Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ardnamurchan, day 2

I left Auliston Point in flat calm again, crossing Loch Sunart to "MacLean's Nose". I don't know who MacLean is, but his nose is certainly enormous. A short haul up the coast is Mingary Castle.

King James IV at one time used this to keep troublesome islanders under control. It's a pretty formidable defensive spot, though from the sea now very well camouflaged.
I stopped for a short break close to Kilchoan, with a view to Ben Hiant.

From this point it was only a few hundred yards to the point where I turned north towards Ardnamurchan Point itself. As I turned the corner the cliffs soared up, the wind freshened, the swell grew and the rain started to pour down. It made for an intimidating passage to the lighthouse. This was a calm day- this coast must be a wild place in more challenging weather.

It took one and a quarter hours to reach the light, and a little longer to reach the shelter of a bay beyond. The lighthouse is now a visitor attraction, but I felt a bit oddly dressed to call in. Instead I moved down the coast a little to Portuairk.

Here I stopped to phone home (an expensive business, remote phones no longer take coins, and reversing the charges is extortionate), and have some lunch. As I strolled along from the phone box, two folks out walking asked me to take a photograph for them. They then commented, "you've got all the gear, you must be a serious walker!" I was still wearing my buoyancy aid and spraydeck.

To be fair, I wasn't carrying my paddle at the time, but I still don't think I look like a walker!
I finally stopped to camp just round the corner from Sanna Bay. It was a delightful sandy beach at high tide. It was still early afternoon, but I felt suitably tired. A short walk took me to the houses at Sanna, with a view back to the lighthouse.

It was a strange evening of mist coming and going. Oddly, another paddler went past at about 9pm.

Was it you?

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