The sunshine from yesterday carried over into today and, from the moment the sun rose, the sky was a brilliant blue with a few high cirrus clouds in view; a very favourable start to the day which saw us out and about earlier than we had planned in order to take advantage of the weather.
Our choice of hike today was Peanmeanach - a walking track that starts just a ten minute drive away from Arisaig and ends up at Peanmeanach Village (long abandoned) and Beach.
Parking in a lay-by at the start of the walk we shouldered our packs and followed the sign to Peanmeanach. After the first fifty metres we were already faced with soggy, muddy patches and we were back to the old familiar task of carefully picking out the driest route and soon we needed our walking poles in order to safely navigate the wet and muddy track.
We quickly found the bridge that crossed the railway but we were a bit too early to catch a glimpse of the Hogwart's Express aka The Jacobite. Shortly after, we crossed a rickety plank bridge across a stream and continued following what seemed to be part muddy track and part rocky steam bed. Sometimes the path became fainter but we pressed onward and eventually upward but as the going got more and more strenuous and the path more rugged and steep, finally petering out altogether we decided that we had lost the path.
We had made it to within sight of Loch nan Uamh but to keep going we were risking life and limb, and even trying to retrace our steps was difficult and very tiring. This is one day that I could have done without it being sunny and warm!
We kept looking for a track that we had missed but could see no sign of even the faintest path as we back-tracked all the way to the plank bridge. Wet to the knees from walking a narrow path with overhanging, wet greenery on either side, sweaty and disheartened we admitted defeat and abandoned the walk after having covered less than 3 km.
Disappointed with not achieving our goal we drove back to Eshaness but instead of going home we continued along the single track (I've seen wider footpaths!) Rhu Road to where it ends. There is supposedly a beach at Rhu Point but where we parked there was only shingle, sea-weed, rock and a strong aroma of cow poo. At the end of the road there was a path with no vehicular access and we assume that a hike down this road eventually led to the beach but we didn't follow it.
So, after being stymied at every turn we called it a day and headed home. In spite of in depth analysis of where we went wrong on the Peanmeanach walk we could only surmise that we should have started the ascent up to the ridge much sooner but as there had been no obvious path we could not decide at what point we should have left the more clearly defined path that we had mistakenly taken.
That was the downside of the day; the upside is that it's Tuesday and that means it's The Great British Bake Off!