Saturday, 6 June 2009

Day 62 Friday - Loch Cul to Aultguish

Walking 7.00am to 3.30pm
Distance walked today 14 miles (including 2 unplanned)
Total distance walked 927
Distance left 133 miles

It was eerily quiet this morning. I'm used to a dawn chorus but here, next to the loch in open moorland, there are no trees and so, very few birds.

I rejoined yesterday's path. I'd been some two hundred yards off it and totally hidden from passers by (although I doubt there were any). The path was fairly well defined for the first mile and a half. The wind became quite chilly.

About half a mile from Loch Luichart, the path just totally disappeared in a mass of ferns and then there was a deer fence. After flailing around a bit, I caught sight of a ladder stile over the fence so thrashed my way over to it. There was no sign of a path to it. Once over it, there was no track to continue towards the loch. With a few false starts here and there, I eventually arrived at the loch side; the main thing was to avoid deer fences and just keep going downhill.

There were few traces of path to follow around the loch. Heading west, I made for the head of the loch and at last saw the railway bridge which was my way over the river. I walked along the railway track to the station and then along the A832 to Corriemoillie.

I'd planned to shave a couple of miles off by taking the track at NH358636 to meet the path at NH380651 but found a locked deer gate with a "no unauthorised access" notice. It was rickety and may not have borne my weight. Should I have gone through it? As it was, I went on down the road to Gorstan to look for the drove road to Aultguish.



It went into a felled forest and, as this part of it wasn't shown on the map, I couldn't find it at all. Therefore, I took the lane up to the A835 and so went the long way round to pick up the drove road.

This road took me a couple of miles through largely felled forest up to open moorland. Here, the weather took a turn for the worse. I saw the rain clouds heading my way and the wind and rain came and it really got cold. I had full waterproofs with me but stuck with my windshirt and Lycra shorts and just cracked on to the Aultguish Inn, arriving quite cold and, Amanda having booked a room there, I fell into a really hot bath which made me realise how much I'd lacerated my legs in the undergrowth this morning. It was very painful and it was about ten minutes before I was able to fully submerge my legs! The tap water here is peaty - it was like having a bath in Bisto, but it was good.

Had a super meal - casserole of oxtail & mash followed by marmalade bread & butter pudding. The beer was An Teallach (not sure of the brewery) - very nice.

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