After spending last week with friends it seemed a little strange to be on my own again.
I left Inverness at 8.15, walking along the River Ness through the industrial part of the city. The trail passed a clock tower, built during Cromwell’s time, and then went over the Kessock Bridge. I inadvertently managed to use a path on the bridge which was supposed to be closed, and was delighted when the workmen were happy to let me pass rather then making me return and use the other side.
On entering the Black Isle, I climbed up into the first of many woods and crossed a ridge, before dropping down to Munlochy Bay.
From there it was back into the woods on another ridge leading to the Clootie Well. The trees here were hung with all sorts of things including Teddy Bears, socks, shoes, pieces of cloth and other detritus. Apparently the well has healing powers and seems very popular. Unfortunately I failed to take a photo.
From the well more woodland tracks and minor roads led to Culbokie overlooking the Cromarty Firth. The Culbokie Inn beckoned me to stop for a reviving cup of tea, and made a fine lunch stop.
Walking down to join the A9, I then crossed the Cromarty Bridge, which was a real pleasure with cars and lorries hurtling by a couple of feet away. Luckily, just after the bridge I could escape up a track to join a minor road, which led to Evanton where I arrived at 4.00.
Not the most inspiring of days, but I had sunshine most of the day so should not complain too much. I have two more days of road and tracks through woods to look forward to, before things improve and the trail moves to the coast.