Distance: 26,9 km (16,7 mi) for a total of 2069,9 km (1286,1 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 475 m (1560 ft)
Weather: Mostly sunny, occasional showers
As I had to make use of being somewhere with a phone and mobile data signal I had reckoned it would be a late start. And of course I had to post a parcel back with the stuff from the last stretch not needed anymore. But as the wardens in the youth hostel had assured me that the track on the map was really a track and not only a broader version of mud fields and swamps I wasn’t too concerned about this.
The route took me along the river Ullapool and the north shore of Loch Achall. Apart from some occasional drops of rain it was a perfect walking day with pleasant temperatures and just enough wind. The track was easy-going, and without having to check permanently where to put my feet I was even able to enjoy it.
At one gate I saw a Landrover approaching and held the gate open for the driver. After passing through he stopped nevertheless to ask me if I was heading for Knockdamph. This was another bothy on the way, but not the one I was aiming at. The car was soon out of sight and I trotted along the glen and the next loch at a gentle pace – for once not being in a hurry.
At the Knockdamph bothy I saw the Landrover again. It turned out that the two men belonged to the Mountain Bothy Association and were out for some maintenance work. They offered me some hot water for tea (which I accepted of course) and enquired about my walk and the bothies I had used so far. I was warned that I would have to deal with one really muddy patch where the driver hadn’t been sure if he would get through with the Landrover and thus had taken the track from the opposite direction. This didn’t sound especially nice, but to make things even “better” I was reminded that there would also be a river to ford. I had seen this on the map but successfully repressed the fact. Despite knowing that I again wouldn’t end the day with dry feet I did a lot of ballet dancing to avoid the worst.
The bothy is named “The Schoolhouse” because this is what it had been. And the interior still reflects this. Certainly this was the nicest bothy I stayed in. And to start the “last whatever of this trip” series: this was the last night spent in a bothy. The MBA is really doing a great job in maintaining these shelters in remote areas, I will check if it’s possible to donate to them when I’m back home.