Cape Wrath


Cape Wrath

NEW : See my campaign to establish a National Coastal Path here

I was getting used to the “Great Cape Wrath Adventure”. The last time I  was up here the weather was so bad that Davy the bus driver couldn’t guarantee that he could pick us up if we walked all the way to the lighthouse. Davy the bus driver and “The Ferryman” ran the operation between them to transport the bewildered tourists across the water and up to the lighthouse. I liked the patter of the Ferryman, he had a droll sense of humour. I heard him saying to the waiting passengers as he collected his little boat for the first jaunt of the day, that he had to “apologise for the water that was sloshing about in the bottom of his little open boat, and that he had no idea how it could have got there.” Davy was equally as droll and had his little informative speech to present to the passengers on the trip (Mackay’s International Tours as he called it) up to the lighthouse in the rickety old bus. He recognised me as a season ticket holder and I assured him that his speech was word perfect after hearing it for the third time. I have no idea how how long he has being this run, but I can only guess that I would be a blethering idiot if I had to do it everyday.

If ever there was a case for a corporate take over it would be Davy buying out the Ferryman or vice versa. Both rely almost entirely on another – in fact I would go so far as to say that this was a real example of business symbiosis. Defined in Wikipedia as :

Greek for living together) can be used to describe various degrees of close relationship between organisms of different species. Sometimes it is used only for cases where both organisms benefit, It can be used to describe relationships where one organism lives on or in another, or it can be used to describe cases where organisms are related by mutual stereotypical behaviors.

Maybe Davie should do a leveraged buy-out and purchase the Ferryman’s boat? I suspect that the deal would not be allowed to go through as it would almost certainly be referred to the Monopolies commission.

In any case,  I made the decision that my only way to continue the walk was to do it backwards today. Not in the sense that we couldnt see where we were going, but by walking “the wrong way”; that is clockwise instead of anti-clockwise. We left the bewildered Italiens, Germans and Dutch tourists stumbling around at the light house wondering how they managed to get fleeced from both Dave AND the ferryman, and headed towards Kervaig Bothy which lay at the end of a track off the “main road”. The beach there was lovely and I must admit the location was very photogenic. But the bothy itself was too basic even by my low standards of personal cleanliness. I wouldnt fancy staying in it even if it was filled to the brim with cheery Yorkshire men with hob nailed boots, regailing me with wondrous stories of “bothies I have known”. I’m sorry, but the prospect of trying to sleep on a urine soaked mattress whilst avoiding being murdered by a bampot stranger fu’ to the gunnels with “Auld Shep” authentic Scotch Whisky distilled in Coatbridge, doesnae launch ma boat. Personally, I think that staying in a bothy should only be advised in the event of nuclear war and even then should only be contemplated if you cant squeeze your arse down a rabbit burrow. All this is bothy nonsense is macho rubbish and should be avoided at all costs.

At the end of the walk,  I offered a lift to two older guys who had just finished walking from Glenfinnan to Cape Wrath. A journey of around 200 miles over rough terrain in under two weeks. They both had packs that weighed as much as they did. One of them was a retired GP and the other was just as daft. The GP took our offer of a lift (probably because he was nearly dead; his mate did reluctantly). I suggested that they would have a wee dram to celebrate but I think the mate would have preferred flagellating himself with some stinging nettles whilst being told he was a naughty boy by the GP, to round off a perfect trip. Jings some mothers do ‘ave them.

More Photos

Map of the walk

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One Response to Cape Wrath

  1. David Cotton says:

    Kearvaig Bothy is superb; I had one of my most memorable night’s bothying in it
    The worst thing are the midges that are really, really pesky; the key thing is not to let them inside.

    You should really give it a go some time – it can be far better than camping, especially when it is wet.

    Also, although there can be rare trouble in some bothys, I doubt it would be the case in one as remote as Kearvaig. Mind., though, one woman died in it in 2002…

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