KYLE OF LOCHALSH TO KYLERHEA
FRIDAY 20TH MARCH 2015
9.5 MILES, 7 HOURS
MORRIS, PHIL AND BILL
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 1300 MILES
Three days walking was planned for this trip to fill in the gap between Kyle of Lochalsh ( end of Day 91 ) and Armadale, Skye where we would cross by ferry to Malaig ( start of Day 85 ) . We had been unable to find accommodation when we intended doing it in May 2014. We set off at 0600 for the long drive north travelling via Stirling to Fort William where we had a breakfast stop before continuing on to Kyle of Lochalsh. It was dull and overcast when we set off from near the Lifeboat Station walking on the roadside footpath to the Skye Bridge. On crossing the bridge we walked through Kyleakin passed the pier to the ruins of the 15th century Castle Moil. From here we turned south making our way across very difficult deep rutted boggy ground to the sea at Loch Na Beiste. We were disappointed to find the sea edge offered no relief and underfoot conditions were either slippery seaweed or large rocks. Our walk along the north side of the loch didn’t get any easier and on a few occasions we were forced to scramble up steep rock faces to make progress. Apart from one or two short gravel patches the walk along the first two miles on the south side was equally slow and testing and we were forced to abandon the sea edge when we were confronted with a steep rock face which was being lapped by the incoming tide. The forecast rain had come on and we quickly donned waterproofs. The only way we could continue was to climb the extremely steep overgrown hillside above us.We decided to head for an electricity pylon some 200 feet above us in the hope there might be some sort of track to the next pylon a further quarter mile away.The climb proved extremely difficult and tiring particularly in the wet and required many recovery stops.Disappointingly there was no path of any sort to the next pylon. Looking out to sea from the hillside the wreck of the WW2 minesweeper Port Napier ( which caught fire and sunk when some of the mines it was carrying exploded) was visible sticking out of the water. On reaching the east shoulder of the hill near Inbhir Ghualann although flatter conditions did not improve as we found ourselves struggling through marshy land strewn with old felled trees and huge potholes. Eventually and much to our relief we found a path through the pine forest passed the Otter Haven to the car park at Kylerhea and the welcome end to a very strenuous days walk.
Summary; In terms of difficulty and fatigue no doubt one of the most challenging walks so far Felt like all the worst walking hazards were laid out in this one walk The rain made the underfoot conditions even more difficult. Definitely not for the unfit or faint hearted.
Highs; Walking over the amazing Skye Bridge. Getting to the finish.
Lows; The very difficult underfoot conditions and the rain.
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