On Tour NC 500 – Day 12

On Tour Travelogue – Day 12
Monday 11 June

Well good evening from Kinlochewe where today we have been walking in the mountains.

It would be far more impressive if I said climbing the mountains but seeing as that wouldn’t be true walking will have to suffice on this occasion.

For those who don’t know what a ‘Munro’ is it is a name given to every mountain in Scotland that is over 3000 feet above sea level and is named after Sir Hugh Munro who produced the first list of such hills of which the most famous is Ben Nevis.

This morning we set off to walk up the Allt a’ Chuirn path towards the peak known as Shurr nam Fear Duba which is in the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. 

The writing of this is sending the word spell check mental trying to find the correct spelling or alternative words for ‘ Chuirn’, ‘Beinn Eighe’ etc.

Talking of being driven crazy we were warned this morning about the ferocity of the midges in this area.

My first thought was why blame Midge Ure but as it happens we haven’t seen or experienced any today so perhaps they’ve gone on holiday.

(I fear I may regret saying that later).

The views in the park as you start to climb the path are spectacular and perhaps even more importantly is the protection to the natural plant life that the park provides.

It would be easy I suppose to just put your head down and plough on up the hills but why when you can take the time to simply sit and look around?

What we both found strange was that the site we are on is full yet today with the exception of one other couple we were the only ones out walking in the hills and not just sat in the site looking at them?

I’m sure there is a very good reason why so many people travel all of the way here without then walking but I haven’t a foggiest idea why?

As for us – and the dogs of course – we loved it and after two hours we had reached a point 360m up Beinn Eighe itself.

OK 1200 feet for those who don’t – of a certain age in the UK – understand metre measurements.

There was a couple of good reasons why we didn’t go any further, the first was we had the dogs with us and the second is that we reached a point where to keep going we would have need the correct climbing gear and even though we both don’t mind giving it a go we are also not that stupid.

I say that because apparently when the sun is shining – as it was today – people still just wander into the mountains as if dressed for a stroll down a country lane.
At this point I should say that even though the Allt a’ Chuirn path is in places a little precarious being as it is very close to the cliff gorge – Liz by the way is frightened of heights so this was a challenge for her that she dealt with brilliantly (and no I’m not on this occasion being in the least bit sarcastic she was great) – the volunteers who maintain it deserve all of the credit that can be given.

A quick lunch break and then time to come down and another Liz classic as we nearly reached the start point,

“It’s quicker to walk down a mountain than climbing up it”

Perhaps it has something to do with gravity?

Who knows?

Anyway as we returned we called in to the Whistle Stop Cafe for coffee and cake or in Liz’s case hot chocolate and cake – the expert says the hot chocolate is almost as good as that at the Cocoa Mountain in Durness -.

A quick word about the Whistle Stop Cafe.

It is very popular with cyclist and for a very good reason the food and drink is excellent and in fact Liz noticed they do a breakfast of bacon, eggs, tomatoes and avocado on toast (what we call a New Zealand breakfast in our house) so we’re going back tomorrow morning.

So the end of another perfect day and bug free too so what more could you ask for except a wee dram..