Thursday, January 23, 2014

MV Western Isles

I've only been aboard MV Western Isles once. She makes regular runs to Inverie out of Mallaig, and also visits remote Tarbet. It was the Tarbet service that inspired me to do a long, one way walk from Malliag to Tarbet. So on a wet spring morning I walked down the highway from Mallaig to Morar. From Morar I headed east along the northern shore of Loch Morar to Swordland. As I walked along the loch I had great views over to the many islands in the loch. I promised myself that someday I'd visit those islands. (And I would, eight years later, as recounted in Book 1, Chapter 21.)

From Swordland I climbed the small pass of Bealach Tarbet to reach the tiny settlement of Tarbet on the shore of Loch Nevis. I ended up walking 12 miles in the rain, and had to ford several rain-swollen streams, so I was soaking wet. At Tarbet I found shelter in the porch of the church-bothy. After sitting there for an hour I saw the Western Isles motoring into Tarbet Bay. On the ride back to Mallaig I sat in the warm cabin to dry off and soak up the heat. For the complete story of the hike see chapter 25 of book 1. 

Western Isles arrives in Tarbet Bay
MV Western Isles

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