Auchtertyre to Shiel Bridge. 12 Miles

March 21, 2008

5 Sisters of Kintail

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

I slept just beyong Ratagan Youth hostel in my van and had the intention of catching the bus that went to Kyle. I waited at the bus stop and the woman bus driver said the bus wouldnt leave the stop till 10.30. This is despite the fact that I had the new timetable in my hand which clearly stated that it would leave when and where I was waiting. Rather than put my Mr Angry head on, I walked the couple of miles into Shield Bridge and hitch hiked in towards Kyle instead. Hitch hiking is far easier (and reliable!) than waiting for these subsidised buses that plough up and down these rural roads carring no passengers whatsover.

The highlight of the day was Eileen Donan castle which lies at the north shore of Loch Duart. Everyone knows this castle – its on every shortbread tin and calender from here to Toronto. The castle has a visitor centre that is “serviced” by tartan skirted ladies, nearly all of which seemed to sport either Essex or Lithuanian accents. I hope that doesnt come across as being Nationalistic, it just seemed that way to me. I do dislike the “Disneyfication” of our heritage however. The buses pour in, the punters pour out – have a fag, take a couple of shots with their Nikons and sniff the air. !5 minutes later they are off again to the next “Lochs and Glens” port of call. I wonder if they get clan / castle fatigue? A case of “If its Tuesday it must be another clan massacre battlefield site”

The weather was cold and there was a smattering of snow above 1500 feet, as can be seen from the photo of the three sisters above. I always think spring snow sets off the mountains better – I wonder how much of it we will get now that global warming is meant to be happening? Although this year the skiing has been great this year because of the effects of El Nina or some suchlike. (If its too hard I wont understand it……)

More Photos

Map of the walk

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