Day 237: Strathchailleach Bothy to Kearvaig Bothy

Distance: 9.42 miles

Ascent: 2321 feet

Weather: Overcast With Occasional Light Drizzle

Accommodation: Kervaig Bothy


I woke quite early, I think anxious to check the level of the Strath Chailleach river next to the bothy which can be uncrossable after rain (would have been a right nuisance and massive extension if so) when the river is in spate and though it had rained last night it looked fine. I actually got back into my sleeping bag after checking and then eventually slowly got packed up realising there was no point leaving too early this morning. In fact, Mathew (the welsh guy in the bothy) got the fire going and I had a nice cup of tea before we both left about 8:30 by different directions.

Today was a day I was super excited about, roaming off piste across the hills eventually to Cape Wrath an absolutely massive point on my walk. The weather was fairly good, overcast with just a very light drizzle occasionally. I got across the Strath Chailleach river easily enough and then slowly climbed the hill towards Loch a Gheodha Ruaidh, the ground was boggy, but the walking was fairly easy. From the loch I descended vaguely towards the Bay of Keiogaig, and there was a river at the bottom of a quite deep valley but after descending down to the river it was fairly easy to cross.

I reached the edge of the military base and as I had expected the red flags were down and so I could enter. I had been loving the walk today, the weather though not sunny was also perfect overcast with a little drizzle but not enough to get you wet making it feel even more remote and strangely absolutely perfect. The ground was also perfect, tough enough to be rewarding but not so tough that it was really hard. I was literally walking with the widest grin. At the top of the next hill I got my first sight pretty much of Cape Wrath and I was a bit overwhelmed in fact a bit teary, since planning the walk this was the most significant point and for the last few months I have been slowly thinking about it more and more and now I was less than an hour away and somehow bang on schedule. 

I came to a river in a deep valley and found a little path that followed the side of the river till a short distance short of the track that would take me the last bit to Cape Wrath. I knew there was a minibus that takes people up to Cape Wrath Lighthouse and I was really hoping I got to Cape Wrath before it arrived the first time today. Just as I was getting to the track, lo and behold the minibus pootled by but fortunately there was only one couple on it.

From here it was a short, quite emotional walk up the track to Cape Wrath and by the time I got to the lighthouse I was chilled down again and was grinning such a wide grin. I dropped my bag in the little café (I know its remote but still got a small café run by the guy who lives here) and then did a loop of the area which had stunning views and interesting features including the bright red now silenced fog horns. Ross Edgley the swimmer was also visible and hot on my tail about half a mile short of Cape Wrath whilst I was there. I had a quick sandwich in the café and after asking the guy whether I could beeline straight along the coast and being told I could with a few steep valleys I set off.

This walk was stunning, following sheep/deer trails along the beautiful cliffs, definitely some of the best scenery I have seen on the walk. I got a view of the Kervaig Bay & Bothy quite early and after a few ascents I reached the bay. The weather had behaved and there had only been light drizzle and this bay was something else, absolutely stunning and after crossing the river I reached the bothy. It is a lovely bothy, there were 4 people in the sort of separate side bit but no one in the main bit when I arrived. There was no wood but I had been told the military were changing their fencing so were happy for the posts to be chopped down which should have been easy but the saw was quite blunt so after a lot of effort I had about enough wood for 2 or 3 hours of fire. Then just as I was finishing the wood in the bothy 2 guys turned up who had carried plenty of wood in with them from Durness so we got the fire started straight away.

A lovely day, in fact a perfect day and rounding Cape Wrath is a big part of the walk.

charles compton