Day seventeen – an upbeat start, but then an unsatisfactory NW tick

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For the first time in several days, I had a dry tent to take down this morning. I had slightly overslept and managed to get away just after ten, and then stopped for provisions in the shop at Scourie, before setting off for Keoldale and the ferry for Cape Wrath, which was twenty five miles away.

The weather was the best it had been since I had been in Scotland. I was able to see mountains at last, and in this part of Scotland the mountains are more spread out and easily defined. This meant frequent stops for photographs, but the wind was behind me, and the roads were easier than of late, and I managed to arrive at Keodale at 12.45 in a very upbeat mood.

The next ferry was not until half past one although I had been under the impression that they were on demand. I had calculated that I needed four hours to comfortably make the return trip from the ferry to the lighthouse, but if I couldn’t do that before the last ferry I had the option of camping rough on the other side.

When the ferryman came, he told me that the last ferry back was at four, and that there’d were strong winds forecast for tomorrow, so they might not sail. I didn’t have enough food or time to be stuck on the other side of the loch for a couple of days so I reluctantly made the decision to visit the NW point by minibus from here. I was very disappointed by this.

So I embarked on the minibus excursion only to find that, because there were more people than the minibus would take, they were going to do another run. This meant that the last boat back would be after six, which would have given me plenty if time. This was a real low point, finiding out that I could have done it after all but it was now too late. As if to match my mood, the weather closed in again and it rained well into the evening.

Cape Wrath itself was quite thrilling. It is perched on the highest cliffs of all the points I’m visiting, with even higher cliffs not far up the coast.

After the personal disappointment of Cape Wrath, I decided to spend the night in the campsite at Durness, because otherwise I would probably have to camp rough further along the coast.

The constant rain prevented me from cooking, but there was a pub next door where I was able to get food. I stayed a bit longer in the bar and unfortunately attracted the attention of the local drunk. He did buy me a double whisky though.

So really I am quite frustrated by today. Only 27 miles cycled, and a failure to get to one of the points by bike, although I was only following advice that was available to me at the time.

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2 Responses to Day seventeen – an upbeat start, but then an unsatisfactory NW tick

  1. Marian & John Chambers says:

    We camped at Scourie many years ago on John’s 40th birthday and he and the children swam in the sea but we never went further north – it looks very dramatic. Hope the weather improves for you today.

  2. Just Gai says:

    How very annoying, however you can only go on the advice given.

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