Day 73: Lochan Fada – Shenavall Bothy 

Saturday, 01/07/2017
Distance: 17,9 km (11,1 mi) for a total of 2010,4 km (1249,1 mi)

Ascent (ca.): 585 m (1920 ft)

Weather: Sunshine in the early morning, later getting cloudier with the wind picking up, occasional drizzle

As I had no idea how long the pathless section would take me – not to speak of the ones with a path, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s faster – and I wanted to be sure to reach the bothy early having heard that it is popular with Munro baggers, I again opted for a very early start. At least I was rewarded with a fantastic atmosphere.

Although no path was shown on the OS map there was one on the topo map on my GPSr which I found after a bit stomping around. It was much better than I would have expected and took me up quite a stretch. The views back on Lochan Fada where stunning.

But, of course, the path didn’t last forever, it finally died and I had to make my way otherwise. And again the topo map was more accurate than the OS map. The latter only showed a footpath to pick after the descent and shortly before Loch an Nid was reached. In fact there was a really good path much further up which I thankfully used.

From Loch an Nid and down Abhainn Loch an Nid the path was visible most of the time, but unfortunately nowhere near to the good conditions the “non-existent” one had provided. Most remarkable were thus the people I met. Well, even meeting one person would have been noteworthy, but I met three one by one.

The first was another walker doing the Cape Wrath Trail north to south. We exchanged the usual walking information about the path ahead of each other and wished us luck on our ways. As the guy rightly mentioned you hardly met other walkers here on the trail, normally you only meet them in the bothies. The second man I met was riding a bike. I didn’t asked why he was out on a bike and how he got here. While chatting he confirmed that the bothy shouldn’t be full today as there had been only one car in the car park usually used by Munroists going for the An Teallach munros. The third one, already in sight of the bothy was a jogger on a circular trip as he explained in the short chat we had.

Tomorrow will be a longer day regarding distance, but the second half will be on road into Ullapool. This will be a great motivation along the first half as I don’t expect the paths to be any different from today’s.

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