Day 206: Leiter Fura to Drumfearn
Distance: 24.11 miles
Ascent: 3091 feet
Weather: Sunny Spells
Accommodation: Wild Camp Near Drumfearn
I had expected some rain last night, but I am pretty sure nothing came and after waking up a bit later than normal and a leisurely pack up in the sun I was not on my way till a little after 8. This slightly leisurely leaving time was slightly for a reason because the only sort of shop I would pass today does not open till 10am and it was approximately 2 hours away.
The sun was shining, and it was forecast to be dry till 7pm tonight and having got the off piste section out of the way last night I did not have any other off piste sections today unless I decided to extend the mileage at the end of the day.
The first couple of miles were along a forest track until I reached a carpark and from their I followed the Kinloch Lodge Hotel drive over a bridge and onto the A851. This was not the most exciting section, but it was not too busy (apart from a peloton worth of cyclists), and after a couple of miles I passed the turn off for Isleornsay. In my original plots I had proposed to take this road down to Isleornsay and then try and head off piste and follow the coast to Teangue. I decided against this route on my rest day for 2 reasons firstly it looked like there may be a few serious issues on the route and secondly, I had found out about a relatively new shop/café (the only one for today or tomorrow) that was on the main road, so I carried on following the road.
I reached the little shop/cafe An Crubh and what a building they have created and from inside the views are amazing. I had thought the shop may only stock local expensive things, but I was surprised and it was actually a very good little shop and the prices of the items I got at least seemed very reasonable. I had a tea and decided due to the good weather today and bad weather forecast tomorrow I would extend the day when I finally got to Ord.
I carried on along the road passing several interesting named villages Teangue & Ferrindonald to name a couple. At Kilbeg instead of carrying straight on to Armadale, I turned off onto a signal track road which would take me to the other side of the peninsula. I did not head right to the tip of the peninsula as there was no possible way back up the west side.
This narrow road was amazing steadily climbing up and on turning around there were great views of the mainland. On reaching the pass summit the views over to the Cuillins were amazing and this was my first up close look of this incredible range. The road began to descend and on passing Loch Dhughaill I stopped to have my picnic lunch in a lovely little spot.
The sun was still shining but with the cool breeze it was not too hot and after lunch I soon reached Achnacloich and then Tarskavaig. Fortunately, this road seems to be off the tourist route, and thus I could enjoy the beautiful beaches and views without too many campervans in the way. At Tarskavaig the community hall was open for tea and cake, but as I had just eaten I did not have any cake but popped in and had a fizzy drink as I really fancied one.
From Tarskavaig I climbed up a steep hill and then eventually down where I reached Ord my original finish point for today, but due to the good weather I was going to carry on even though it was about 5 already. The next section was off piste to Drumfearn where I was thinking of finishing about 4.5 miles further on.
The first part was alright following a farm track down to the beach at Dubir Aird, from then I followed the mid slopes over heather clad but not too boggy a ground. The going was OK until suddenly I was confronted by trees which I hadn’t been expecting from the satellite image, but it meant that I dropped down to the beach for a while where to start with other than a rude group of cows all was fine. But eventually there were some rocky outcrops I could not get around, so I had to try and follow deer tracks around these and then follow the rocks when this was possible. On one of the deer tracks exactly the same thing happened as yesterday I disturbed what I presume was a juvenile white tailed eagle (definitely a sea eagle but not sure of age) and then a bit later I saw a large sea eagle being chased by a tern before the eagle itself then started chasing another eagle and suddenly appeared to attack the other as they locked talons maybe one had food in its talons.
Though slow and tiring progress I eventually made it too Drumfearn maybe an hour later than expected. I found a good pitch spot and walked up a farm track to a building where I was able to get drinking water. It had been sunny all day and weirdly my left upper arm has gone a bit rosy though my right one is fine.
The extension today has made tomorrow shorter and this is useful for several reasons; firstly it is due to rain heavily tomorrow, secondly a friend is joining in the evening, and thirdly a very kind offer in Torrin means we both will have a bed for the night and I can catch up on the admin I missed on the rest day hopefully.