I'm away early, walking along the single track road to Diabaig, I feel almost naked without full waterproofs on. Three miles down the road and the path to Coire Mhic Nobuil is signposted. The first half mile is wooded and it's midge city, the only bad place on the whole trip. As long as you keep moving your alright but you've got to keep moving. Once out of the wood there's a breeze they're gone. The path is a good one, well made and easy to follow. I follow it for three and a half miles to Loch Grobaig. Then it's cross country on compass bearings, through the gap between Beinn Dearg and Sail Mhor. Loch Grobaig to Lochan Carn na Feola, to Gorm Loch na Beinne, to the bothy at Poca Buidhe. A sign on the door saying “This bothy is no longer open to the General Public”. “What's that about” I wonder? The heavens open I have my cag on but not my over trousers. I'm soaked in minutes, too late to stop now. I'm back on a path, along the shore of Loch na h-Oidhche, across a great open expanse of moraine covered treeless moor. It seems that after their Lordships had chucked the peasants off, after their experiment with sheep farming had failed they had any remaining trees chopped down to give them a clearer shot at the poor deer or grouse. All along this stretch I could see no where to put up a tent, so I kept on going. In the end I found a half decent pitch by Am Feur Loch almost at the road. I was quite pleased as I'd covered fifteen miles that day. All that messing about in the bog south of Glen Carron had put me a bit behind. So, if I was to get An Teallach done and get to Ullapool by Friday night (I was booked on the coach Saturday morning) I needed to get a wiggle on.
I met one cyclist on the road next morning as I walked down to Slattadale forest, there I followed the path down by the shore of Loch Maree and into Poolewe. I raided the village shop, ham and salad sandwiches, scotch eggs, cake, an orange and a can of coke, I sat on the beach and eat it all. From the village a nice well made path took me around Loch Kernsary, then through a plantation and out onto the open moors on the north-east side of Loch Maree. This is an area of complex geology, I was now off the sandstone and on the metamorphic rocks of the Moine group much better for camping on. I walked past lots of really good sites but I was set on reaching Carnmore that night so I pushed on. The path contours around Beinn Airigh Charr and under the very impressive crag of Mama's Peak before dropping down to the shores of Fionn Loch. All around were massive crags, you could loss Glencoe and the Llanberis pass twice over here. I was wandering around eyes out on storks, gob-smacked. I'd heard of this place but had no idea just how big it is. There's a causeway across Fionn Loch that saves walking all the way around, this leads to Carnmore.
There's a fancy fishing lodge and a little way beyond an old barn that climber and walkers can use. Compared to most bothies I'd stayed in this one is very basic, but I was here now and beggars can't be choosers. There was a woman in the barn, her partner and his mate were away climbing on the crag behind the barn. They'd set off at 11.00 to do a ten pitch climb, it was now 19.00 and they were still very low down on the crag and not moving anywhere very fast. She was beginning to fret. In hindsight I think maybe I wasn't that sympathetic, I'd just walked twenty miles I was tired and hungry. I took one look and said “yes, their going to be late” and went back into the barn to eat. They eventually got back sometime around midnight, I'd long since gone to bed.