We headed into the dark wet heart of Knoydart at 10 knots. Bottle-nose dolphins leap and surfed the bow wave. The rain lashed down. Some looked pensive while others dispersed the tension with humorous, if somewhat brittle, banter.
The Old Forge soon put things to right and after a good night’s sleep we were ready to head into the wilds.
The first part of the walk headed up Gleann Meadall and over the col down to lunch at the Sourlies bothy. But before we got there we had to cross the river Carnach and the trackless bog to Eilean Tioram.
Before reaching Sourlies bothy we disturbed two dear deer feeding in the bracken. Martin also met up with a ewe and her two lambs from a previous encounter. The lambs have grown. Lunch was a short damp affair in the fantastic bothy as we gathered our soaked wits together before heading up the Finiskaig River towards Glen Dessary on the other side of the col.
Upper Loch Nevis was like glass and just crying out for a canoe to stroked across it.
Route finding past Lochan a Mhaim slowed us down somewhat and then Clive “fell in”. Or, as he claimed, a self-sacrificing probe of the depths of the bog to show us where not to step. It was at least thigh deep and not even Mr Poppins’ umbrella could save him.
It was a long slog down Glen Dessary and the track through the pine forest at the end seemed without one. There were more wet boots and midges here than in other places and it was a relief to get to the van and bicycles at Strathan.
Due to the nature of cycling and the fact that we had been walking for 10 hours and had 26 miles to cycle to Roy Bridge there are no photographs of the next section. Apparently there are pictures of me falling of my bicycle at the end but those are not published here.
I also ran out of batteries and so there are no other photographs of note. The trip, though, was a most excellent adventure but surely would not be possible without a fantastic support team who cooked food, ferried bikes and kit across Scotland and provided helpful encouragement when the going got even tougher.
I’ll write up a description of days two, three and four shortly.