The coast south of Mallaig is a complex area to walk around. It took me 7 hours, staring at a map and googling bus, ferry and accommodation options, to work out how to structure my walks. I will have to do it in 2 stages.
The area would be an island but for a narrow neck of land, 14 miles in length, between Lochailort and Drumsallie. However, to follow the coast from Lochailort to Drumsallie involves walking over 150 miles!
I walked in a big loop from the Corran Ferry to Mallaig, and then returned on the South side of Loch Eil, from Drumsallie back to the Corran Ferry. (Next time I will walk the Southern section of the coast and then the North shore of Loch Eil. Again, starting and finishing at the Corran Ferry).
On the first day ex-Hurricane Ophelia was blowing in from the South, dragging up dust from the Sahara and from Iberian wildfires, which made the sun appear as a rosey pink orb in a misty sky, and coloured the horizon behind me with what looked like an all-day sunset.
Over the course of these walks the sky never appeared to get really light. Whether this was due to Ophelia or the onset of autumn, or due to the low cloud which pressed down on the topmost ridges of the hills around me. From time to time the clouds seemed to reach a critical mass and would slowly roll over the hilltops, cascading down through the woods, in showers of rain and mist. After rain, waterfalls and rushing streams poured down the hillsides.
The cloud cover insulated my surroundings and muffled all sound. My memory of these days is of complete silence, apart from the regular pattering of rain. I did not meet a soul the whole way until at the Glenuig Community Shop where a friendly lady gave me a bag of homemade fudge.
My centre of gravity shifted at Mallaig. I am no longer travelling to and from these walks via Inverness. I have now got sufficiently far down the West coast of Scotland to travel via Glasgow.
© Nick Creagh-Osborne and manwalkstheworld.com 2017.