Clyde to Cape Wrath – day 8

This day evolved into good distance and some speed. Plenty of paved surface and a wind astern was welcome. Leaving the Oykel Bridge Hotel, a short seven mile downhill section on the A837 leads to Rosehall and the entrance to gentle and quiet Glen Cassley and the Achness Hotel Rosehall for breakfast. Turn north-west up the glen and less than 100m gain to the end of the paved road, then another 100m height gain of gravel track to the powerstation Climb over to Loch Shin on a paved road, ascending 400m from the start at Rosehall, until a really swift and paved descent lands at Loch Shin or Loch Shin This and many other highland lochs are linked to form a large hydro network

Once on the A838 turn north towards Loch Merkland, until West Merkland is reached. Now follow the old drove road from Loch Merkland This is gravel and was the most wild and remote part of the day. Follow the track north-west past Gobernuisgach Lodge, avoiding any attraction to turn up Glen Golly. Keep going until the minor road heading north towards Ben Hope can be followed. This section as far as the turning for Cashel Dhu (GR 458493) can be taken, was glorious with spring gorse, fair wind and good weather. An added attraction is Dun Dornaigil Broch

Cashel Dhu is a river crossing and in some river levels may be impossible to ford. I believe it can be crossed on the bridge at Allnacailich a couple of miles or so upstream, plus a rough portage. Alternatively, continue on to Hope and follow the A838 towards Durness. I was fortunate enough to be able to cross the river (boots off – ouch, ouch!) and camp by the locked buildings on the other side, beneath the western crags of Ben hope. A very good day, going well. This might be of use Strathmore River levels