We woke up today at the crack of dawn and stayed bunkered down in the van for another hour or so until it was time to get up and move on out for stage two of the trip.
And what a view we were greeted with. A crisp cold winters morning next to Loch Lomond with the mountains parallel to it dressed in snow from top to bottom. The car park was covered in ice and the trees surrounding us all frozen in the morning air waiting for the sun to warm them.
A little robin red breast perched next to me and whistles hello as I took in the view. No worms for him at the moment.
Soon enough we were on the way to The Green Welly Stop for fuel for the camper and ourselves as this would be the last meal until soup and bread tonight.
Glen Coe was amazing to see covered in a blanket of white all around as far as the eye could see. The contrast of the valley floor covered in mustard yellow heath grass and scrubland, a desolate lonely place to be but full of such awe inspiring landscape and a beauty all of its own.
There were cars parked up at various lay-bys, with people off hiking a few miles up the mountains and back all in an afternoons work. Meanwhile we were still making our way slowly though the highlands until we made a left turn down a curious hill which upon came into view a slip road Into the Loch, where the road ended and a sign was present displaying roll on roll off ferry crossing times.
Luckily for us every 30 mjnutes. We waited approximately 20 minutes and then boarded the ferry for our journey over Loch Linnhe. It was a fast journey, maybe a total of 10 minutes at sea before we docked across the other side of Lovh Linnhe, the gate opened and we were waved off by the ferryman on towards our final destination of the day by road at least!
20 miles or so later we were there. We had arrived in Gorteneon and parked up the camper in a “no parking over night ” lay by , prepared ourselves for the hike and continued the journey on foot over the bridge which had a sign displaying the following information of possible unexploded munitions.
On through the woods by the side of the shore line and up into the hills.
After around 50 minutes of hiking through the snow covered pine forests on an icy gravel path we arrived at the singing sands beach only to be greeted by another sign warning us of unexploded munitions. Time to be watchful!
The beach was and is stunning. Just amazing. So remote, so far away from villages towns and cites and only accessible by walking or by boat from the North Atlantic Ocean.
Over a creek and across the way stood an old boat house boarded up for the winter which we investigated and behind that layed the ruins of an old stone house covered in moss and grown over grass, nature had taken back its grip on the land for sure.
I quite ungracefully made my way back over the stepping stones of the creek toward the beach not knowing my pal was filming me! Great!
We walked along the shore line on the soft sand, our feet sinking in a good few inches with each step. The view to the left of the North Atlantic and mountains & islands beyond was stunning, the view to our right the shore line of the beach fenced by the slopes of the pine forests and dense forest.
After walking along the shoreline for a while we turned uphill into the forest tonfind a suitable place to make camp for the night.
We rigged up an overhead sheet to cover out bags keep them dry and set up the hammocks within minutes and started to collect firewood and kindling for the fire after dark.
Once that was done we walked down to the beach to do some line fishing, we knocked limpets off the rocks for bait, placed them on the hooks and spun out lines out to sea and sat down on the rocks to wait for our fish………which didn’t come! Ah well, no problem as we had soup back at camp for dinner.
After a few more castings of the lines and daylight quickly disappearing we made our way back to camp to start the fire. My pal wanting to do it without a lighter and with only a flint and strike made a great effort, but the bark was too damp and after a while I took out my cheap 59p lighter and made an instant flame to the kindling and soon a well established fire was roaring away giving much needed warmth!
We settled in, I made whisky and coke, my pal went for the soup, but realised only then that he had forgottonto take it out of the camper van fridge! So we had toasted bread over the fire instead! No fish, no soup, just toast and whisky and coke! It could have been a lot worse! After a while we jumped in our hammocks and settled in for the night around 5.30pm! An early night you might say! I think I was asleep by 7pm after writing parts of this and awoke again a touch cold at midnight inner of the call of nature, so I took the plunge and left the warmth and safety of my sleeping bag and hammock, put on my cold boots and walked away from camp to pee!
I notice the clouds had all gone and the stars in all the depth and majesty were out in full force making the night air even colder than a few hours before when we had the blanket of clouds.
I went back to the hammock straight away as I felt the cold creeping into my body, jumped into the warmth of the sleeping bag and went back to sleep, only waking again at around 5 am.