Day 186: Stronchreggan to Kingairloch
Distance: 23.59 miles
Ascent: 3087 feet
Weather: Sunny Spells
Accommodation: Kingairloch House (Kindly COmplimentary)
After having a quick bite with Ed and Becky I was ready for the off and it felt slightly strange saying goodbye and leaving them on the beach. My route today would be following roads all day, albeit mostly quiet ones, so just to keep myself sane I had to break it into three stages. Firstly a single track road for 8 miles to the jetty by the Corran Ferry, then a busier road till the turn off for Kingairloch for about 5 miles, before finally a road that I was presuming would be very quiet and remote for 10 miles to Kingairloch.
This first stage down Loch Linnhe was quiet, scenic and the sun was out but there was nothing particularly of note to write about. I reached the jetty in good time and there were cars disembarking from the slightly strange shaped ferry with its landing ramps being at 45 degrees to the direction of the boat. I did not think I would have anywhere else to fill up water till the end of the day so popped into the pub which was closed and they kindly filled up my water.
Not long later I randomly saw an old sign barely visible in the undergrowth for a shop, I had not expected one down this way so presumed this sign had just not been removed but I took the very slight detour into Clovullin just in case. To my surprise there was a tiny shop and also a little café attached, I stopped for a little break and grabbed a few extra supplies in the shop as well as having a quick breakfast which the owner kindly reduced in price.
The break had been good, but I now had the slog along the more main road. In fact, it was quite quiet and easy to walk but was tedious but after about an hour and a half I reached my turnoff for Kingairloch. The location for this turnoff surrounded by mountains was spectacular.
This road was to become the most amazing road I have been on the walk so far (barring maybe the one up to Mull of Kintyre) a single track, very narrow road following the contours of the land, passing little lochs, before heading down to the shore with steep hills to the right and at times the road perilously clinging to the edge of the cliffs. I literally can’t do this road justice in writing, it was absolutely stunning!
Finally, after crossing a river the road reached the Kingairloch Estate where I turned off onto the private road and after about a mile and a half I came to Kingairloch House, where Susan had very kindly offered to not only put me up but also my father (who hopefully would be turning up later) free of charge in her B&B. The setting of this house surrounded by the high hills and fronted by Loch a Choire was beautiful. The room was lovely and after a nice cup of tea, a chat and a bath I felt very zen. On top of the room Susan had kindly offered me a free meal in the Boathouse Bistro, the onsite little restaurant by the loch, this restaurant was so remote, but the food and building itself were lovely.
Unfortunately, my dad was having a bit of a debacle with his flight being delayed meaning he would miss the last ferry from Corran at 9:20 and if he wanted to make it tonight he would have to drive all the way up and around Fort William which would add at least another hour on. In fact after a delay also getting the car and now having to drive the extremely narrow final roads in the dark he only made it by 2am and I had had to stay awake to let him into the house but at least he arrived.
A day that involved a lot of road walking but when you have a road as beautiful as the last one you just don’t mind and Kingairloch House was a real treat.