Planned kilometres: 34 (cummulative 1694)
Kilometres walked: 36 (cummulative 1763)
% Completed: 97.0%
Weather: Cloud then Sunshine
Pubs visited: N/A
Pints: 0 (cummulative 209)
Kms per pint: 8.4
Blisters: 0 (cummulative 4)
Helmsdale to Forse
My walk today was the longest walking day I had left and was completely along the dreaded A9. I will be walking along the A9/A99 for the next 3 days to John O’Groats.
As I set off from the B&B, I could see the sun trying to get through the clouds and by around 10am it had succeeded, and it was sunshine and blue sky for the rest of the day.
As I walked out of Helmsdale, there were gates that could be moved across the road to close it for Snow. As other people blogs had complained about the amount of traffic on the A9, a thought did cross my mind that it would be good to move the gates and close the road, but then getting arrested would certainly delay my trip, so I moved on.
Later in the morning I came upon the Berriedale Braes (Brae is a Scots word for hillside), which is where the road drops steeply for a km or so down to a river and then rise steeply again on the other side. This was another section of road where I had been given warnings by people, but I didn’t find it too bad.
At the bottom was The River Bothy Café which was one of the two places where I could get drinks/food today, so I stopped for an early lunch. I was lucky that road up the hill after lunch was very gradual climb.
Walking along the A9 did give a couple of great views of the coastline.
Some of the place/site names looked like they had just got to random words and out them together and said that will do e.g. Guidebest, Latheron, Latheronwheel, Laidhay, etc.
The Laidhay museum building is the first thatch type roof I have seen since very early in my trip.
The walk along the A9 today was long, but I didn’t find the traffic to bad and walking the road let me cover the distance quite quickly. I think I’m lucky to be walking the A9/A99 on the weekend as there are a much lower number of trucks. I was also getting plenty of encouragement from drivers today and had quite a few cars toot or wave as they went past.
I left the left A9 just before my B&B and joined the A99 which I will follow the remaining 35 miles to John O’Groats.
Tonight I stayed at a B&B in a little village called Forse. There are no shops or any facilities, so I had a toasted sandwich mid afternoon at a cafe next to the musuem and then dinner was a picnic of packet of crisps, a banana, a yoghurt and some m&m’s. All the food groups covered: vegetable, fruit & dairy