Day 74: Shenavall – Ullapool

Sunday, 02/07/2017
Distance: 32,6 km (20,3 mi) for a total of 2043 km (1269,4 mi)

Ascent (ca.): 1030 m (3380 ft)

Weather: Overcast in the morning with occasional showers, in the afternoon with additional sunny spells mixed in

This was going to be a days of two halves, from the bothy to Inverlael and from there to Ullapool. And it would be a long day. So I started very early again. Luckily, the path up from the bothy, although not really jogging area, proved to be much better than expected. Much of it was stony, often at the same time the bed of small streams, so careful footwork was necessary, but the muddy patches were few in the beginning.

I reached the track leading down to the A832 and the car park earlier than anticipated. Being a gravel track the going down was slow as I had no intention to slide down the hill. This was followed by a short road walk and another track, before a footpath led to another path on which I was to cross a lot of open country to get to Inverlael and the end of Loch Broom. On my topo map this path was named as a heritage road and it soon reminded me of the ominous Pony Track. I don’t think I like these heritage trails.

Somewhere along this stretch, I was already more than half-way through, a young man pushing his mountain bike came towards me. He wasn’t happy to hear how far he was from any change in path condition. I really wonder why people try to bike in such an area. Nothing against a challenge, but pushing a bike for most of the time seems counterintuitive to me.

As soon as I was down in the valley and at the road it was easy walking apart from the problem to not get driven over. Ullapool is a charming little town, despite the many tourists. I ran some errands before checking in at the youth hostel. The recommendation by the wardens when I asked them which pub or restaurant serves portions for a hungry walker was spot on. For the first time since … days I felt really full. That will become a problem back home: readjusting the calorie intake, otherwise I will very fast make up for the weight loss and I like to keep something of it. 

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