Sound of the waves at Sandwood bay
by Bean » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:26 pm
Route description: Sandwood Bay
Date walked: 15/07/2015
Time taken: 5 hours
Distance: 13 km7 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
We were surprisingly and completely done in after the first two, especially Ben Loyal (intended as a warm up!) .......... obviously not as fit as we would like!! Foinaven we knew was a long day, so due to low energy stores and my new found, rapidly worsening fear of heights, ledges, sides and edges.........I talked myself out of it this time.
This has only served to make it more intimidating and it has now been added to my list of nemesis mountains which one day I will probably force myself to walk up and then seriously regret! It now joins Ben Eighe (after a complete freak out on reaching the top of the stone shoot) & Liatach (which I have never attempted). Alistair ensures me they are just easy walks, of course.
After reading a captivating description of Sandwood Bay in Poucher's Peaks, we decided to slacken the pace and take a visit. Poucher also described it as a good rest day after Foinaven so along with a little pang of inadequcy there it went on the itinary.
''The bay is a lovely retreat but to some conveys a sense of haunting. Those who reach it on a sunny summer morning, when the light is curving on the cliffs, will be rewarded by a scene of exquisite beauty''.
How could one resist?
Arriving at 7pm we were amazed to see about 15 cars in the carpark and began to wonder if it would quite the quiet escape we had imagined. Luckily we passed almost all these walkers on our way down.
The track is wide and easy going over the moorland (good for mountain bikes) with lots of wildlife and lochans dotted along the way. The dusk air was full of what looked like midges but lucky for us they did not seem remotely interested.....which definately prevented hell on earth
We arrived with a few hours of light to spare and from the hill top could see a couple of tents in the far distance with the same idea, one with canoes (bit jealous). We set up tent amongst the sand dunes with a sea view and got a much needed dinner on the go.
The weather was perfect for an evening stroll along the deserted beach, still midge free thanks to a light sea breeze and with a pretty spectacular sunset thrown in.
Keen to see the scene poucher described, we set the alarm for 5.15am and drifted off to the song of the waves.
I woke 1 minute before the alarm dreaming I had missed the sunrise, and having had the best nights sleep in months.
Indeed a lovely sight.
During our evening stroll the night before we accidentaly distured a family of Eider ducks roosting on the sand at the end of the beach, some seemed very young. On seeing us they headed out to sea in the dark and I was worried they might come to harm. It was a beautiful sight to see them the next day safe and sound.
We stumbled across this old plane engine and propeller on the beach, as it appeared to be on top of the beach we wondered if it had been recently washed up. An internet search revealed that this was the known crash site of spitfire R7154 which set off from Cape Wrath on patrol on the 30th of September 1941. The pilot Micheal Kilburn survived and walked out to safety. The plane was destroyed and the remains are intermittently uncovered by the sea.
After a nice cuppa & few hours of sunshine we were once more on the long track out. Some nice wildlife along the way. Near the car we passed the first set of visitors for the day.
This place is good for the soul, I cant remember the last time I felt so well rested and refreshed.
by weaselmaster » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:46 pm
Nice photos too
by Bean » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:10 pm
by spiderwebb » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:48 am
by Mal Grey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:37 pm
I've heard of all sorts of stories of strange happenings and feelings around the place, ghosts etc, etc. But to me it is one of the most joyously peaceful places I've ever been. http://www.scotsman.com/news/sandwood-bay-is-a-beautiful-beach-shrouded-in-mystery-1-477058
I too hadn't thought of the Poucher books for years.
by jamesb63 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:07 pm
places like this would be ruined
by Bean » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:07 pm
That article is great, I had heard snippets here and there about these goings on but I agree with you, it was such a calm, happy and light place.
A perfect campsite, just couldn't get over how well I slept there!
You are spot on about the weather, thank goodness