Day 98 – Tain to Golspie

Today dawned grey and rainy, but by dithering successfully over my enormous breakfast I managed not to leave until the sky had cleared a bit. Tain is pretty, but with 25 miles to go I couldn’t spend time looking around, or (unfortunately) visit the Glenmorangie distillery just outside town.
After a long and unpleasant stretch on the A9 (huge lorries thundering past, cars doing well over 70, while I toiled along on the litter-strewn pebbly verge trying not to be run over), it was over the bridge (which curiously, does have a pavement on both sides). I was pleased to see a sign just before the bridge with John O Groats on it – the first time!
Dornoch Firth was beautiful – the tide was out by the time I got there and I was able to walk all the way from the bridge to Dornoch along the beach. The water looked silver in the sun, the hills to the north and west were brown and purple, and there were seabirds feeding along the water’s edge.
I stopped in Dornoch (another very pretty place, and surprisingly full of tourists) for lunch at the pub. After an excellent BLT and a pint of McEwans (lunch of champions) served by a barman whose manner bordered on the hostile, I headed back out into a rain shower.
From Dornoch the path goes alongside an immaculate golf course and then through fields, round the edge of Loch Fleet. The scenery was very beautiful, but unfortunately crossing the end of the loch involved another few kilometres on the A9, this time in heavy rain and without more than a few inches of verge. No fewer than 5 police cars passed me, lights flashing and going flat out; the rest of the time I was climbing onto the verge to try and avoid oncoming cars. Despite actually being off the road, there were still a couple of cars which were too close for comfort. It was terrifying, and by the time I reached the turnoff for Balblair Wood I was feeling exhausted, cross and tearful. I don’t know if there’s a campaign for a Scottish East Coast Path, but if there is I want to join it.
After the A9, Balblair Wood was lovely – all quiet and misty, with a good path and sunlight filtering through the trees. A short walk along Golspie golf course (another beautiful course overlooking the sea) and I was in town.
Golspie on a Saturday night is not a good place for eating out, if you’re on foot at least. The only restaurant close to the B&B was full, and after deciding I couldn’t face a Pot Noodle I eventually settled for fish and chips (again), which I ate on a bench overlooking the bay. Definitely pining for some proper food. 4 days and about 76 miles to go.

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2 thoughts on “Day 98 – Tain to Golspie

  1. You are so close!!!! Brilliant. Hope there’s no more A9 to contend with, glad to hear that bit’s over and done with for you! Xx

  2. Today was a tough one…terrible traffic etc…but its done horray…keep safe…keep sane (too late now me thinks) and have a better day tomo. lots of love Kelly xxx

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