Day 2: Strathcailleach Bothy – Sandwood Bay – Kinlochbervie -Rhiconich – Loch a Garbh bhaid Beag

17.5 miles – gailforce winds, torrential rain, hail.

Sandwood Bay from the north during a brief burst of sunshine – and not one tourist in sight!

A day of highs and lows…

High: the spectacularly beautiful Sandwood Bay;

Low: a powerful headwind driving torrential rain into my face;

High: Andy from GPS Training explained what I had done wrong and got my GPS working;

Low: my Spot X emergency contact device froze but Andy couldn’t fix that;

High: I managed to speak to Rachel on the phone;

Low: horizontal hail;

High: the Belgian waffle with toffee sauce and icecream I bought at the Old School House, Inshegra;

Low: another bloody hail storm;

High: the gorgeous Rhiconich River;

High? Low?: fording the fast-growing Garbh Allt river, up to my knees, inching across on ‘all fours’ with my trekking poles, and just managing not to topple (that would have been the end of the walk);

High: pitching my tent by the loch.

Day 2 in Photographs
Am Balg, an islet off the coast at Sandwood Bay.
The fabulously beautiful, but gorgeously remote Sandwood Bay.
Another view of the beach at Sandwood Bay. The river’s progress to the sea is hidden behind the hill in the foreground.
The sands of Sandwood Bay, from which it presumably gets its name. Note the ominous clouds above, yet to unleash their torrent.
Loch Inchard, looking towards Kinlochbervie.

It was shortly after this photograph that the heavens opened and the downpour poured down, making photography impossible. The detour through Kinlochbervie in the horizontal rain meant I could at least get a phone signal, so I was able to sort out the problem with my GPS.

The old bridge at Rhiconich.
Heading south next to the Rhiconich River. I had the feeling that, with my GPS now working and the settlements around Kinlochbervie past, I was truly starting my walk into the wilderness.
Garbh Allt – I crossed just beyond the tree, where the river is more shallow, and so slower flowing; still deep enough to fill each boot to its top!
The first pitch of my walk, and only the third time I had pitched the tent ever! It doesn’t look great, I agree, but it’s pitched on peat bog – the driest patch of it I could find.

Comments (3):

  1. Julia Bevan

    2 June 2022 at 14:45

    How long did it take your boots to dry?!

    Reply
  2. Guy

    13 October 2022 at 15:47

    Forgive the pedantry mate: where a river is shallower it will be faster flowing. I assume therefore that the river was considerably broader at your crossing point. Point to me? Here’s an emoji for good measure – 😉. (I know how much you treasure them.)

    Reply
    • Toby

      13 October 2022 at 16:17

      Broader obviously! I needed the crossing place to be not too fast-flowing and not too deep, so that the force of the water (its velocity X the surface area of my legs with which it collided) was not sufficient to induce me to take a purler. Thus, narrow and or deep crossing points were no good. The place I chose was the broadest and shallowest on offer. And you want a point? Forsooth!

      Reply

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