Day 173: West Tarbert to Port Ban

Distance: 15.38 miles

Ascent: 1473 feet

Weather: Overcast with Sunny Spells

Accommodation: Port Ban Holiday Park (Kindly Complimentary)


For some reason I did not sleep overly well last night which meant I was ready to get going early and was on my way by 7am. With my tent right on the loch I headed up the short distance to the head of West Loch Tarbert, where I joined a single tracked, very quiet road which would take me back down the other side of the loch.

This was simple, not unscenic, but slightly mundane walking. After a couple of miles, a car pulled up beside and asked if I was walking the coast, we had a short chat and he said he lived 3.5 miles down the road and to pop in for a tea when I passed. I thanked him and said I would be about an hour.

With nothing much of note between, after pretty much bang on an hour, I arrived at his cottage. He showed me a few bits including memorabilia from 2 other coast walkers. A copy of the Guinness Book of Records from 1988 which included Helen Krasner’s 4922 miles walk which was a record for a female walker and the photo was of her with his nieces in front of this cottage., and a charity bracelet which Natalia Spencer had given him on passing a few years ago. After 30 minutes or so I had to excuse myself and get on my way, but I was very glad for the tea & toast.

Again, there was nothing much to type about from this point though the sun was starting to come out. There was a decision to be made at the turn off for Achadh Chaorann, where a road took you down to this little outcrop but no path or road up the other side. I had been going back and forth in my mind about whether to head down this road and then try and go off piste up the other side, but the terrain now I was here didn’t look promising with boggy areas and a river on map that could be impossible to cross, so in the end I decided to not head down the little outcrop at all. There will be many more decisions like this and where practicable I will try and stay as close to the coast as possible.

Without sounding like I was bored out of my skull which I wasn’t there was not much more of note all day with the road taking me through the village of Kilberry before I turned off and down to Port Ban Holiday park where they had kindly let me pitch for free. This site has simply incredible views over to Islay and Jura and I am pitched just of the beach and very exposed though there is meant to be very little wind tonight. A definate contender for the best view from my tent.

Food is always on my mind and fortunately the campsite has a little shop, and I knew I would pass no shop until at least the end of tomorrow possibly not for 2 days, so I stocked up on as much as I could carry, and the shop/café attendant just said when I came to pay that I could have it all for free which was a little bit embarrassing as I had kept adding more stuff.

A short day, which wasn’t as boring as I made it seem above, it is just hard to write about road walking.

NB - the photos are showing up as blurry on my screen I believe due to slow internet, so hopefully fine for all you guys.

charles compton