TUESDAY 20 OCTOBER, 2015
KINTRAW TO ISLANDADD BRIDGE
13.5 MILES 7 HOURS
MORRIS, PHIL AND BILL
DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 1422.5 MILES
After a good evening meal in the ‘Super Trout’ restaurant (at the time share complex at Melfort), a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast we were ready for day two.
This walk had originally been planned for day three on this trip but we decided in view of the wet weather forecast for the days ahead and the much tougher terrain to complete this walk today.
It was dull and overcast when Bill dropped us of at Kintraw and we made our way across a field down to the side of Loch Craignish. We crossed a small river that runs into the sea and looking ahead along the south side of the loch we could see that another difficult, testing day lay ahead. This proved to be very true with almost impossible walking conditions at the sea edge with clump after clump of large rocks with smaller seaweed covered rocks in between. Making progress in the woods proved equally challenging but a visible deer track gave us something to follow although sometimes we had to struggle across deep marshy ground or fight our way through brambles and bracken. We took over two hours to complete this extremely difficult first two miles. Eventually we emerged muddy and bruised at a clearing near Cnocan Dubha and decided to head inland to view the ‘cup and ring’ marked stones indicated on the map. We eventually found a vehicle track near Ormaig and a sign post to the ‘Stones’. Returning to the vehicle track we followed it east for a short distance through the pine forest before leaving the track and heading south through a clearing in an effort to join another forest vehicle track shown on the O.S. map near Creag a Chromain. Such was the disorientation effect of the forest that our G.P.S. proved invaluable in helping us locate the track. We followed this well used vehicle track for half a mile before it joined another track which appeared to run down to the jetty at Port Na Moine. The rain had come on and fearing that conditions at the sea edge might not have improved we decided to keep to the high ground and made our way across open moorland to the high point at Creag a Bahanan. While crossing a particularly wet and boggy stretch we were privileged to see our first beaver in the wild. Unfortunately it was quick to hear and see us and our few seconds viewing ended when in scurried off along a water channel. The views from Creag a Bahanan were amazing and we walked south along the high points to Benan Ardifuir. From here we headed down hill towards the farm at Ardifuir and then to the sea edge before joining a minor road which we followed to Duntrune Castle. The last three miles to Islandadd Bridge is mostly on a minor road with the exception of a short walk from near Crinan Pier across a field to join the B8025.
Summary; We had hoped this walk would be a bit easier than yesterday but it proved more difficult. It’s always disappointing when it’s not possible to walk close to the sea but sometimes a higher route is the only way and the views can be amazing as was the case on this walk. Even in the forests underfoot conditions were extremely soft and difficult. We needed our G.P.S. unit on several occasions to find our position in the forest. Not a walk to be undertaken if you are not fit or sure-footed.
Highs; The views from the high points and seeing a beaver in the wild.
Lows; We could say the very difficult conditions but that’s part of the challenge. The rain towards the end of the walk. The resident of Duntrune Castle who was unhappy at us being on his private land. This is Scotland where we have the right to roam!!!!!!
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