Days off Around Fort William-Loch Arkaig & Dark Mile

7 08 2016

June 2016
Having only had one actual objective for my week at Roybridge near Fort William meant Richard and I had quite a few ‘days off’ – this was one of them. It had rained most of the day but we were expecting a dry spell late afternoon so decided to find a short walk – this 5 miler was perfect!

Grey Corries across Loch Lochy

Click on photos for full size/resolution – Richard’s digi-photos as marked

I drove us around to the carpark at the famous Cia Aig waterfall at the end of the ‘Mile Dorcha’ (Dark Mile) – the rain had almost stopped. We got out to admire the waterfall and scrambled up rough paths at the side for photos…

Cia-Aig

Cia-Aig Upper Fall

Then, before the midges attacked, we set off down The Dark Mile. This has always fascinated me – basically, the road is bordered by old dry-stone walls which are covered with moss – in places several inches deep. That, and the canopy of trees overhead, make this section of the walk very dark but definitely not gloomy in my opinion. I actually prefer this section of the walk on a dull day as it lends further atmosphere.

Dark Mile03

Dark Mile06

Dark Mile05

Dark Mile07

On nearing Loch Lochy in The Great Glen, the road turns and runs alongside the loch passing through the village of Bunarkaig where the Royal Marines used to train for the war – using live ammunition! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Loch Lochy Boat & Richard

Loch Lochy from Bun Arkaig02

Loch Lochy from Bun Arkaig03

Loch Lochy from Bun Arkaig07

Loch Lochy from Bun Arkaig08

Loch Lochy & Flowers

After a couple of miles along the lochside, we reached the entrance to Achnacarry Estate and set off up their road – we were assuming it was okay to do so as there is a tea room up there. Richard was worried we’d be turned back though as it was after five and so would be shut. As we neared the estate houses, I saw a couple of things which tickled me…

The first was the huge root bases around the ash trees which looked like a seat!

Achnacarry Big Base Tree

The second was this ivied ruin – the chimney stack was all that was left of this house!

Achnacarry Ivied Ruin

Although we hadn’t passed any turnings, after the estate buildings Richard was absolutely convinced we were heading away from the car and into the wilderness of Glen Mallie. I kept assuring him our walk was a simple triangle and, as we hadn’t passed any right turns, we were definitely heading for Loch Arkaig and my car. He stressed on until we came to this bridge over the exit of the loch (his photo)…

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He then calmed down and we both settled down to take photos of the lovely, atmospheric Loch Arkaig – first photo is Richard’s down the river

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We both had similar ideas on this shot but I think his is slightly better (first shot)

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Loch Arkaig01

My photos again…

Loch Arkaig02

Loch Arkaig03

Loch Arkaig04

Loch Arkaig07

Richard’s from back on the road…

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All that was left was to cross the final bridge over the outlet of the Cia Aig waterfall back to the carpark (Richard’s photo)

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19 responses

19 08 2016
fedup

NIce pics ๐Ÿ™‚ Days Off?? Are you getting lazy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cheers Si

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21 08 2016
mountaincoward

No – I call anything without a particular objective (in my case, probably read ‘summit’ for that) a ‘day off’. I do it partly to annoy Richard as he never classes it as a day off!

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13 08 2016
McFadzean

Some lovely images there, Carol. The first one looks for all the world like a 19th Century oil painting.
Alen

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13 08 2016
mountaincoward

sorry replied to the wrong post comment there and am just rewording it… That first photo was taken a few years ago on a separate visit when film was much better than it is now!

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13 08 2016
McFadzean

I’m surprised you can still buy film. Photography was somehow more romantic in the days when I had to coil a roll of Kodachrome 64 into my camera. I wouldn’t go back, though. And I know you won’t agree with that!

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13 08 2016
mountaincoward

ha ha – you’re right there! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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12 08 2016
Mark

More like the green mile, eh? Loch Arkaig is stunning. I’d also recommend a wader up Glenmallie from the bothy. The old pine forest came as a complete surprise to me. A real hidden gem.๐Ÿ˜ณ

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13 08 2016
mountaincoward

Yeah, I’d quite like to visit that bothy – looking at the start of the track, I’m assuming it’s quite cyclable?

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14 08 2016
Mark

Aye, mostly. There’s an up and down which I hadn’t expected. The last level bit is very rough. Did it in he dark with Ted a few years and almost walked into the bothy in the blackness.

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11 08 2016
45degreesmc

Some excellent photos there
Norrie

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11 08 2016
mountaincoward

Thanks Norrie

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9 08 2016
tessapark1969

Looks a nice short walk. I do like a good waterfall.

What is it about men and navigation? ๐Ÿ˜„

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10 08 2016
mountaincoward

It probably doesn’t help that Richard doesn’t get involved in the route planning and navigation much at all so probably wonders where he’s going half the time ๐Ÿ˜‰

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8 08 2016
Blue Sky Scotland

Very scenic and nice reflection shots. I know that waterfall well as we usually get packed right beside it in poring rain in the dark while it thunders down before the trudge into the bothy in winter. The Dark Mile must be one of the most moss and lichen covered areas in the UK, over a foot thick in places within the forest itself with deep south style hanging fronds dangling from all the sodden trees which collapse as soon as you touch them. Brings back memories. Not been up there for years.

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8 08 2016
mountaincoward

We’ll invite you next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

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8 08 2016
chrissiedixie

Absolutely love those stone walls covered in moss!

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8 08 2016
mountaincoward

I do too! I was sticking my hand into it to see how deep it was and some must have been almost 6 inches thick!

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8 08 2016
smackedpentax

Superb photos Carol…sometimes you don’t have to go far to enjoy a walk. Love the strange tree seats ๐Ÿ™‚

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8 08 2016
mountaincoward

It was a lovely short walk – we’ll probably do it again another time we’re stuck for something quick to do around Fort Bill.

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