road was busy with a steady stream of traffic, particularly motorbikes, completing I would imagine the NC 500. I stayed on the road through the village of Clachtoll and then onto Stoer village hall where I had parked my car.
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 = 10 miles
Total distance = 4,764 miles