Thursday, 6 October 2011

Loch Nevis and Inverie

Ever since I discovered the remote beauty of Loch Hourn on my holiday last year, I had a longing to explore the even more remote Loch Nevis. I had hoped that there would have been a few days of settle weather while camping at Arisaig but the unsettled weather continued with only one decent day now and then, sandwiched between days with winds.

The nearest launch point for a boat on a trailer is in Mallaig but unfortunately, the public slipway is on a desperate corner of a busy road so single handed launching was out. That meant me boating all the way from the campsite to Mallaig before entering the loch and the same on the return journey so I felt I needed more than one day of decent weather for the planned trip.

There was only one day of calm weather in the forecast so my only option was to visit the loch by commercial boat. At least it would give me a taster for any later expeditions under my own power.

I caught the Western Isles boat at Mallaig harbour on the morning of the calm day and chose the “full day” option. This meant going ashore at Inverie while the boat returns to Mallaig then, in the afternoon boarding it again on its return. It then heads for Tarbet and inner Loch Nevis before going back to Mallaig.
I waved to the memorial statue standing on the pier at the entrance to theharbour. True to the forecast, it was a lovely morning with hardly a breath of wind.

Once clear of the harbour the boat turned right and headed for Inverie near the entrance to Loch Nevis. The waters on the Sound of Sleat were like a mirror.

This is a photograph looking back towards Mallaig which is now hidden behind the headland.

There was pod after pod of porpoise breaking surface on the smooth waters. I have never seen so many and even managed to photograph some as the broke surface. I was hoping some would pass closer to the boat but they kept their distance.

We passed an unusual buoy at the entrance to Loch Nevis. It had a cross on top but I have not managed to find out why or what the story behind it is ?

Inverie is the most remote village on mainland UK. Its a 7 mile boat journey to reach it or a 22 mile hike across the mountains of Knoydart. Although there is a narrow road through the village, it is not connected to the UK road system.

There was a hustle and bustle on the pier when we arrived. Everyone was down to collect their groceries and other shopping requirements as they are delivered by the Western Isles boat. Guest house owners were waiting for their visitors to arrive and even the post van came to collect the local mail.

I got off for a wander around the village and to visit its famous pub.. the Forge .....

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