Having arrived in Lochinver, without any real plan, I was more than happy to find the weather and location would combine to fulfill my “model” day for the trip – one hike in the morning and another later in the day. I retraced my route from the day before back to the parking from the day before, which it turned out was just through Inverkirkaig and the starting point for a hike along River Kirkaig.
In theory, the purpose of the hike is to visit the Falls o Kirkaig, but there are at least two signs warning of the extreme danger of taking the side path down to the falls, and ironically I decided to skip it. After all the rain of the last few days, the path was very boggy and rocks, such as on the descent to the falls, were very slick. I decided to keep going, and see if I could reach Loch Fionn. I did get within sight of it, but the ground became so overwhelming wet that I decided I didn’t need to see my boots disappear in the bog (again) and turned back. Almost immediately, stepping from one tussock to the next, and suddenly my left ankle, well it was so fast, I’m not entirely sure what happened, my leg went sharp left and my foot went in the opposite direction, and now it hurt, a lot, and I was over 2 miles from the car. Well, the ankle still seemed to work, and as there wasn’t any alternative, I just kept walking. Eventually back at the parking, I went to the nearby cafe to reflect and rest.
The plan had been for a second hike to the Old Man of Stoer. Certainly the ankle was very swollen, but I had just walked for 2 hours, and it hadn’t gotten any worse, or really hurt all that much. A bigger issue was that it was getting late, but I headed out to the point anyway. There is parking at the old lighthouse, but it turns out that you can’t see the point or Old Man from there. I started the hike to the point but it was immediately obvious that the ground was sodden, and given what the walk description said about a gully that needed to be traversed along the way, I decided to follow the track to the radio mast and see how far I could manage along there. Just before I got to the final climb to the mast I saw how late it was getting, how tired my ankle was, and turned back. This photo was taken just after leaving the lighthouse parking.