Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Walk 161

Barnluasgan to Ardfern 26.5miles

Last night I was in a lot of pain from my right knee, and I thought that I might have to go home and give up this week of walking, however when I awoke on Sunday morning the fluid lump had disappeared and though it was sore my knee was fine, Phew!

The walk began with a 5 mile walk along the bank of Caol Scotnish with forest on my right and Loch on my left, this eventually led to Tayvallich which is a pretty little village that at least has a pub that is open!  At Tayvallich I turned right towards Carsaig and an even prettier bay unfortunately due to the appalling weather there seemed little or no point taking a photo, this sadly was to become a theme for the whole 8 days :(

After Carsaig the road turns to track and takes you up and up into a forest, this is a designated cycle route and so I decided to follow the signs.......BIG mistake the path I took was completely wrong and I ended up more or less where I had started 4 hours before!!! I have vowed now to buy a GPS as this scenario could be dangerous if I'm lost on a mountain somewhere and the weather closes in!!

So I eventually I made it to where I should have been many hours before crossing the Crinan Canal. After crossing the canal I picked up the road to Kilmartin where I popped into the the local pub for some liquid refreshment and the owner asked what I was up to, so I told him I was walking to Ardfern, he then suggested the best route was the "old drovers road" and he showed me on the map, however as I pointed out this route shows on the map ending in a forest over yonder! "No" he said you can get though the last mile and a half just by following your nose.......somehow I don't think so! I continued along a fairly busy road  eventually arriving at the point where the guy in the pub said I would come out if I followed the path he suggested, I had made the right decision! as there was obviously no easy way through which is why on the map the track finishes 11/2 before the road, I was so relived especially after the day I'd had.
The main road took me around the top of Loch Craignish and I turned left onto the B8002 to Ardfern where today's walk finished.

Accommodation: The Galley of Lorne. Ardfern.  A really nice pub/hotel, the room was very nice but bizarrely it didn't have a window!  The food was fantastic as they've gone a little up market. £45.50 B&B
Loch Craignish

Walk 160

Achahoish to Barnluasgan 21Miles

Its Saturday so I'm having to use taxis to get to and from my start/finish point as the buses in these parts are pretty non existent on a weekend!

The start of the walk takes me up and around the top of Loch Caolisport and eventually dropping down along the opposite bank of the Loch at Ellary, here I had to leave the road walking for a while and moved onto farm track which was a little easier on the feet.  There is a large estate at Ellary with a big house to compliment the estate, and a very big hill to climb! I hadn't seen one this big for quite a while and it took me 2 attempts to get to the top as I had to stop halfway up to catch my breath or as I like to think in my mind "admire the view"!  Once over the top it was pretty plain sailing all the way to Kilmory which is a nice Hamlet complete with chapel ruin.  I now picked up the Island of Danna on my left and also Loch Sween this lead onto Castle Sween. So its now time for a Rant......At Castle Sween ( which is very picturesque sitting on the bank of its own Loch) some idiot has decided to put a static caravan park in the grounds of the castle! what a bloody peasant! really they could have put it anywhere but right next to a National Monument, who is this planner that let this happen? take him outside and have him shot I say!!!

The rest of the walk up to Barnlusgan was through a lot of forest via Achnamara and Strone eventually arriving at my taxi pick up point at the forestry commission office 1/2 hour ahead of schedule, however once I had stopped my right knee really started to hurt and there was a large amount of fluid in a lump just below the kneecap and I thought uh oh this is not good.

Accommodation: The Stag Hotel Lochgilphead. Just recently refurbished so everything was very new and comfortable, however the noise from the street was unbelievable with the local youths keeping me awake well into the small hours using the main street as a race track, so if you want a good nights sleep best to avoid this one! £36.00 B&B

Walk 159

Tarbert to Achahoish 24miles

Finally after a 3 hour coach journey from Glasgow I arrived at my start point in Tarbert. The mist/drizzle was falling fast (Mizzle!) as I strode purposely up the hill out of Tarbert,  I say "purposely" as this is my first day of a 8 day walking holiday, and that's how they all start at the beginning!
I turned right onto the B8024 and thankfully even though today (and what seems most of my 8 days) is road walking the road I am walking along is only single track with passing places for drivers, so no need to worry about "boy racers" on this little road.

Point of Knap

The road follows the north bank of Loch Tarbert through many small hamlets like Torinturk and Avinagillan, eventually the road veers right towards Kilberry which looks as though its the biggest settlement on this road today and it actually has a pub....even though its closed for the winter but today it re opens Hooray.....at 6.30pm Boooo!, So I perch myself on the grit bin outside of the pub to eat my lunch in the hope they may take pity on me, but they don't!  Kilberry has its own castle but I "pass" as its another mile on today's long journey.  The journey eventually runs along Loch Caolisport where I can see where I will be walking tomorrow on the Point of Knap, this leads nicely to the school at Achahoish where I finish for the day and wait in the cold for my bus to Ardisaig.

Accommodation: The Argyll Hotel, Ardisaig.  Very nice and comfortable, the bed even had an electric blanket which had already been switched on! £30.00 B&B