Ages: Colin was 66 years and 130 days. Rosemary was 63 years and 273 days.
Weather: Spots of rain at the beginning and end of the Walk, but it just about stayed dry.
Location: Kessock Bridge (Inverness) to Munlochy.
Distance: 7½ miles.
Total distance: 1700 miles.
Terrain: Difficult! Some road-walking, mostly devoid of traffic but car-dodging at the end. ‘Paths’ that led into swamps. Climbed over a barbed wire fence. Muddy. Sheep tracks. Steep slopes. Wet. Woods. Water-logged tracks. Ford. Beach with boulders and slippery seaweed.
Tide: Coming in, then going out.
Rivers: No.141, Drynie Burn, which was a ford. No.142, Littlemill Burn, which was a bridge.
Kissing gates: No.160 near Kilmuir Cemetery.
‘Historic Scotland’ properties: None.
Ferris wheels: None.
How we got there and back: We were staying in a holiday cottage, which was really a flat in the roof of someone’s house, in the countryside about three miles from Dingwall. This morning we got up early and drove to Munlochy where we parked in a layby very near the bus stop. We caught a bus to Kessock Bridge, northern end, where we ended yesterday’s Walk.
At the end, we finished at the car. We had our tea and luscious caramel squares, and then returned to our ‘cottage’ near Dingwall, stopping at Tesco on the way to pick up some supplies.
in the Highlands! But geologically speaking, we are actually in America! How come? Well, when the Atlantic Ocean started to form by the splitting of the continents, sometime between 100million and 200million years ago, it made several attempts, crashing back together again when it failed. It did not always split in the same way, and when the final successful separation took place, a piece of the American plate got stuck to the European plate and ended up on the ‘wrong’ side of the Atlantic. That piece is now the Highlands of Scotland, everything north-west of the Highland Boundary Fault. We crossed that fault when we crossed Kessock Bridge.
From the lifeboat station we took a tarmacked lane northwards along the shore. It had stopped raining, just, but remained very dull and quite misty all day. Perhaps that lent ‘atmosphere’ to our first Walk in the Highlands. We watched some oystercatchers take off, and a heron kept flying up and down Moray Firth.
The lane serviced a few houses, and then it petered out. So we followed a path which took us upwards through some woods and past the last house. We looked at the map, but it was very confusing because the contours were so close together. It looked as if a path should have taken us back down to the shore, but we could see no sign of such a route. In the end we found our own way down through the trees. We emerged on to a beach with wobbly stones and slippery seaweed.
Along this grassy path in the woods we came across all sorts of strange fungi, unusual mosses, twisted trees and a fairy ring.It was quite magical!
That ended Walk no.194, we shall pick up Walk no.195 next time at the bus stop in Munlochy. It was twenty past four, so the Walk had taken six hours. We had our tea and luscious caramel squares, and then returned to our strange upstairs flat near Dingwall, stopping at Tesco on the way to pick up some supplies.