24-May-2004 -- We are on our annual holiday (vacation) and have come up to the West coast of Scotland, staying at Lochgoilhead --
there has been a settlement here for over 800 years.
The nearest CP is about 12 miles as the crow flies, but if you have ever been to this part of Scotland then you will know that by road it is often twice as far. A lot of the roads around here are single track roads just wide enough for a car - there are passing places every few hundred yards in case you were wondering. Something to do with all the mountains around here.
I've decided it's time to take up the challenge set by Paul Watt and do some of the more "strenuous" points in the UK. It was an uneventful 400 mile drive up here and we arrived at 3pm on Saturday 22nd May, we are now completely unpacked and it is still only 3.45pm.....hmmm.....
Off we set and as we are approaching the CP from the North I decided to take the unposted road between the turning for Invereck and the turning for Glendramel. This looks like a fairly straightforward approach. After about 1/2 a mile it becomes a private road (posted as such). Now in Scotland there is a presumed right to roam so I parked up and walked up to the big house at the top of the hill. Nobody in. Back to the car and a couple of hundred yards away was someone burning some logs. I checked with them and they confirmed that the track bearing to the left behind the house was where I needed to go.
Walking back up the road we spotted the land-owner and I explained our mission. Apparently they have accepted some money from the Forestry Commission to clearly mark out some paths, but don't "allow" people to walk on the trails clearly marked on the map! As I previously said, there is a right to roam in Scotland but I wasn't going to argue just yet. He offered an alternate way onto the trail but we couldn't find it, so we went back and negotiated permission to cross the road onto the required trail.
I have attached a map (Pic 9) (courtesy of Multimap) showing the marked trail that takes you North of the river. This will take you to within about 200 yards of the CP,unfortunately about 150 of those are vertically straight down! We gave up at this point as it was getting late.
We followed the trail that leads out on the left of the map, which is the way I was to back in on Monday morning....
Monday morning and we approached from the bottom left as marked, parked up and walked along the marked trail to the river, this time taking the posted footpath (with a disc about 1 inch across so look VERY closely for it). It is a hard climb up through the woods through a lot of boggy patches to just about 56N. Cross over the river and scramble up the steep hill to get to 5W, then wander around until the exact spot is reached.
I took the four cardinal point pictures (1 through 4) followed by the GPS shots (Pic 6). Just where you cross the river is this waterfall (Pic 5). We have recently been given a digital video camera by my daughter Rachel as a wedding anniversary present and so I have included two short clips, first at the actual CP itself, the other of the general area.
One CP done for this holiday, 58N 4W was to follow two days later.