A single track road on a raised beach. Oaks with new leaves. A carpet of bluebells. Beyond the oaks, to my right, wave-cut cliffs and, to my left, a pebble beach. Feet pounding a hard surface. Deja vu all over again.
But this wasn’t Kintyre. There was more traffic, the vehicles, particularly the two police vehicles, drove past more quickly and with less consideration. Nobody stopped to offer a lift.
A late train and later bus had brought me to Fort William with just time to buy gas and top up with excellent fish and chips at Nico’s before catching the 16.15pm ferry to Camusnagaul. I knew that six miles of tarmac would take me to Cona Glen and I hate road walking. Serious self-discipline kept me off the bus which meets the ferry but it was close.
Ben Nevis and Beinn Bheithir stood out in the views across Loch Linnhe on a sunny evening. Perhaps I should have stopped in Gleann Sron a’ Chreagain, which looked as if it might offer seclusion, but I kept on plodding south to the rhododendrums and salt marshes at the entrance to Cona Glen, where I turned up beside the river.
After some houses, the tarmac ends and a notice warns of free-roaming cattle. Through a gap in the pleasant, deciduous woods, I could see some cows high up on the north side of the glen. I hoped that would be all of them. A little further on, a second notice banned all vehicles. Road building vehicles parked in the way and unfinished culverts demonstrated the seriousness of the notice.
I had decided to look for somewhere to camp when I got out of the trees but getting out of the trees revealed a large herd of cows so I crossed an unmapped bridge and found a decent pitch on the south side of the river. A Highland cow walked down the track and objected so much to my tarp that it would not walk past even though I was on the other side of the river. Great! Just what I needed. Anxious cows. Hoping for the best, I got my head down.