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The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12

The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12

Postby Billymaca » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:02 pm

Route description: Cape Wrath Trail

Date walked: 14/05/2012

Time taken: 2 days

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(Link to Chapter 1 of this report)

Chapter 11

The black stuff

Glendhu Bothy to Kinlochbervie


14th May

Kinlochbervie 24.5.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Today we awoke to the gentle whistle of the wind outside, it was dryer, overcast and a lot calmer than yesterday, during breakfast we again discussed how far to go! Because we didn’t have a weather report we decided to join another two days together and get to the Kinlochbervie Hotel, the original plan was only to go as far as Laxford bridge, Most of the walking was to be on the black stuff which we could cover relatively quickly and easily. Because of a poor phone signal we weren’t booked into the hotel, we were going to do this on the way and if we couldn’t get a room the backup plan was to go to the shelter of the ruins at Sandwood bay.
Following breakfast and packing up we were on our way along the track at the shore side, the sun was trying to break through, one minute it was bright the next dull, one minute wet the next dry. It was going to be one of those days where waterproofs and wind shirts were on and off like a Prostitutes underwear, stop start all the way. It was easy going along the track to Maldie where there was a new bridge and heavy construction taking place, Big machines and huge pipes everywhere,

CWT 2012 UNCUT 195.JPG

This is where we turned right off the track leaving Loch Glendhu behind, onto another which leads uphill heading towards Reay Forest and Achfary, Still easy going on a good track uphill passing the lochs of an Leathaid Bhuain and Loch na Creige Duibhe which we guessed were going to be dammed due to all the marking posts at the bottom end and a new road being built to them on the opposite side. Once past the lochs the track veers away west and soon converges with another track where it was a right turn over some exposed rock strewn ground with a fantastic view of Ben Stack to your left, Reay Forest and Foinaven to your front. We had a 15 minute break out of the cold wind in the remains of a shieling at the top, it wasn’t much but it was the only shelter in the area.

CWT 2012 UNCUT 200.JPG

Now begins the descent as you turn round the West side of Meall Diamhain exposing a view of the head of Loch More and Ben Sceavie in the background,

CWT 2012 UNCUT 204.JPG

Continuing downwards and through the edge of Reay Forest, boggy in places, you soon pop out on the A838 at Lochmore Lodge, Here we turned left and began the rest of the days long plod on the horrible black stuff. The wind in the glen was cold but the sun was out. Still no phone signal to confirm the hotel booking! Onwards putting one foot in front of the other over and over again passing Loch Stack and Stack Lodge, with beautiful scenery all around us we progressed towards our next junction at Laxford Bridge now in a light drizzle.

CWT 2012 UNCUT 209.JPG

Glenduh-Kinlochbervie (6).JPG
A lack of land marks made navigation a problem !

A phone signal had now returned and a booking of a room was soon confirmed. On Reaching Laxford Bridge we turned right onto the A894, still raining, this was a busy road compared to the other, with long straight and wide sections. Now we were heading for Rhiconich hotel for our next break, surly this time we would get a fruit scone and jam! It seemed to take forever to get there, when we did arrive we were ready for a rest and a stock up of junk food.

CWT 2012 UNCUT 211.JPG

Now refreshed by our hot cup of tea and NO fruit scone, the last leg of the day lay before us, it was only about four miles away. Simple but dull walking, I just can’t seem to switch on when walking on the black stuff! Passing through the scattered village of Achriesgill and down to the fishing village of Kinlochbervie, with its almost empty harbour,

CWT 2012 UNCUT 213.JPG

CWT 2012 UNCUT 215.JPG

First stop was the local shop where we were to stock up on celebratory food and drink for tomorrow at the cape and Kevaig Bothy, A tin of Haggis, a tin of peas, a pint of real milk and a bottle of Crabbie’s ginger beer(I’m T total) With packs laden with the extra weight we were soon at the hotel, I collected another parcel from the reception(a fly rod and reel and more food that I didn’t need) That evening we decided to opt for a bar meal, Steak pie and chips, Mmmm, that would hit the spot!. While we were eating, Shaun contacted the ferryman to organise our crossing tomorrow, when he came off the phone he wasn’t convinced that it was organised properly as the gentleman was in the pub sounding a bit, Ehh, how do I put it?****** Pished! So shaun also sent a text for when he woke up in the morning. We managed to get our stinking washing done but not dried by the hotel, it was going to be dried in the room on a makeshift washing line that we set up,

Glenduh-Kinlochbervie (8).JPG

then it was time to catch up with home and prepare for the last leg of the walk before bed.
ZZZZzzzz !

Chapter 12

Reaching the Cape

Kinlochbervie to Cape Wrath


15th May

Cape Wrath 16.6.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

This was the day that it had all led up to; Cape Wrath was in our sights today. We were like kids on Christmas morning, awake early full of anticipation and excitement, packed up and with a good breakfast in us we headed off for the last time, with a renewed spring in our step we were out of the hotel as if it was our first day, turning left onto the road heading for Sheigra. The morning was dry and bright with a cool wind. The going was easy with gradual ups and downs passing the scattered village of Oldshoremore all the way to Blairmore where there is a sign indicating the direction through a gate to Sandwood bay. We stopped at the car park just a few yards on for a 15 minute break in the lee of the public toilets.

CWT 2012 UNCUT 217.JPG

Back to the sign post and through a gate on a good track passing various lochs along the way. The ground around us was open moorland of heather and grass which gave us an indication of what the going was going to be like once we left sandwood bay where there was going to be no track or path. Passing the East side of Druim na Buainn is when you get your first glimpse of Sandwood loch below you, as you progress along the track Sandwood Bay comes into view like a picture being revealed with the turn of the next page. It is as beautiful as you imagine, worth every step of the Trail,

CWT 2012 UNCUT 221.JPG

time has to be taken to soak in the vista before moving on across the beach and crossing the shallow burn that flows out of Sandwood Loch.

CWT 2012 UNCUT 223.JPG

Now begins the hard work of the day, the first of four steep climbs for us before reaching the Cape. Once over the first the ground at the bottom was as we expected, boggy and full of tussocks, we decided to stick to the high ground close to the edge because it would be drier and easier underfoot, which it was.

CWT 2012 UNCUT 231.JPG

CWT 2012 UNCUT 235.JPG

In the distance we could see our goal, the lighthouse. We finally reached the road after crossing the flat bog which lies between Cnoc a Ghiubhais and the road itself, During a rest at the road side I had a look at my boots because my left foot was wet but not my right, I had been suspicious of this for the last couple of days. They were new boots at the start of the walk so water must have gone over the top when crossing the bog, No, they were falling to bits, a split between the sole and the upper and the material was breaking down.

Kinlochbervie-Cape Wrath (5).JPG

Back to finishing the job in hand, off we went along the road finally rounding the foot of Dunan Mor to reveal the lighthouse.

CWT 2012 UNCUT 240.JPG

It was over, pictures were taken and congratulations given to each other whilst we broke out the celebratory drinks and relaxed in the sun. What a view!

CWT 2012 UNCUT 242 (2668x1732).jpg

CWT 2012 UNCUT 244.JPG

We had been told that there was a café at the cape but we weren’t sure if it was a wind up or not as the place looked deserted with no obvious signs of a café. We knocked on the door and we were welcomed in for refreshments, Tea and cakes, last chance to get a fruit scone and jam, “None! Unbelievable!” I don’t think there are any fruit scones in Scotland North of Fortbilly.
The chap from the lighthouse offered us a lift to the road end of Kervaig Bothy (I was taking that!) because we couldn’t get off the Cape until the morning, or so we hoped, given the uncertainty of Shaun’s phone call last night. I had now mentally switched off from walking anymore now that I had reached the end. From the road end it wasn’t far to the Bothy, what a spectacular setting, in a green park with its own beach which is flanked by cliffs. Stunning! It couldn’t get any better than this, or could it?

CWT 2012 UNCUT 253.JPG

CWT 2012 UNCUT 256.JPG

For the last time we got ourselves organised in the Bothy after scavenging for firewood on the beach, dinner was made and the fire was on, it was now time to relax in the warmth and reflect on all our experiences of the Trail. The sunset that night at the cape was the perfect icing on the proverbial cake; it lasted about 25 minutes while we stood there awestruck,

It could get better !

sunset at Kervaig 2.jpg

CWT 2012 UNCUT 273.JPG

It just did !


ZZZZzzzz !


Within a minute they were scone !
Last edited by Billymaca on Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Chapter 11 & 12

Postby gammy leg walker » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:37 pm

Wonderful,wonderful read from start to finish & what a finish,many thanks for sharing. :clap: :clap:
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Chapter 11 & 12

Postby mrssanta » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:43 pm

fantastic, I was hoping they still had the tea at the lighthouse, but I how vexing not to get fruit scones anywhere!
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Chapter 11 & 12

Postby frankieman » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:27 pm

Billymaca - Well done, fantastic! What an ending at Kervaig bothy. I have not logged on for a few weeks and did so this evening - the evening of your final report. I am sorry to say that we did not make it - again! We made it as far as Loch Broom and I have to say had the best 6 days walking ever. Following your report onwards from Dundonnell has made me realise that I have to try a third time. Back to Kervaig - after 200 miles that sunset must have been a spiritual moment. By the way, you still had 5 kilos more than me.
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Chapter 11 & 12

Postby andyp » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:03 pm

A great read Billymaca well done :clap:

Interesting to see other peoples' routes.

Not wishing to make you jealous, but ..... we got splendid homemade fruit scones with plenty of butter and jam at a little tea room that was part of a craft shop just before getting to Kylesku. They were fabulous and much needed (we had underestimated our food rations from Kinlochewe). We also stocked up with Mars bars and Cheddars here to supplement our rations until Kinlochverbie.

Kervaig bothy is in a fantastic location and makes a grand finale to the trip.
We also had a couple of nights at Sango Sands campsite (great facilities) in Durness to chill out afterwards, before tackling the considerable logistics of getting home (i.e. bus to Lairg, train to Inverness, bus to Edinburgh, bus to Sheffield, lift to back to Nottingham).
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Chapter 11 & 12

Postby Fellwanderer » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:10 am

Great report and well done :thumbup:

Certainly inspired me to try it this time next year.
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Chapter 11 & 12

Postby whiteburn » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:54 pm

Job well done, really enjoyed reading the reports. :clap: :clap: :clap: :D :D
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Chapter 11 & 12

Postby dunrig » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:29 pm

Really enjoyed reading this report - thank you for posting :clap:
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12

Postby morag1 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:48 am

Brilliant report and photos, I have enjoyed every minute of this, well done :clap:

Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12

Postby mountainstar » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:54 pm

Superb report Billymac, really enjoyed it all. That was a lot of road walking, although possibly a good decision as I did the Achfary to Rhiconich (after also starting from Glendhu Bothy) route off road, and found it very hard with a few miles with no path.
And those pictures of the sunset from Kearvaig Bothy are excellent, probably a WH winner of the month :D
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12

Postby coste_ » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:07 pm

Well done :clap:

Thoroughly enjoyed reading your report

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12

Postby al tron » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:18 am

Quality report mate, read it all start to finish :clap:
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12

Postby samohtw » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:07 pm

Ahh I wish I were there again. You report awakens wonderful memories of my 2009 CWT walk. Hopefully I will visit it again. The section we skipped, Glen Dessarry to Shiel Bridge and the Saddle is like a constantly nagging beautiful woman. I must finish this quest. http://www.samohtw.blogspot.com/
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12

Postby daveinchwell » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:15 pm

Great diary. Fair play. Definitely going to read this again before I head off in 3 weeks to have a crack off it.
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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12

Postby dcbanx » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:03 am

I did the walk from Sheigra to Cape Wrath and back to Sheigra all in one day back in 1975 before there was a car park at Sheigra or even toilets. Was a great walk, I would love to do it again, your account might inspire me. Thanks
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