Monday, 12 September 2011

Day 44 - Dingwall to Tain (22.5 miles)

The environment changes substantially when you hit the North East of Scotland. Since Balmaha I've been surrounded by stunning hills and mountains. The going has been interesting (hilly, challenging at times, waterfalls to grab your attention) but pass Inverness and everything changes. Yes there are hills but nothing on the scale of the WHW or GGW. I was warned of this. However, the gentle environment has allowed time for reflection. My thoughts today started with Elizabeth Wilby.

Elizabeth was running down the road I was walking up. She saw my Lands End to John O'Groats t-shirt and, reaching for her stopwatch, paused to chat. She asked all about what I was doing. She had admiration but not as much as I had for her. Elizabeth said she was 'of retirement age' and was on one of her 6 weekly half marathon runs! Unbelievable. She said it kept her out of mischief. Brilliant. She also gave me the change she kept for emergencies toward the appeal for Richard. Thanks Elizabeth, you put a spring in my step.

I plodded on. I was missing people. I've been surrounded by like-minded walkers for what seemed like weeks but now I was walking solo again. The rain came, the roads straightened, the hills flattened. It turned into a real struggle to entertain myself. Then I started thinking of what I've accomplished. Just 5 weeks ago I was walking paths and bridleways in Cornwall. How time flies when you have this much fun.

So I finished today soaking wet but happy. A little water will dry and evaporate, my memories will last as long as I do.

There's only 4 walking days left (plus a marathon). It looks like the Geography of Scotland is protecting me from the harsh conditions that are currently battering the West coast so if you are over that way, stay safe.

Tomorrow I'm off on a 17 mile trip to Golspie along the A9. The last major road I will need to use on this journey.


  1. The miles mounted up again today then. You certainly are meeting an array of different people along the way.Only 5 weeks ago, it seems much longer than that.What a diverse landscape you have encompassed, hills, mountains, moors, woodlands and of course canal footpaths.You are richer in mind and spirit than any millionaire.Keep on keeping on, smiling and walking to the end of the road JOG. Still there with you.

  2. Hi yes you are still meeting some incredible people on your journey, i would say that you are so lucky, but no, you have certainly earnt those priviledges.less than a hundred miles to go now eh? unbelievable journey, hope the weather continues to be kind to you, HAPPY WALKING