No public transport ran east of Drumbeg towards the A894 at Kylesku and only a seasonal bus further on from there. So it was looking like I was going to have to do and out and back with my bike, something I was not looking forward to. Kenny, the bus driver from the previous day had given me a name, Harvey, who apparently drove a school bus from Scourie to Drumbeg each day to collect children and ferry them back to the main road where they would get the main bus to Ullapool. I made some enquiries at The Anchorage, the cafe/bar attached to Scourie campsite, and got a phone number. I called and spoke to Harvey’s wife, who said a lift would be no bother and to be outside the campsite at 06:45 the following morning. Harvey duly arrived and we sped off along virtually deserted roads towards Drumbeg. I got off the bus above Gleann Ardbhair and bid Harvey goodbye, after he refused any offer of money, what a guy!
As I set off the morning was very sunny and still. I could see the mountains had had a fresh dusting of snow overnight. I followed the twisty/turney road towards the A894 at Kylesku. Mercifully the NC500 brigade had not risen yet which made the walk very enjoyable. I soon realised that I had not packed any water in my rucksack, which was a pain, as there would be no opportunities to buy water further ahead. The walk was only 17 miles which I thought I could manage ok?
As the twisty/turney road joined the main road I was afforded spectacular views up to gullies of Quinag, a mountain with superb views which I can vouch for having climbed the hill some 10 years ago. The main road was quiet and had a flat and generous verge for most its way. I walked into the small hamlet of Kylesku, just off the main road, in the hope of buying some water, but no joy. I remember crossing over on the ferry from Kylestrome to Kylesku back in 1974; but today Kylesku has a superb bridge, which was built in 1984.
I continued up the A894 where the traffic began to slowly increase, with large groups of bikers completing the NC500. A few miles on from Kylesku a walker passed me on the opposite side of the road at speed. I was quite surprised and decided to hang onto his coat-tails which I barely managed to do! I was hoping he would going a good distance as he was a great ‘pacer’, so we continued on for a few miles withme a couple of hundred meters back. Then he disappeared without trace….probably hiding from me. LOL. My pace slackened and my thoughts returned to getting hold of some water.
I had intended to make a couple of small diversions off the road, although there were few if any paths towards the coast and all stopped at dead ends. I was glad to reach Scourie. With a water supply now available I could have gone on, but with tomorrows walk starting off on a remote footpath, it would have been difficult and impractical to continue. I simply rested.
NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:
Distance today = 17 miles
Total distance = 4,803miles
3 thoughts on “265. Gleann Ardbhair to Scourie”
17 miles without water? Crikey! I’m amazed you survived. I wonder who the mysterious walker was.
Yes I wondered the same. Another coast walker perhaps. But it wasn’t me, it wasn’t you and I don’t think “helpful mammal” has quite got this far yet!
Ah I wondered how you’d do this walk. Durness Bus run a bus to Kylesku but only in the school summer holidays so I timed my walk for then. Well done on managing to find altnerative transport. There is meant to be a “Dial A Bus” service along the road from Drumbeg, but I was never able to get an answer on the number listed so gave up with it. As a result I did the walks from Kylesku to Drumbeg and Drumbeg to Clashnessie as “there and back” walks along the road, which was a bit tedious (and of course, doubles the mileage). The shop in Scourie is very useful, used it a few times. A bit late for you now but there is a hotel in Kylesku at the end of the dead-end road almost beneath the bridge. I imagine you could have got a drink there, but a bit late now for you! They do boat trips from there too into the loch.