Knoydart, not to be messed with. End of September 2021.

An opportunity to get an overnight trip arose. Not my choice but Ellie’s, which was fine, the only fly in the ointment being the weather forecast. It wasn’t great. We pressed on and Ellie suggested travelling to the west end of Loch Arkaig and heading into Knoydart, this was a trip that we had looked to do for a long time. I agreed, and suggested walking out to Loch Nevis via Glenn Dessary, a route taken by the Cape Wrath Trail and those wishing to head deeper into Knoydart, (Inverie & Barrisdale). I estimated that it would take a little more than three hours to cover a distance of approximately fifteen kilometres, a number which i had obtained hurriedly from the Ordnance Survey phone app. We left the lodge just after mid day and casually drove to our destination, by which time it was 2pm. Dressed in full water proofs we trudged up the track, i can’t say my heart was in this venture but it was what Ellie wanted to do, which is fine. I started to become a little more concerned when we left the stoned track at Upper Glenn Dessary Lodge with the path becoming quite challenging. Our pace slowed, the rolling uneven ground with mud and stones prevented any rhythm. A stream in full spate blocked our way and crossing it was an event. Time passed, the clouds were barely above our heads and it rained intermittently, it was becoming clear that my timing was way out. We continued until 5.30pm when, with morale dropping, Loch Nevis being still two hours away and, the track feeling at best treacherous, no fun was to had here. We turned and headed back, this time taking the lower track through the forest and as night fell at 7pm set up the tent by the stream. Now, everything started to improve, we had a good camp site, some wine and cheese, and the rain had pretty much stopped. By morning, the rain had ceased and it appeared brighter. We packed up, and with damp feet inside sodden boots we walked back towards the bothy ‘a chuil’. We found it predictably occupied with young people in the process of doing something about the chaos they created the previous night. We made a hot drink and exchanged some chat before departing for the Glenn Dessary Lodge track via a rickety bridge. Lessons to be learnt! I certainly consider myself firmly rebuffed by Knoydart for not taking it seriously. Preparations next time will be thorough.

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