Arnisdale to Mallaig. 10 Miles.


Jamie catching the early morning ferry at Arnisdale

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

Jamie and I got up early on a cold March morning and waited by the big tree at Arnisdale for the ferryman to come along and take us over Loch Hourn to the beach at Barrisdale. I phoned to organise about a week ago and the arrangement was that we would meet at 8 so that would leave us plenty of time to walk up and over the pass that would lead us fown to Inverie.

At 8.10 a car drew up and asked us if were waiting for the ferry. It turned out that Billy (the ferryman) had thought we were wanting to leave at 8 that evening. He apologised profusely and scurried away to get fuel for his little steel boat that would take us over. Anyway, I think he was conscious of the fact that he had kept us waiting and we set off at a hell of a speed. You can see from Jamie’s face in the photo above – Jamie got most of the freezing spray in his face and we both had to hold on tight as the boat felt it was doing about 40 miles an hour across the water. Needless to say it was great fun and a good way to wake up!

After we said our goodbyes at the other side, we headed off into what I presumed would be a wilderness without a soul to be seen. However immediately after getting off the boat I saw at least 8 people – all walkers of course. The area is surrounded by Munros and Im sure that most were staying at the bothy in the glen. I also suspect there is a little of the “getting away from it all” factor in play here. I have never been to Nepal, but I would love to go. But what frightens me more than anthing is the sense of disappointment I’d feel where I to go and be faced with lots of paunchy middle aged men discovering their inner selves. 😉

Anyway, Jamie and I had a great walk. There was a long climb up to the Bealach which had me puffed, but the views back along Glen Barrisdale and the Dubh Lochan were superb. We also had the fortune to see lots of deer – including one that stood in the middle of our path and wouldnt budge. Jamie also managed to put his foot through a plank on a small bridge across the path. He blamed it on an evil frog that distracted his attention.

Eventually with a lot of tired stumbling around we reached the little settlement of Inverie. It had a great pub with a wood fire that we used to dry our socks out on while we waited for the ferry back to Mallaig.

All in all, it was a great day – one I will remember for a long time. Jamie – if you ever read this – you are great company and I appreciate you taking time out to accompany me!

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