THURSDAY 12TH MAY, 2011
PORTNANCON TO BALNAKEIL – 18 MILES 8.5 HOURS
MORRIS, DEREK, KEITH, GARRY, JAMES, PHIL, ALAN, AND STEWART
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 806 MILES
Our accommodation in Durness, the Smoo Cave Hotel and Morven B&B, were both excellent. After a sociable night and an excellent full breakfast we dropped a car at Balnakeil and travelled in the minibus back to Portnancon. It was a bit dull and overcast with rain threatening when we set off making our way along the loch edge passed Port Chamuill and the promontory at Eilean Dubh . Underfoot conditions were not ideal with large pebbles making walking difficult at parts. Passing the fish farm at Loch Sian we made our way round Rubha Ruadh where we spotted a family of sea otters feeding and playing at the sea edge. We felt privileged to spend twenty minutes watching the antics of the mother and her two pups. Walking on along the craggy sea edge we made our way to the lovely hamlet of Rispond where the rain started and waterproofs were quickly donned. From Rispond we made our way down onto the amazing sands at Traigh Allt Chailgeag by which time the rain had gone off. Exit from this beach required a scramble up a gap in the encircling cliffs. Continuing along the cliff tops we passed another lovely beach at Sangobeg before making our way round cliff tops to Pocan Smoo. We made our way inland and down to Smoo Cave where we stopped for a tea break and Alan and James took the opportunity to join the cave tour. Leaving Smoo Cave we made our way round Leirinbeg (site of a WW2 Military Radar Station) to Sango Bay then walked thru the caravan park from where we followed a well walked path to Aodann Mhor. Following another well used path we made our way over the sand dunes, up the east side of Faraid Head to the MOD bombardment range control centre. The weather was beautiful and we had clear views to the lighthouse at Cape Wrath. The walk down the west side of Faraid Head over the sand dunes on to the amazing sands of Balnakeil Bay in the sunshine was beautiful and the paddle in the ice cold sea a relief to hot aching feet. Our days walk finished at the car park at Balnakeil Church.
Summary; Another fantastic days walking with some amazing beaches and scenery. A mixture of underfoot conditions mostly grass and good.
Highs; The otters and the amazing beaches.
Lows; Only the odd showers of rain.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
ROUTE MAP – CLICK TO ENLARGE