Next, I did two short walks: from Fort William to Oban and from Oban to Tarbert (the subject of the next Post, Walk 46).

From Fort William to the Ballachulisch bridge I had no option but to walk beside the busy road which runs South beside Loch Eil.

But from the Ballachulisch bridge to the bridge at Connel I walked along a cycle path which followed the route of the old Ballachulisch Branch line.  The railway was originally opened in 1903 to carry slate from the local quarries for the roofs of newly built houses in Glasgow and Edinburgh.  It was closed in 1966.

On the way I walked through the village of Appin where in 1752 the infamous Appin Murder had occurred.  The subsequent miscarriage of justice where the wrong man was hanged for the crime inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel “Kidnapped”.

At Portnacroish I passed the romantically sited Castle Stalker which I recognised from the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”!

A separate cycle path continued from the Connel Bridge all the way into Oban.

I particularly enjoyed walking into Oban because it is the only place on the whole Scottish coast that I have ever visited before.  I stayed at the Youth Hostel, sharing a dormitory room with a bearded engineer from Jordan.  “Hello my friend” he would roar at me every time he came back into the dormitory!

I was up early the next morning to catch the 05.21 train South to Glasgow.  In Scottish Gaelic “Oban” means “The Little Bay”.  A picturesque name for a rather charming place, I thought, as I walked to the railway station in the dark around the horseshoe shaped promenade.

© Nick Creagh-Osborne and manwalkstheworld.com 2017.

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