there’s alot to be said for wild camping, but ill start by saying if you’re not near water, and the day isnt relatively warm, having a wash can be difficult. However, streams & rivers are often crossed, and when you haven’t washed in days, the cool water is such a gift.
This morning the sun is shining and we awake to start a small fire. Why you may ask… midgies, smoke seems to keep them at bay. So the usual pot of porridge is eaten & of we go towards a town called Tain. On route, some incredible views of Moray Firth & beyond are seen on this clear start to the day.
This Northern part of Scotland differs very much from the West coast which I am used to, but has equal beauty. We arrive in Tain for lunch and ofcourse the infamous couple pots of tea. Upon leaving Tain we cross the long bridge across Dornoch Firth. Back on the A9 once again and we are greeted by another sign. John O Groats , 83 miles, nearly there. Its a little tiresome road walking, on the mind, but more so on the feet.
As we continue on this busy trunk road, we read a woodland, which doesnt seem to have anywhere suitable to pitch up, which slighty fustrates us, so we continue a couple more miles to Skelbo wood arriving at 9 pm. Beef and rice is cooked & spirits are once again raised. While we are here and there is a stream, we also take the time to have a dip, wash ourselves & our clothes. Refreshing & cold but so worth it, squeaky clean once again..
Today we enter into the last leg of the walk. The last 100 miles or so & it is supposed to be the least scenic part with the majority on roads. For those reasons I anticipate this last leg the most difficult. However, today was lengthy, rainy but not so bad at all. As you can imagine, the walk out of Inverness on this Saturday morning was busy, especially on the A9. We first cross Beuly firth coming out of the city & for 10 miles we cross another Firth. Infact, as we proceed we cross quite a few firth’s along the way. Cromarty firth is a big one and feels like we are on the bridge for a good hour. Incase you didn’t know A firth are coastal waters, and opening into the wide ocean.
A very different feel from what we have been walking this past month, walking the roads takes a while to adjust to. The weather is wet today, but we carry on, walk and smile, walk and smile. By the afternoon, the weather takes a turn for the better as we arrive in Alness 22 miles later from Inverness. We are both hungry, but while loitering on this high street, the usual ‘debates’ are had as to what food is better to eat. We can’t be bothered to cook tonight after a lengthy walk, we walk past a busy curry house, and decide that is the best option. And yes it is. Sag Palak (Chicken and spinach) with a couple of roti does the trick. As there is no camp sites around here, we decide to walk on a bit a find a suitable woodland to camp in. 4 Miles on, its getting late, and 26 miles is a lot for a day. We settle up but the midges are rife. Adam hates midges, lol, and I’ve never seen someone start a fire so quick. He picks up a bundle of twigs quickly, lights em up, and there you go, fire and smoke, midges gone. Laying down to rest with the crackle of the wood, the fire and smell of burning wood. Heaven is indeed here on earth..