Tuesday 8th August 2023

A walk with Charlie round Loch Morie (9.9 miles).

Charlie (or David), my son, asked if I would like to go for a long walk with him. We had walked to Loch Morie back in April (Loch Morie 23). The forecast was good and I love a day out with Charlie. We decided to take our April walk further and go round Loch Morie.

It takes a bit of work to do this walk – a car has to be left at each end. Charlie came about 11.00 and we drove up the road and left David’s car at Ballavoulen. In my car we made our way back down our road and then went to Strathrusdale to Braentra and walked from there. We headed through the gates onto the Kildermorie Estate and up the track.

This is at the bridge over the Abhainn Glac an t-Seilich which becomes Black Water further down. How many Black Waters are in Scotland?

We kept walking up the track, and it is quite a climb, till we reached Loch Bad a’Bhathaic. It is stunning out here.

We were going to sit on the porch of the summer house and eat our picnic lunch but the wind was far too cold. In the photo Charlie is putting on a fleece and jacket, it is so cold.

So we moved a bit further up the loch and stopped in a more sheltered spot with not such a good view. We pigged it out here. We seemed to be sitting on a bog as my rucksack I was sitting on and my trousers got kind of wet.

David got a midgie in his eye as I was taking this. The midgies weren’t too bad today as it was cold and the wind kept them away. It was so cold I had to put gloves on. This is August. We have had a really poor summer after a lovely June.

As we went on I kept taking photos looking back at the loch.

There is then a sharp descent down to Kildermorie. Here is a view I have never seen before. There was always dense forest here but it has been harvested and what a view down to Loch Morie and to Kildermorie. 

The ‘new’ lodge at Kildermorie was built maybe 35 years ago. There was a lovely Victorian lodge there before that but it was getting rather dilapidated. It was a bonnier building than what it was replaced by. However the ‘new’ lodge has grown on me over the years. The estate is immaculately kept, now. All the buildings have been renovated and the grass is beautifully manicured. I think it is all used for holiday leases for the rich to enjoy hunting and fishing. You and me can still enjoy walking through the estate.

Finally we got down and round to Loch Morie. We stopped on the fine gravel beach for a while to rest and enjoy the tranquility. Poor Charlie will be back teaching next Tuesday.

A wee bit further on the track becomes much rougher and wetter.

This is where you start from if you climb Meall Mor. Charlie and I cycled up from the house to do that many years ago when he was still at school as a pupil. I have done it a couple of times other than that. Then, we just dumped our bikes beside the bridge.

All the way down the loch are these old telegraph poles. Signs of another age and another technology. There is something poignant about them.

My memory is that there were three gates but we found five! The gates used to be locked and you had to lift your bike over them. Now they were all open.

Gate 1

Gate 2

Gate 3

The heather is in bloom. Lovely.

Gate 4

Gate 5

At the end of the loch in the distance is Carn Chuinneag. I first went up it with my cousin, Martin, from Diebidale on a summer evening, maybe fifty years ago. I went up it again with Hamish MacDonald when I moved back North and started teaching. Hamish is now in his eighties. Then, when the boys were still at school we came up here and camped below Carn Chuinneag, climbing it the next day. We abandoned the expedition after that due to being devoured by midgies.

After 3.00 we stopped by the loch to eat a bit more. I ate too much today!

We reached the other end of the loch and headed up the track going East back to Ballavoulen.

This is the Averon River which flows out of Loch Morie and reaches the sea at Alness Point.

The Rosebay Willow Herb is beautiful just now. In another month it will be all fluff which blows everywhere.

At Ballavoulen.

Back to Charlie’s car.

We had to drive back to Strathrusdale to collect my car and then parted our ways there. Another grand day.