About Me

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Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it

Saturday June 8th 2013 - Ardnamurchan Point and Sanna Bay

Another sunny morning brought my last full day at Invercaimbe and the dilemma of what to do. Having driven quite a distance the previous day I had a mind to just stay on site and do nothing; there was a small local agricultural show being held a couple of miles up the road at Camusdarach so I could maybe have a look round there then spend the rest of the day on the beach or by the tent, but then if I did that I could be missing the opportunity to explore somewhere I hadn't yet been. My mind was more or less made up though when I got chatting to one of the site residents as I came back from the beach with the dogs; she said Ardnamurchan Point was worth going to as dolphins could be seen near there, so that was it - decision made, and after a breakfast of coffee and toast and a quick look at the map book I put the dogs in the van and set off.

My route took me east along the main road in the direction of Fort William then turned off at Lochailort and headed south, and although this was still classed as an A road it got narrower after the first few miles and in most places was just a single-track road with passing places. Driving through a little place called Glenuig the road followed the water and the view across the Sound of Arisaig looked quite nice so I stopped briefly for a couple of photos then continued on my way.


As I headed further south and then west the road became very winding and twisty and the land became more rugged in many places, though beside the various lochs it was very scenic. The lady I'd been talking to on the camp site said it was 'a bit of a drive' to get to Ardnamurchan Point but as time went on I realised that this was turning into rather a lot of a drive. With the road being so narrow, and with many blind bends and inclines, I had to keep my speed down as I never knew what I was going to meet coming from the opposite direction; the journey got tedious after a while and seemed to take forever, and at one point I almost wished I'd never started it as it felt like Ardnamurchan Point was a million miles away 

Eventually though my epic trek finally came to an end and I pulled up in the car park close to Ardnamurchan lighthouse; it had taken a staggering two-and-a-quarter hours to drive just sixty miles! Now I don't really know exactly what I'd been expecting to see when I got there - maybe a little hamlet with a few cottages or something - but other than the lighthouse and its outbuildings and a small cafe-cum-gift shop there was absolutely nothing there at all. I was glad to see the cafe though as after that long drive I needed a brew, so I got a takeaway coffee and a couple of slices of fruit cake and went back to sit in the van for a while.

I hadn't gone all that way just to sit and look at the view though so after I'd taken the dogs for a quick walk down the track I went back to the cafe and paid to go up to the top of the lighthouse. It was a steep climb up the spiral staircase, with the last dozen steps being up an almost vertical ladder, but the views from the top were good and the guy who looked after the place gave some very good information about the light itself and the history of it. But as for seeing any dolphins, it seemed I was out of luck there; the sea was as flat as the proverbial pancake and there wasn't a fin or a flipper to be seen anywhere.


Once I'd looked round the exhibition which was in one of the outbuildings there was nothing else to do except get back in the van and head back the way I'd come. After a few miles I reached a fork in the road and a sign pointing to Sanna Bay; to go there would mean driving in completely the wrong direction and adding another eight miles to my already long journey but I'd been told it was nice there so it was worth a look while I was in the vicinity.

The road ended at little hamlet of a dozen cottages and a large gravel-surfaced car park surrounded by a vast expanse of well-kept grass which was crossed by a gravel track with eight or nine more modern houses up towards the end. A couple of footpaths crossed the grass to the sand dunes and a short walk took me to the beach; now I don't know whether or not the long drive I'd had somehow dimmed my appreciation of the scenery in front of me but my impression was that although it was a nice place it just wasn't as lovely as the beaches and bays around Invercaimbe. I wandered along from one end of the bay almost to the other, shot several photos, then made my way back to the van for the long trek back to Arisaig.


The second drive of the day took just as long as the first, though I did break it up a bit by making a few brief photo stops at various points where there was a good view, though to be honest I really couldn't say where any of them were or if they had any names. There was one little place which I thought was quite pretty though - tucked away in a corner at the end of one of the lochs, and in a slightly elevated position, was a little hamlet of half a dozen houses and bungalows and a couple of wooden chalets. With rhododendrons in the gardens and backed by tall trees growing up the hill it had an almost alpine look to it and wouldn't have been out of place at the foot of an Austrian mountain.


I finally arrived back at Invercaimbe about nine hours after I'd left; it had been a long day and I was glad to be able to make a sandwich and a coffee and relax outside the tent for the rest of the evening while the dogs lay in their bed close by. As the sun started to go down beyond the islands I put the dogs' bed back in the tent, got the camera and we went for our pre-bedtime walk along the beach; sadly this was our last evening walk and last Invercaimbe sunset and I didn't want to miss it.


As I settled down in bed a while later I thought back over my day; if I'd known just how long the drive would be to get to Ardnamurchan Point I probably wouldn't have gone, especially as it had used up a great deal of the fuel I'd got the day before which meant I would have to get some more as I passed through Fort William on my way back south the following day. However, I'd got some nice photos to add to my collection, and if I'd learned one thing it was this - next time somebody tells me that somewhere is just 'a bit of a drive' I'll think twice before I actually go there!

4 comments:

  1. We thought long and hard about driving down to Ardnamurchan Point when we stayed at Inchree. The drive just looked too much, especially with a 16 and 14 year old in tow!

    http://wannabepikey.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. Is Inchree the name of a camp site or place? I've looked at the map book and can't find it - just wondered where it was in relation to Arisaig. At least now you know that if you ever go there again there's no need to tackle the drive to Ardnamurchan point - the road is so narrow and has so many bends and twists that I was down to less than 30mph for most of it, that's why it took so long. I don't think your teenagers would be very happy about it!

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  3. Thank you. If you like good views then I can highly recommend the area where I camped and explored, the scenery is stunning.

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