Day 213: Ollisdal Bothy to Milovaig
Distance: 15.61 miles
Ascent: 3386 feet
Weather: Misty & Light Rain
Accommodation: Clach GHlas B&B, Milovaig (Kindly Complimentary)
It appeared to have rained heavily in the night so I was glad to have been tucked up in the bothy and I had slept very well. It was very foggy outside and there was light drizzle which did not make for an appealing prospect and is probably the reason I took so long getting everything together and cleaning the bothy.
But in the end, I left and assumed it would be much the same as the end of yesterday for the first few miles. In fact, I picked up a faint quadbike track from near the beginning and as this followed the coast quite well I decided to follow this. Though it was still very boggy and no better than the normal ground, but I presumed it would head all the way to Lorgill (a ruined village from the clearances).
My first issue point came where the quadbike track crossed the River Dibidal and due to it being in spate I could not cross at this point and took a while selecting the best place to ford. I eventually chose one, which though not ideal looked crossable and I took my boots off, rolled my trousers up and after a few wobbles and knee deep water I made it across.
Fortunately, there were no more fords for a while and the quadbike track took me a slightly different route to the path shown on my map when it headed inland a tiny bit to a ruined settlement of Scaladal and from there it headed west until it rejoined the position of the drawn path at the Lorgrill River.
As I was descending down to the river the visibility got a bit better and then I noticed a group of cows/calves on the beach about 300m away and thought how lucky that I didn’t have to go anywhere near them. But no, they had other ideas and one of them spotted me and then they started heading towards me walking at first and then running. I don’t think it was in aggression, but I still darted into the ruined building I was passing and barricaded myself in with a piece of wood. Then it got a bit strange the cows just kept doing loops of the ruin around me. Eventually they must off got bored and wandered off.
Now I had reached Lorgill where I believed a track would start and my day would get easier but first I had to cross the Lorgill River which was very fast flowing and quite deep. I found a spot, and debooted and rolled my trousers up (almost took them off due to the depth) and then carefully balancing on the larger stones under the water made it across without getting anything too wet.
And indeed, as expected there was a track, which was dirt and gravel for the first couple of miles before becoming a tarmacked track at Ramasaig. The fog was still quite thick, and I don’t know why I was taking photos as they all looked the same with green grass and white murk. I was on this road for quite a long time all the way to just short of Milovaig where I joined the busier tourist road for Neist Point.
I randomly bumped into 3 young guys here in various random outfits who had bussed/walked from near Carbost to here and were walking to Neist Point though didn’t seem to overly know the way and were wearing completely inappropriate clothing (grey cotton jogging bottoms and t-shirt and no rainjacket) in case of rain and were not sure if they would make the last bus back. I told them it was an hour to Neist Point and should be able to hitch otherwise and then left them to it.
I had been very kindly offered a room in Milovaig, and annoyingly to get to Neist Point (my second cardinal point being the most westerly point on my walk) I had to actually pass the turn off for this and could actually see the house only 500m or so away. There was a bit of a debate in my head about whether to go to Neist Point, as due to fog unlikely to see anything, there were loads of tourists driving down there, I would have to walk 3 milesish down the road and back up again, and there was a bed and bath only 500m away. This was a proper debate and ‘not going’ at one stage was winning, but eventually I told myself I would massivlely regret not doing it if I didn’t go (in reality if I had gone to the B&B I know I would have headed down to Neist Point later in day anyway). So I took my backpack off and put it in the bus shelter and started heading down the road
A mixture of no backpack, downhill and bed/food once complete made me fly down the hill almost jogging in places and I got good at giving the tourist cars enough room without actually slowing myself down. I reached the carpark for Neist Point Lighthouse and the fog was still very thick, but I only had half a mile to go on a steep stepped footpath and just before the lighthouse I descended below the fog and I could get a good view of the lighthouse. I imagine on a sunny day this is a spectacular spot and even on a murky day it was not unappealing, but I didn’t stick around long before starting the climb back to Milovaig.
I arrived at Milovaig and Clach Ghlas B&B quite early and was given an amazingly warm reception, and within 10 minutes had already been fed a bowl of soup and then bacon and poached eggs on toast, Anne was definitely a feeder and I had to refuse crumble because actual dinner (those items were just a snack) was only a couple of hours away. I had a bath and published yesterdays diary before returning to the main house. Neil’s & Anne’s stories were hilarious and both I and their friends who were staying were often in hysterics. It was a very chilled and lovely evening with a great dinner and though I maybe should have done some more admin it is good to have a break from the walk sometimes.
Even with the fords a fairly simple day by recent standards, and such kind hosts making the evening so relaxing.
NB - once again the weather meant camera was in the backpack, though the fog meant only took a few photos anyway.