Day 188: Leacraithnaich Bothy to Lochaline

Distance: 5.89 miles

Ascent: 816 feet

Weather: Misty with Light Rain

Accommodation: Caol Muile, Lochaline


I woke up a little cold in the night (Dad was borrowing my sleeping bag) so I put on my fleece and I was fine. When I woke up in the morning, quite early, I was sure I could hear crackling and on walking through to the lounge part of the bothy I could see that Dad had relit the fire this morning.

I decided it was pointless going back to sleep so I moved the bench near the fire and got my laptop out and though I did not have internet I was able to type up the previous couple of days walking and upload the photos to my laptop.

The weather outside was for the first time in a while a little miserable, with light drizzle and surprisingly cool. We were not in any particular rush, as today was a very short day by design due to shop locations, originally planned as a rest day but I had now pushed the rest day back till Wednesday. So, I got my stove out and reboiled the loch water that we had already boiled last night to make some porridge as well as a cup of tea.

We ended up leaving about 8:15 and the conditions had improved a bit and the drizzle by now was very light so no big issue, though it was still wet enough that my camera was locked in my case. We almost immediately joined a forest/estate gravel track which would take us all the way to the bottom of the hill. It passed what appeared possibly to be building work to increase the size of a loch for increasing hydroelectric capacity. Just as I looked down at my phone my dad pointed out a bird taking off from the loch, it was massive but by the time I looked a bit too far to categorize. We were certain it was an eagle as significantly bigger than a buzzard and my guess would be a golden eagle as I saw no lighter/whiter patches on the tail which might signify a white tailed eagle. Hopefully I will get better views of both of these birds later in the walk.

The track took us all the way down to Ardtonish, and then shortly later we got site of the incredible Ardtonish House. This is probably the most stunning stately property I have seen on the whole walk and maintained to an incredibly high standard as was the whole estate. After crossing the river, we followed a little track down the western side of the loch all the way to Lochaline

This was the finish point for the day after just 6 miles, but I think my Dad was very happy about that. Dad had wanted a B&B after the bothy so I was fortunate to get some luxury too. Dad found someone to drive him the 16 miles back to Kingairloch to collect his car (no buses on that road). Whilst he was away I got on with catching up with the 4/5 diaries I had got behind with. The only issue being I was exhausted and in fact fell asleep several times whilst writing the diaries almost every time whacking my head on the wall.

After a dinner down the road we headed back for an early night and dad would be leaving very early in the morning.

A short day originally due to rest day and shop location but that has now changed so became useful for Dad who had got tired by the tough day yesterday.

NB - only 4 photos due to weather and short day.

charles compton