NEW : See my campaign to establish a National Coastal Path here
Today was a good walk, starting off at the beach at Clashtoll. After a short section along the B road that heads to Lochinver, I took a turn off along a path that led down to one of Scotland’s hidden beaches at Achmelvich. It was a beautiful sandy beach and Audrey and I stopped to eat our lunch on the rocks and watch some teenagers playing rounders on the beach. I suspect they were from a church group outing, since these kind of organisations always seem to play rounders on the beach. Italian teenagers also hang about in big groups I have noticed but they gesticulate a lot more. This social gathering was definately a church thing. When I was a wee lad our family would go to Troon or Saltcoats on the west coast for our holidays in the summer, and there was always a Salvation Army thing going on on the beach. I was attracted to these gatherings at first (there must have been free things given away to the kids). Gradually though I saw through the not so obvious Bible / Christian message that was part and parcel of getting the free whatever it was. Times have moved on, I’m not sure any religous groups would be quite so upfront about recruiting youngsters they way they used to. In those days, parents were much more relaxed about their kids wandering alone on the beaches. Now it just wouldnt happen. A sign of the times I suppose.
Anyway, we left the happy clappies and followed the road away from the beach and then took the path along past Loch Dubh which did look black under the overcast sky. Climbing higher, the path ended at a Ardroe which was just a couple of houses. I had to do a bit of fiddling about with the GPS to find the path which lead over the hills and down into Lochinver. Lochinver itself, is a small fishing port but has a fairly substantial harbour although nowhere as big as Ullapool. We stopped in the village and had lunch in the Lochinver Pie Shop which was voted the best pie shop in the universe or some such like. The food WAS good however and the was an article praisng the pies written by Michael Winner pinned up on the wall. Judging by the photo, it seemed it was Michael who ate all the pies.
The big hill leading south from Lochinver soon had us peching hard again and the last few miles to the little lochside village of Inverkirkaig were spent quietly digesting.