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Slowing things down Day 2 - Scoraig

Slowing things down Day 2 - Scoraig


Postby KatTai » Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:28 pm

Route description: Scoraig from Badrallach

Date walked: 18/06/2022

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 25 km

Ascent: 100m

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With the campsite at Badrallach there was no need to move the car at all on day 2! We could start walking straight from the campsite following the road to the start of the path to Scoraig (if anyone else decides to camp there one of the houses just along the road has fresh eggs for sale in a box).

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Start of the path


The path winds around between the hills and the coast far below, very steep drops in some places, with views across to Sail Mhòr which really attracts most of the attention. For the most part the path is well-maintained and as long as you have no issues with heights poses no difficulty.

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Eventually Scoraig comes into view, but there is still a fair bit of walking to do to get to the edge of the settlement! The most dangerous part of the route is fenced off with a gate at one end, from there the path drops down to where it is flatter going to reach another gate to head into the settlement. It was here when closing the gate and looking up at the hills behind I spotted a eagle flying high up around Beinn Ghobhlach, a route which I had considered doing had it not been so windy but looking at it from down there it was looking like a hell no of a hill to climb eagle temptation or not :lol:

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Some ruins


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Sàil Mhor and a wind turbine


The path leads through trees and passed a few houses along with some ruins. I was getting thirst and it was getting to the point where the tea in my mug would be starting to get cold, and then as it just so happened we stumbled across a bench that had been put up in memory of Winnie who was originally from Liverpool but had moved to Scoraig. It was the perfect place to sit, enjoy the view and watch a rather scruffy buzzard hunting in the fields near the loch. Not sure if he had a nest in the trees nearby, he seemed to disappear in there and then reappear again to start hovering and searching again. Despite not looking at his best, he didn't mind doing some posing I'm sure he was even looking right at the camera at one point, and he even stopped to hover with the impressive An Teallach in the background. Distant shots didn't show the missing feathers anyway :lol:

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Are you looking at the camera?


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Buzzard hovering with An Teallach in the background


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Winnie's Bench


Eventually we said goodbye to the buzzard and I woke the dogs from their snoozing to continue on almost immediately coming across a roe deer on the track ahead which got Zena all worked up especially as he didn't seem to be in any hurry!

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Roe deer


Eventually he went down a different track and we continued on reaching the old lighthouse that was moved there when the new lighthouse was put in place. There is a sign on the door saying visitors welcome and the bolt slides across all-too easily once it gets moving to the point it went flying off :lol: The door however was a different matter, it took a lot of effort to pull it open but eventually we were inside where there were information boards about life on this isolated community that can be reached only be foot or boat. There were also some photos of some of the things that had been transported to the island on the small boats - including a 4x4 - I bet the sight of that would have sent the insurance company into a panic :lol:

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The Lighthouse


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Moss taking an interest in some rusty old farm machinery.


Further along from the lighthouse is the community centre which had not only toilets but a kitchen to use as well! On Thursdays they have a café running there, unfortunately I had chosen to go on the Wednesday! Having used the facilities we continued on, meeting a local who was putting up an electric fence and heading along towards the jetty which gave the crossing over Little Loch Broom to Baluarach. This is where the Walk Highlands route ends, but we continued on following a track and then a faint path to Creag Mhor Sgoraig where we sat for lunch looking out towards the Summer Isles watching for dolphins and porpoises (didn't see any).

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Is it lunch time?


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Heading back, I spotted a few Exmoor ponies in a field slightly up the hill which was a bit of a surprise. Just beyond the jetty I met another local who we walked and chatted with, he had only moved there a year ago. Rather than heading straight back I decided we would follow the path to Achmore which begins at the lighthouse. Cresting the rise the views opened up towards pointed hills (guessing Ben More Coigach looking at the map but happy to be corrected!). If it is, its a Graham and is definitely in my hell no category regardless :lol:

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Ben More Coigach(?) with Exmoor ponies grazing in the ruins


Coming down the other side I saw more Exmoor ponies grazing among the ruins. Once at home I looked up Exmoor ponies on Scoraig and Exmoor ponies. As it turns out these are a breeding herd (herd 21) owned by someone who is studying Exmoor pony genetics. Out on Scoraig they are probably very safe from the risk of equine diseases that could be a real threat to the numbers on Exmoor! The track became grassy and we turned back in time to watch another group of ponies coming across to visit the herb in the ruins. The called to each other and said hello over the fence. It was lovely to see!

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Exmoor ponies


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Sorry, more ponies and ruins...


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The girls posing, Summer Isles in the background


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More posing!


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Last one I promise!


We returned to the community centre and I used the kitchen to make tea before the walk back. It was here I met a lady that was working in there that told me about the café on Thursdays. There's a donation box and fortunately I keep a £5 note in my phone so was able to leave a donation for use of the facilities. I sat on a bench outside at first, but soon the midges started appearing and so we headed along to Winnie's bench where there was a breeze keeping the bitey ones away. I kept an eye out for the buzzard and also the eagle, but this time I saw neither. Perhaps the buzzard had caught enough and was enjoying a rest. Looking at Beinn Ghobhlach, the shoulder from Scoraig looked a much more gentle ascent up to the coire than coming up the steep sides along the cliff path. Would add a but more distance though!

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Bench at the community centre


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I let the dogs snooze for a while before getting them up and starting the walk back to the campsite. I know for this trip I was slowing things down and that had really be achieved coming across to here there would be no doing an extra walk after this. The walk back wasn't uneventful. Just as we were approaching the gate to the fenced off section of cliff we encountered a red deer hind grazing on the path almost walking right into her! Zena lunged forwards as the deer dashed away, just as well she was on the lead! The deer stopped in the bracken watching us watching her. I was a bit stuck, one of us needed to move but I didn't want to spook her and cause her to fall. As it was she eventually made her way along the cliff with no difficulty at all for such a large animal and we continued on through the gate.

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Hello deer...


There were no further close encounters for the rest of the route, though I did see a rock that looked like a face and a raven came flying over taking an interest in something further up the hillside. The views were just as good on the way back, but with tired feet it was harder to enjoy them so much and it was a relief to get back to the campsite for a rest. The WH time for this is 4-5 hours, usually we are at the lower end often beating the time but with slowing things down we were out for 8 1/2 hours! Of that just over 6 hours was moving time so over two hours of sitting down not dashing around and instead enjoying where I was rather than thinking ahead to what the next thing was going to be!

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Following the track back


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Face rock on the left


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Sorry/not sorry


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Can just see my tent!


Pretty much got back perfect time as the rain came on and a rainbow appeared directly opposite while I was eating dinner getting brighter and brighter. Afterwards, I had a bit of extra help with the dishes putting them through a pre-wash first :lol:

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Rainbow from the campsite


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Zena helping with the dishes!
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KatTai
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Re: Slowing things down Day 2 - Scoraig

Postby litljortindan » Sat Jul 02, 2022 10:07 am

Great report, certainly got me thinking of a visit there and might even persuade my wife with the decent path and ponies.
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litljortindan
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