Day 195: Acharacle to Glenuig
Distance: 13.37 miles
Ascent: 2610 feet
Weather: Rain ALl Day
Accommodation: Village Hall, Glenuig
When I woke up it was raining heavily, and I think it had been raining most of the night. I was a bit out of practice but packed everything in the tent and put the rucksack cover on, got into my waterproofs in the tent and then got out of the tent and carried the rucksack straight over to the dilapidated old jetty building that was now more of a squat with walls and parts of the roof missing and random sofas lined up along its back but it would keep the rucksack dry whilst I went and took the tent down. I took the tent down as quick as possible though it was obviously soaking and I hoped I could get it up early enough this afternoon that it would dry out before I was sleeping in it again.
The first part of the day involved retracing my steps for a kilometer or so up to the Kentra junction and from here I carried straight on and over the Shiel Bridge and a few hundred meters later I turned off on the road signposted to Doirlinn. This was a very quiet road, loosely following the River Shiel and I was amazed how many jetties there were going into this river many of them seemingly for no reason. It was still raining as I reached the end of the road, which had views over to the impressive Casteal Tioram. I was surprised to see 3 cars in the car park this early in the morning and I guessed I may be seeing some ‘wild’ campers soon, as there are a few spots like this where you can park up and walk a few hundred meters and feel very remote. Lo and behold 3 tents all within 500m of the car park but all beautiful pitching sites.
Though there was no path shown on my OS map I believed there was a path that followed the edge of Loch Moidart all the way to its end. There was no sign near the car park, so I carried on a few hundred meters along the beach and turned 90 degrees right and was losing faith a bit but then there was a board stating this was the Silver Walk with a map showing it went where I had hoped.
The Silver Walk was something else, literally clinging to the edge of the loch rock face at times, and other times balancing on ballast where the gravel had worn away. It was very up and down and tough and you had to go slowly and carefully but I just tried to enjoy every part of the ingenuity of whoever had come up with the route for this path as it was both mad and brilliant at the same time. Barring a few trees that had fallen over the path, a bit of overgrown bracken and one short washed away section, this path took you over 3 or 4 miles of very hard terrain relatively smoothly.
Half way along the Silver Path with it still raining, there was a rock overhanging the path creating a lovely dry patch for me to have an early lunch in with a great view. After the Silver Path I was following the A861 for the rest of the day which was fortunately an easy road to walk along, with little traffic and plenty of verge when needed. It was still raining, and I was hoping not to get splashed by any passing cars.
It was not too long till I reached Glenuig where I was finishing for today, it was a shorter day due to the efforts over the last few days, but with the weather like it was I was glad about that. I bumped into 3 people outside the village hall and enquired about best spot to pitch the tent and they suggested 2 one of which was behind the village hall, and they informed me there was a shower and toilet in the village hall that was open to use for any member of the public. So, I pitched up outside the village hall (still in the rain) and then went inside to have a shower which felt so good. I do not know why showering makes you feel so good when you have been rained on all day.
On coming out of the shower, a lady called Roma appeared who had been contacted by the 3 people I had bumped into and very kindly offered to let me stay in the front room of the village hall, and on top of that made me a lovely cup of tea. Being inside after a day like today would be perfect as it would enable me to dry things out fairly well for the walking tomorrow. In fact this was a very impressive village hall for a settlement of this size.
The community shop was closed as the volunteer was away today, but the shop Wi-fi reached the little bus shelter outside which as it was raining I sat in. The Wi-fi was fairly good and enabled me to catch up on my diaries publishing the previous 3 in quick succession, and as I was sat there doing this a woman opened and entered the shop to get a couple of bits for herself and I thought I would try my luck and knocked on the door and asked if there was any chance of me getting a few bits and she kindly said yes. In fact this was very lucky because I wouldn’t pass another shop for 2 days and if I hadn’t got stuff here I would have had to ask at the pub which seemed pretty pricey.
So, all in all Glenuig has treated me incredibly well, and I am relaxing in a warm room (I have a feeling she put the heating on in this room as well, as very toasty), with my stuff drying around me. I am very tired considering it was a short day, but this may be to do with being battered by rain and then sitting in a warm room.
A strange day really, starting in a squat, lots of rain, a castle, suspect bits of path, kindly being allowed to stay in the village hall and sitting inside a bus shelter outside a closed shop to get Wi-fi, all in a days work for Charles’ Walk!
NB - Due to the bad weather not many photos and mostly of bad quality.