Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Knoydart.Inverie.A Remote Wilderness? Part One.
Knowing there would be a rush into the countryside at the weekend by the masses we formed a cunning plan and set off midweek for Knoydart.This is Alex packing his gear for the trip on the ferry.Its Wednesday afternoon and its sweltering.The large car park at Mallaig was already full up and we were lucky to get a space.The reason for the late start was to fit in with the ferry timetables.Four ferries run per day mid week.You have to book in advance as its a popular destination nowadays.
In reality though,with regular low cost airlines to Glasgow you can reach Inverie from London in a day.
Everyone else seemed to have the same cunning plan and Mallaig was busy with holiday makers.
The view in the photo above is the village of Inverie sitting below Sgurr Coire Choinnichean,a steep impressive peak and one of Alex,s three Corbetts he was hoping to do on this trip.The others being Beinn Na Caillich and Beinn Bhuidhe.
Nightfall came and we cycled along to the pub for a couple of cheeky pints and to get away from the midges which were noticeable but not too bad.It was really warm without any breeze so the heat was probably keeping them at bay.
The bar staff were mainly from New Zealand and Australia and Nat,a cheery guy from Queensland told us a great story about teenagers there catching the big cane toads then attaching empty beer cans to their legs with string before tossing them onto neighbours roofs to hop around all night annoying the hell out of the inhabitants living inside.
That made us laugh but when we got back to the tents after a pleasant evening with the amber liquid we soon found out that Inverie had its own version of cane toads in the shape of the resident peacock and a visiting orchestra of cuckoos.
This post could be subtitled " Driving A Driven Man" as he was determined to get his bag of three Corbetts done.Alex doesn,t normally like it too hot.And this was boil in a bag time.Alan and Beryl were even more motivated than Alex if possible.A stifling hot windless day seemed not to bother them at all and Alan was Corbett and tick list driven too.The same hill As Alex today.Beinn Bhuidhe.
This was a long day....so I was told.It did not start well when we set off along the track on foot North,in the opposite direction from the hill we intended to climb then headed East parallel to the beast which seemed to grow in height and get even further away as we sank down onto the Inverie River track.It was hot.Airless.Still.And not even nine in the morning.
At first I thought it was built to commemorate the seven men of Knoydart but sadly it turned out to have been erected by their adversary Lord Brocket as a tribute to his mother,father, wife and children.For that highly interesting history see here This also has a picture link to the Knoydart Foundation and maps of the area....http://www.highlandclearances.co.uk/clearances/postclearances_knoydartseven.htm
After a look around Alan went off after Alex. Beryl headed up to the heights of the Mam Barrisdale pass and I visited Loch an Dubh Lochan , watched sand martins and wheatears flying around its shores then went back to the tent for my bike.It was time for plan B.
Cant be arsed angel rubbed his hands and jumped up and down on my shoulder laughing while motivational angel struggled hard and cursed him and me to no avail, his wee body well wrapped up in bondage...... ......................................
.....to be continued.....