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Torridon meet day 2: Cycle to Rua Reidh

Torridon meet day 2: Cycle to Rua Reidh


Postby malky_c » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:17 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: An Cuaidh

Date walked: 11/11/2018

Time taken: 2 hours

Distance: 10.5 km

Ascent: 350m

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Sub 2k Marilyns: An Cuaidh.
Date: 11/11/2018.
Distance: 10.5km.
Ascent: 350m.
Time taken: 2 hours.
Weather: Sunshine greying over, with a couple of light showers.
A short walk in the middle of a 63 mile bike ride.

For day two of the meet, I could possibly have been tempted onto the high hills, but I fancied a decent cycle. Cycling seemed to be a great way to reach the not-very-interesting (but with great views) Marilyn of An Cuaidh without burning lots of extra diesel.

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Beinn Eighe from Glen Torridon

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Liathach

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Beinn Eighe

The day dawned bright and calm, and I was parked up in Kinlochewe before 11am. I had briefly considered cycling the whole way from Torridon, but knew I would run out of daylight at some point, so shortened things a bit. Although the route is out-and-back (I usually prefer a circuit), the scenery was good enough for that not to matter. Although I've driven the road along Loch Maree and round to Gairloch countless times, there's always something great about doing it at a slower pace - the chance to spot things not normally noticed.

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Slioch across Loch Maree

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Beinn a’ Mhuinidh

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Beinn Airigh Charr across Loch Maree

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Slioch from Slattadale

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Loch Gairloch from Charlestown

The road was quiet on a Sunday, and the cycle round to Gairloch seemed almost effortless, with great views across Loch Maree. At the viewpoint just before Gairloch, I spotted Alan and Martin parked up - they were re-arranging their kit before heading off to a bothy. I stopped off for a chat and some food before pushing on through Gairloch and up through Sand and Melvaig, the skies a bit more overcast now. Still some great Highland and island scenery though, and Harris felt close enough to touch.

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Beach at Gairloch

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Trotternish from Gairloch

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Gairloch

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Baosbheinn and Beinn Alligin

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Harris from Sand

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Trotternish of Skye

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Harris from Melvaig

I'm grateful for one of litljortindan's reports for showing me how interesting the cliffs and coast are around the corner from Rua Reidh, as it meant I could come up with a better walk than just plodding to the trig point on An Cuaidh. With this in mind, I left my bike down on the lighthouse road and walked up the tarmac road to within a short distance of the radio masts. It was a short hop over peat hags from here to the summit - not an exciting walk, but well worth it for the views of Assynt (Torridon and Skye would probably have looked good too, but rain was now moving in from this direction).


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Skye from An Cuaidh

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Harris from An Cuaidh

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Assynt from An Cuaidh

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Fisherfield from An Cuaidh

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Assynt and Loch Ewe

I headed back to the masts and a short way down the road before breaking off for Camas Mor. Assynt was always in view, and when I finally reached the edge of the crags, the beach and sea at the foot of them was spectacular 8) .

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Cliffs at Camas Mor

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Beach at Camas Mor

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Camas Mor

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Camas Mor beach

I picked up a bit of a path here which led back round to the lighthouse, then along the tarmac back to the bike. Small spits of rain were starting to fall, and out to sea looked spectacularly moody.

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Moody skies from Rua Reidh

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Rua Reidh lighthouse

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Rua Reidh lighthouse

Back at the bike, I pedalled through a couple of heavier showers as the light faded. This was great - very atmospheric as I looked out to the Trotternish peninsula. There was something of a sunset visible from Gairloch, and the last light departed completely as I crossed back over to Slattadale.

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Trotternish through the rain

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Evening light over Skye

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Last light at Sand

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Approaching Gairloch

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Sunset from Gairloch

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Gairloch beach

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Gairloch

All that remained was 10 miles or so of quiet road in the dark - even this was beautifully atmospheric, although a couple of deer bolting across the road alarmed me more than they do when I'm driving :shock: . Then back to the car shortly after 6pm for the short drive home.

An excellent meet - cheers to Hugh for organising it :D .
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malky_c
 
Posts: 6084
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Re: Torridon meet day 2: Cycle to Rua Reidh

Postby KeithS » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:52 pm

That is a really beautiful peninsula, often with great views.

For everyone's information (probably not relevant on a bike) the road from Melvaig up to the lighthouse, contrary to what the current owners may try to claim, does not belong to the lighthouse and access is permitted the entire way other than the area immediately next to the lighthouse, which is heavily fenced off. People driving up the road have frequently been challenged, sometimes quite forcibly, by the owners, trying to stop them using it. There is permissive access and the owners are not allowed to try to stop people and any problems should be reported to the Police.

Lets all enjoy this road. It is narrow and a little challenging in places but well worth the effort.
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KeithS
Mountain Walker
 
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