Sunday, 7 June 2009

Day 64 Sunday - Gleann Mor to Oykel Bridge

Walking 6.40am to 3.45pm
Distance walked today 16 miles
Total distance walked 955 miles
Distance left 105 miles

I slept well on my side of the river, although last night a herd of long haired, long horned cattle appeared on the other side. I checked the map to see where the nearest bridge was! I woke early this morning to the sound of them clearing their throats.

Camp at Abhainn a`Ghlinne Mhoir

After last evening's rain, this morning was lovely and sunny. It was easy enough continuing along Gleann Mor. After four miles, I reached Alladale River and, after going over a couple of bridges, I turned right alongside the river. The map shows a path from the back of Alladale Lodge to Croick but I'm not sure if it is passable - there were 4x4s going to and from it and it looked a bit private. Anyway, my intended, albeit longer, route was the way I went.

Bridge at Alladale Lodge

The way along the south and then east of Amat Forest was easy and on a hard unmade surface, although it became tarmaced. The forest to the left was attractive and I caught sight of one or two deer.

The road to Croick

At The Craigs, I turned left in the direction of Croick. I'd got marked on my map Croick churchyard as a possible wild camp and with water obtained in advance (maybe from the river near Alladale Lodge), it would be OK, not that I needed it today.

Passing through Croick, I went on to where I expected to find the path to Oykel Bridge at NH397961 but there was just unbroken deer fence. I went on a bit and found a gate but it was locked and no sign of a path on the other side.

Information I had with me from the Scottish Hill Tracks book gave me another alternative. I went back to NH407958 where there was a way through apparently. This took me to a gate across the track I'd just been down but no sign of a way towards Oykel Bridge.

What I did from this point was just take a compass bearing and, using a GPS as well, headed towards Oykel Bridge, thrashing through heather and going through young tree plantations, uphill north west for the first mile or so. Once I was about half way, I took yet another compass bearing and, turning in that direction, espied a stile over a deer fence. That meant I was on course and it was then a long downhill, mainly not on a path, to Amat and then Oykel Bridge. Whew.

Oykel Bridge

I'm not sure if there is a proper path all the way here or not. I was pleased in the end to have got through and just trusted the compass - the GPS was invaluable as well, enabling me to check my position frequently.

My support picked me up as arranged and I'll be dropped back at Oykel Bridge tomorrow morning to walk to Lairg.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Geoff - Just catching up with you after being away fro a long weekend with Lord Elpus. Seems to me like you are going along really well.

    Enjoying it?

    It's great that Amanda is up there to support you magnificent efforts.