Sunday, 29 June 2014

Walk 175

Kishorn to Applecross 14miles

Its only been 3 weeks since my last walk and today's hike up the Bealach Na Ba is one I've been looking forward too for a very long time.  I started the day bright and early in Inverness with a train journey to Strathcarron where I hoped there would be a bus waiting to pick me up to take me on my final leg to Kishorn, the bus was there! hooray for public transport!!!  Bryn the bus driver had to stop in Locharron to pick up someones sausages from the butchers, bus driver and delivery boy all rolled into one.  Soon enough I was standing on the roadside in Kishorn looking up at today's "monster" climb over the Bealach, I wound my way around the small A896 towards Tornapress where I turned right and was immediately faced with a nice warning sign telling me I could go around the hill if I wanted too but as it was 23deg warm and sunny I decided to ignore it!  The first part of the climb was relatively easy and gently climbed to 600ft this soon ended as I turned the first sharp corner and things started to get steep, I was passed by a few cyclists who informed me as they struggled up the hill that I would probably catch them up in a while, needless to say I didn't!

1000 Ft View

I had to stop and admire the views a lot and I felt sorry for the car drivers who passed me and wasn't able to stop on this road and look at what I could see. Not long after 1500ft the tough part of the climb came with the hairpin bends all the way to the summit.

All to soon I was at the top and according to my GPS the summit was in fact 2083ft but who knows, I certainly wasn't going to get my measuring tape out!!!!

The journey down into Applecross wasn't as nice as the climb but you do get some great views across the bays to Skye and beyond.  I had to admire the skill and nerve of the cyclists as they tackled the downhill stretch, they were going at some speed.

Accommodation: Applecross Youth Hostel.  This hostel is located just outside Applecross at Hartfield, the accommodation has just been built and it was a great nights stay at £25.00 for my own room, there is a restaurant just around the corner that does fantastic veggie breakfasts

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Walk 174

Locharron to Kishorn 11miles

I really enjoy these short walks at the end of my week away and this was no exception! A small quiet road took me out of Locharron towards Strome Castle, there is not much left of this castle now but its in a lovely setting.
Strome Castle
The road then took me down to Ardaneaskan which is right at the end of a peninsula but still has 2 bed and breakfasts! I  picked up a track taking me through a forest to Loch Reraig, this track then heads back on yourself and I started to wonder if I was going the right way but soon there was a sign and all was right with the world! The track was great and several cairns kept me on the right route, I headed onwards and upwards eventually topping out at a measly 624ft.
The views to Ardarroch are stunning and I could just see in the distance the road that goes over the mountain to Applecross but that's for another day......

Walk 173

Nostie to Locharron 29miles

Today was all road walking and I started off along the busy A87 fortunatley this only lasted for 6 miles but the views of Skye were great and the Skye bridge was very impressive.
Skye Bridge
I stopped in Kyle of Lochalsh to pick up some supplies and take a pic of where the railway ends, I wouldn't want to overshoot this station!
The End of the Line!!
I headed north from Kyle on a very quiet road passing through Creag-Dhubh, Drumbuie and Diurinis before arriving in Plockton complete with palm trees! I took a track that runs parallel with the railway but is not marked on the map, this in turn led me to Duncraig Castle but sadly its covered in scaffolding as its undergoing a major restoration.  I was now on the south bank of Loch Carron and the road wound its way through forest passing by Stromeferry(no Ferry) where there is a fantastic viewing platform in order to take photos of the Loch and surrounding scenery.
Loch Carron
Looking at this photo now and its hard to believe that less than an hour later the low cloud and rain came and you couldn't see more than a hundred yards in front of you!

So once the rain arrived I trudged onwards to Strathcarron where I stopped at the Hotel for a Cuppa in the hope the rain would hold off for a while, and for once I was lucky! I walked along the causeway at the bottom of the Loch and a sharp left took me along the road to my hotel for the night.

Accommodation: Locharron Hotel. Nice, but the single room they gave me is right next to the entrance, so it was very noisy and I didn't sleep too well. £39.50 BnB