walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North


Postby Jaxter » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:30 am

Route description: Sandwood Bay

Grahams included on this walk: Stac Pollaidh

Date walked: 28/07/2016

11 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).

With my knee still playing silly buggers and ruining my summer, I decided to turn the Inchnadamph meet into a wee holiday in Assynt and join in the meet for some much needed banter.

I’ll put a disclaimer in here – there are a LOT of photos. The combination of Assynt and a new camera was too much to resist. In my defence I whittled it down from over 400 :lol:


Thursday 28th July - a Tale of Wet Feet
After a long and drawn out process of packing the car (camping stuff, clothes, bike and walking stuff just in case, food and many other things that I might need... :roll: ) I was finally ready to go! Leaving Glasgow just before 1, the tunes were on and Gruinard Bay my target. Heading up the A9 the weather was perfect for First Officer Jaxter, this time Captain of her own ship and in charge of her own destiny :thumbup:

After a brief refuel in Inverness for both myself and Blondie (my trusty yellow steed), the roads opened out as we headed for Ullapool. This was the first time I had driven these roads myself and they are truly a joy. The sun was still shining and we stopped for several photos along the way.

Loch Glasgarnoch
ImageDSC00003


Finally arriving at my target just after Gruinard bay, I quickly packed all my stuff into a rucksack and clambered up the small grassy mound to my camp spot. Chucking the stuff on the ground, I looked out to sea and let out a huge "whoop!!" into the evening :D

An Teallach and the Coigach ridge peeking out
ImageDSC00008


Several new toys were in play this evening, and I erected the first, my Vango Helix, quickly and got my things tidied up. After a few photos, dinner was on and I was able to enjoy it with a fantastic view.


The formalities sorted, I was able to settle down on the rug with my guitar and a hot chocolate. A regular hippie!
ImageDSC00043
ImageDSC00007

Fisherfield Corbetts
ImageDSC00014


However, things were all going too smoothly. Standing up for a wander around, I discovered a hole full of water, which led to another discovery - trail shoes are not at all waterproof... :shock: Soon after this, it started to rain so guitar and I, along with expensive new camera and other non-waterproof gear made a dash for the tent, where we remained as midges followed the rain!

Still, better in a tent in the highlands than at home alone, and I went to bed a very happy bunny :D

A few moody evening snaps in between showers
ImageDSC00024

ImageDSC00031

ImageDSC00035



Friday 29th July – A tale of Beaches, Sore Knees and Moody Views
Although I was in no hurry to get up, a lie in rarely happens in a tent especially when there is wind and rain lashing the outside of it! However, with the light returned I was able to enjoy a rare treat of lying in bed with a book! The rain did stop fairly soon as well, so I headed outside to make breakfast (lukewarm porridge on a plate as I'd left my bowl in the car :lol: ) and enjoy the views as the rain was gone for now at least, and there was a breeze keeping the midges at bay. My plans for the day didn't go far beyond travelling up to Inchnadamph with a bit of exploring along the way. Relaxing :D 8)

Finally deciding to make my way north, I packed up and descended to the car. It was much more difficult on the way down and there were some interesting moments (I was informed several days later that there was an easier way down the other side... :roll: )

Heading round the corner, I went to explore Gruinard bay itself. I had a wander along the beach to test out my knee and climbed over a few rocks round to the next beach. At this point I could feel a twinge so stopped to enjoy the views before heading back.
ImageDSC00051

ImageDSC00056

ImageDSC00057

ImageDSC00065

ImageDSC00069

Posing in front of some Fannichs
ImageDSC00073

Making my way up the road, I headed for Ullapool, where Google informed me that there was a shop that would sell me some waterproof socks as I'd left mine at home. Several unnecessary items, socks and a kite later, I hit the road :lol:

ImageDSC00076

Here the weather took a significant turn for the worse, although there were moments of respite and there were plenty of photo stops along the way.
ImageDSC00087

I made a brief stop at the beach near Ardvreck castle to try out my kite, however it's harder than it looks and a group of fishermen were laughing at me :shock:
ImageDSC00093

ImageDSC00094

ImageDSC00095


I headed for Inchnadamph where I was the first there, so headed for a shower and went back downstairs to find friends old and new arriving. The evening was spent with wonderful company and great banter :D


Saturday 30th July - a Tale of Pies and Pottery
The weather was foul, and with the knee keeping me out of action this was a perfect chance to head for Lochinver and the famous pie shop. Although most people were heading for wet and claggy hills or wet and claggy coastal walks, Keith was keen to visit Lochinver so after the masses had left, we jumped into his van and headed down the road.

First port of call was the Highland stoneware pottery, a place I had never heard of but Keith had had a lengthy association with.
ImageDSC00099

Our pockets a little lighter, we took Bear for a walk along the front before heading to the pie shop, the famous Lochinver Larder where we selected our pies and retreated to the van for shelter.

These pies really are the best ever, no trip to Assynt should be without a visit to the pie shop! :D Enjoying our pie induced food coma, we debated on our next move - a drive round the coastal road was the decision, so after picking up Lynne's poppadums in the Spar, we headed on a beautiful tour of beaches, coastal views and a quick detour to the Kylesku bridge.

Bear photobombing Clashnessie Bay
ImageDSC00107

Beautiful coastal views
ImageDSC00111

Seal at Kylesku
ImageDSC00119

ImageDSC00121

Looking up Loch Glendhu
ImageDSC00125

Deer at Inchy
ImageDSC00129

We arrived back at Inchnadamph somewhat drier than the walkers and prepared for the evenings merriment. With no Dooterbang to hold us back ;-) Keith and I led (or were led) to a victory in the quiz!

The winning team - Dave, Penny, Keith, Alex, myself & Martin!
ImageIMG_20160731_240652284

The celebrations afterwards were long and somewhat fuzzy as I made a new friend, single malt :shock: :lol: Those that were there will remember the party. Those that weren't missed out!



Sunday 31st July - a Tale of Jaxter's First Bothy
With the next few days up for grabs, I had no firm plans. Before all the merriment the night before, I had seen maps out and wandered over the see what was going on. By lucky chance, Alan, Martin and Steve were heading for a Bothy adventure for the next two days and were happy for me to tag along (or were too polite to say no… :lol: )

I was to follow them up the road a few hours later once the effects of the previous evening had worn off :lol: I joined Keith and Darren for a very welcome eggs on toast and multiple cups of tea before the weather brightened. A very enjoyable few hours later, it was time for me to hit the road – Durness here I come :thumbup:

Loch Glendhu
ImageDSC00135

ImageDSC00145

Foinaven and Arkle, hiding
ImageDSC00150

With the weather improved, there were multiple photo stops before reaching Durness where the weather unfortunately turned dramatically and I found myself driving through wind and rain.

Suddenly clearer at the tip of Loch Eriboll
ImageDSC00161
ImageDSC00162

I found the other’s cars and a note with the bothy coordinates. The midges were out so a very swift pack and map check saw me heading down the track in my waterproofs on the first proper walk in a month!!
ImageDSC00170

ImageDSC00175

I arrived to find a roaring fire and some fantastic company in Alan, Martin and Steve and we passed a fantastic evening together. My first bothy night was not a disappointment!



Monday 1st August - a Tale of Beaches and Sunsets
The forecast dictated our next plans – to head for Sandwood Bay; a dream of mine for many years was about to come to fruition! I was assured that the walk in was on a good path and my knee was feeling good. We made our separate ways to Durness, stopping for photos along the way.

ImageDSC00182

ImageDSC00188

ImageDSC00198

ImageDSC00200

ImageDSC00201

At Durness we made a visit to the famous Cocoa Mountain for chocolatey goodness before heading for Sandwood :D

Foinaven and Arkle now clear!
ImageDSC00203

However, things were again going too smoothly, and this was remedied by a cattle grid – suddenly my front right wheel was making a very dodgy noise – I pulled in immediately to find a flat tyre…typical. Fortunately I had 3 strong men on hand to help me out with the bolts and we were on our way again :thumbup:

Sandwood Bay lived up to every expectation I had and I’ll let the photos do the talking…
ImageDSC00209

First glimpse
ImageDSC00211

One of the best camp spots ever and the view from it!
ImageDSC00222

ImageDSC00218

Heading down for the sunset
ImageDSC00227

ImageDSC00230

ImageDSC00235

ImageDSC00237

ImageDSC00238

Steve trying to get to his ideal photography spot…across a river :lol:
ImageDSC00257

ImageDSC00265

ImageDSC00273

ImageDSC00285

ImageDSC00286

Getting artsy…
ImageDSC00293

Jaxter at Sandwood!
ImageDSC00309

Fire time – Alan and Martin warming themselves
ImageDSC00315

Awoke for the sunset at 5.30 to find a herd of sheep outside the tent :O
ImageDSC00319

So I climbed up a wee grassy bump to escape the sheep
ImageDSC00336

ImageDSC00347

Getting artsy again…
ImageDSC00358

Sandwood in the morning sunshine
ImageDSC00384

Goodbye Sandwood – I’ll be back!
ImageDSC00393

Assynt skyline
ImageDSC00401



Tuesday 2nd August – a Tale of Pinky on Polly
The next morning heralded the parting of the ways – Martin was away early, Alan was heading for another bothy and Steve and I were headed home.

On the road and treated to this!!
ImageDSC00402

Stunning Quinag
ImageDSC00405

Magnificent Suilven
ImageDSC00412

My first stop was Lochinver – I had pies to buy! I enjoyed one for lunch in the sun whilst poring over maps, as there were also decisions to be made…and more pies were piled into my coolbag for the journey home where there was a certain person who I knew would appreciate them ;-)

A pie with a view
ImageDSC00413

As the weather was so fantastic I decided to take the slow road to get the views of the Assynt mountains and relive some very happy memories :D

ImageDSC00415

ImageDSC00417

ImageDSC00421

ImageDSC00424

ImageDSC00425

ImageDSC00427

ImageDSC00428

However, I got to the Stac Pollaidh car park and somehow I must have lost control of the car because before I knew it I was parked and heading up the path :shock: Knee be damned, I was going to climb a mountain this holiday, and I just couldn’t resist wee Polly :D

Taking my time I made my way up to the ridge. I could feel my knee but I’d come too far to go back now… scrambling round the side to the first summit I was finally on top of the world! Posing for the camera I realised how colour coordinated I was… :lol:

Pinky on Polly!
ImageDSC00438

I wasn’t bothered about summiting properly as I’d been there before, so figured I’d scramble along the ridge until I got bored….as if – reaching the final scramble I took a few deep breaths, clambered up the sloping rock, through the gap and there it was – the top! Despite lots of people on the path up to the ridge it was completely deserted here – I had Polly all to myself and I couldn’t have been happier :D

Jaxter’s back!!
ImageDSC00441

Jenga cairn
ImageDSC00444

Coigach and Fiddler
ImageDSC00446

Fabulous Assynt
ImageDSC00448

It was a long way home, so I slid my way down the gully to the path where I limped back to the car, slightly sore but absolutely exhilarated :D

Majestic Polly waving Auf Wiedersehen, not goodbye because I will be back! :wave:
ImageDSC00461

Setting off from Polly at 4.15, I arrived back in Glasgow just before 10 in the foulest weather imaginable, but feeling thoroughly refreshed from a wonderful holiday. Thanks to friends old and new for great banter, laughs, dancing and most of all, putting up with me :lol:
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1374
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:63   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:92   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:31
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby Sunset tripper » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:51 am

Great pictures especially of Sandwood bay. :D All the best with the knee :(
User avatar
Sunset tripper
 
Posts: 2148
Joined: Nov 3, 2013
Location: Inverness

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby Borderhugh » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:32 am

Some fabulous photos there JB. Yet to do Sandwood Bay; looks fab. Assynt on tuesday looked awesome. Pleased you were able to make the meet and for your sake get out. Hope your knee(s) get better soon. :clap:
User avatar
Borderhugh
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 329
Munros:282   Corbetts:103
Grahams:47   Donalds:70
Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:105
Wainwrights:100   Islands:9
Joined: Feb 4, 2012
Location: Stirling :)

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:11 pm

The pics prove again - if proof were needed - what an amazing place Assynt is. Great stuff!

Has the knee problem anything to do with madness in Monar, by any chance...???? :roll:
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 3029
Munros:173   Corbetts:31
Hewitts:237
Wainwrights:100   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby Andymac75 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:48 pm

Salomon approach shoes :wink:
:thumbup:
Andymac75
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Feb 23, 2016

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:28 pm

All in all you got a lot done one way or another. Superb photographs, what an area, absolutely stunning. Let's face it there is nothing to beat a WH meet. Malt Whisky is it now?
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Walker
 
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby KeithS » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:32 pm

Great report from a great meet in a great area with great people (and great pies).
All great really, except the weather
User avatar
KeithS
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 847
Munros:281   Corbetts:5
Grahams:2   
Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   Islands:29
Joined: Nov 1, 2010
Location: Sheffield/Laide

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby Lakeswalker » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:24 am

Great report and photos. Brings back memories of our recent holidays in the far north and around Poolewe. You did better than us with your walk to Sandwood Bay, ours was atmospheric, shall we say, rather than beautiful but still so worthwhile.
Lakeswalker
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 10
Munros:5   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:78
Wainwrights:109   Islands:2
Joined: Nov 15, 2015

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby Jaxter » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:01 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:Great pictures especially of Sandwood bay. :D All the best with the knee :(

Thankyou!! Sandwood is so beautiful I think it would be impossible not to get good pictures!! Ahh the saga of the knee... :?


Alteknacker wrote:The pics prove again - if proof were needed - what an amazing place Assynt is. Great stuff!

Has the knee problem anything to do with madness in Monar, by any chance...???? :roll:

Oh I know - only my second trip to Assynt but it was definitely love at first sight :D Already looking at when I can get back :D The knee is apparently something to do with the way I walk (pigeon toed), it was a run that finally did for it :(


Andymac75 wrote:Salomon approach shoes :wink:
:thumbup:

Aye had them recommended by a few people! Dead good but not waterproof AT ALL :lol: :lol:



The Rodmiester wrote:All in all you got a lot done one way or another. Superb photographs, what an area, absolutely stunning. Let's face it there is nothing to beat a WH meet. Malt Whisky is it now?

It was just what I needed, lovely wee holiday! It's fantastic up there isn't it :D Only my second meet but cannae wait for next time!! Minus the whisky :lol: :lol:



KeithS wrote:Great report from a great meet in a great area with great people (and great pies).
All great really, except the weather

:lol: :lol: Yes and even the weather improved eventually!! :D



Lakeswalker wrote:Great report and photos. Brings back memories of our recent holidays in the far north and around Poolewe. You did better than us with your walk to Sandwood Bay, ours was atmospheric, shall we say, rather than beautiful but still so worthwhile.

I think that area would be stunning in any weather :D But we were very very lucky :D 8)
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1374
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:63   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:92   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:31
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby ancancha » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:18 am

Nice report Jaxter :clap:
You also got some great phots of fabulous scenery :clap:
Hope the knee makes a speedy recovery :wink:
User avatar
ancancha
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 989
Munros:84   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Jun 30, 2014
Location: Killadysert

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:29 pm

Superb pictures of the stunning north and there is definately something irristable about Stac Polliadh. Hope your knee mends quickly.
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Scrambler
 
Posts: 692
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Grantown-on-spey

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby litljortindan » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:34 pm

Interesting to see the contrast of the bad and the good weather pictures plus two great destinations.
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1923
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:27   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby Jaxter » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:39 pm

ancancha wrote:Nice report Jaxter :clap:
You also got some great phots of fabulous scenery :clap:
Hope the knee makes a speedy recovery :wink:

Thanks - it's just awesome up there isn't it! :D
Hoping to be back out properly soon... fingers crossed!! :wink:


Cairngorm creeper wrote:Superb pictures of the stunning north and there is definately something irristable about Stac Polliadh. Hope your knee mends quickly.

Thankyou and thankyou :D
Polly is special :wink:


litljortindan wrote:Interesting to see the contrast of the bad and the good weather pictures plus two great destinations.

It's stunning whatever the weather isn't it! :D
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1374
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:63   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:92   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:31
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby tomyboy73 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:36 am

Some great photos there Jaxter.
As for the party , even us who where there can`t quite remember it although i do have a vague recollection of a conversation about going out to fly your kite at 5 in the morning !
And well done for getting up that hill :thumbup:
User avatar
tomyboy73
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1027
Munros:148   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:1   Islands:5
Joined: Jan 21, 2010
Walk wish-list

Re: Pinky on Polly and other Tales from the Far North

Postby martin.h » Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:03 pm

It's a lovely part of Scotland, I'll never tire of seeing photo's of such a unique landscape, I can see you're putting the new camera to full use. :D
Hope the knee gets sorted soon, we're missing your epic route reports. :wink:
User avatar
martin.h
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 541
Munros:210   Corbetts:17
Grahams:10   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:149
Wainwrights:214   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 31, 2011
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Walk wish-list

11 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).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 61 guests