Tayvallich and Lochgilphead to Tarbet. 18 Miles

The Vital Spark

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

The walk today was lovely through green forests on a quiet road. When I got to Tayvallich I had coffee in the little village coffee shop cum post office cum off sales cum gallery. It was up for sale and I chatted with the woman who owned it for a while. It was in a lovely spot right on the lochside and had tables outside. Tayvallich had lots of yachts in the harbour and is a lovely west highland village but the place was pretty dead. I noticed that the community were trying to raise the funds to buy the shop. I hope someone does and continues to run it as there are many post offices that are due to close down – these places are not just places to buy stamps – they are very often the centre of the community.

I caught the bus back to Bellanoch after I had walked to the lovely village of Tayvallich in the morning. and drove to Lochgilphead with the intention of walking another 6 miles in the afternoon from Lochgilphead to Inverneill – that would make my 12 miles for the day. As it happened I just went a bit barmy and turned into Forrest Gump. I just kept walking – I missed the last bus and handt got my wallet with me. My phone was out of charge so I couldn’t call or text anyone. I also coulnt see where I was because all my Ordnance Survey maps are loaded onto my phone. It started to pour with rain and the road was a very difficult one to walk on. It was built next to a cliff for the most part, and had many twists and turns which meant crossing over the road constantly so cars could see me. I stood under an oak tree at one point while the rain literally came down in stair-rods. Eventually I stopped about 8 pm and thought I’d better start to think about getting a lift home. So I stood outside a country hotel entrance just north of Tarbet. As soon as I stopped moving I was attacked by swarms of midgies. I had a midge hat with me but guessed rightly that no one would stop to give me a life wearing that. Eventually I decided to keep walking and stuck my thumb out as I was heading up a hill. Thankfully, a car stopped and a local prawn fisherman who fished out of Loch Tarbet on his 60 foot boat gave me a lift back to Lochgilphead. The fuel increases were crippling his business as he had no control over the prices that were paid for prawns. Most of which went to Spain anyway. I felt for him, as he said he knew nothing but fishing , having left school at 13 to go straight to work on the fishing boats.


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