Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Day 3 Helmsdale to Dornoch

Sunday 22nd August 2010

After another good night in the tent I was rudely introduced to the dreaded Scottish midges. As soon as I unzipped the tent door I was absolutely covered in the little blighters, there must have been at least one on every square inch of exposed flesh. My Avon Skin-So-Soft, supposedly the best deterrent, was at hand so I sprayed it liberally over myself and rushed back up the main road as quickly as I possibly could. Before hitting the road again I dropped into the convenience store in Helmsdale and made sure I was very well stocked up with provisions in case I had another day like yesterday with shops and restaurants being virtually non-existent.

By lunchtime I had walked the 11 miles to Brora, the road seemed fairly quiet today, I found a bench next to the river and relaxed for an hour. In the afternoon, after passing the impressive Dunrobin Castle (the first castle I have ever seen with it's own railway station!) I pushed on straight through Golspie without stopping, opting to take my next break under a tree a couple of miles further south. In this area the lush countryside to the left of the A9 looked very much like my home county Devon, the rugged mountains to the right being totally in contrast. It had been my intention to camp wild for a third night, but a few miles on after crossing a bridge called The Mound the Trentham Hotel on the A9 near Dornoch changed my mind. I only went in intending to purchase a meal and a couple of pints, but the B&B on offer for just £25 seemed too good to resist after another day pounding the road. After enjoying a delicious meal and some fine Scottish ale I happily crashed out for the night in a very comfy room.

GPS data; click here

Weather; Bright and cool, ideal. Max 15C

Mileage today; 26.55 miles, walking time 6 hrs 36 mins, average walking speed 4.0mph

Cumulative mileage 88.55 miles

The road heading south out of Helmsdale

A roadside memorial to the last wolf killed in Sutherland

Crossing the bleak Dornoch Firth Bridge, no footpath to protect walkers here.

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Exmouth, Devon, United Kingdom
Hi :) I'm a 49yo father of three from Exmouth, a lovely seaside town in Devon. In parts of Exeter I'm well known as the local milkman where I've been making traditional doorstep deliveries for 15 years.