Day 63

Dingwall to Alness – 10.4 miles (972.9 total)

Today ended up a really short day to Alness and tomorrow is going to be a really long day to Dornoch. I could have done with a more even split but the availability of accommodation and services was important when planning this. On a positive note, both days look like having excellent weather for walking.

Sleepy Dingwall

Dingwall seemed smaller than I expected. That might be because I entered it near the Cromarty Firth side and possibly didn’t have occasion to go into the main body of the town. I can’t say for certain. This morning I first crossed the river, then the railway line, then the A862 main road before heading uphill passing some nice houses to reach a country road. Turning right on to this road provided me with the bulk of today’s walk. Like yesterday I was following National Cycle Route 1. The road was a good deal busier than I would have liked. I had taken the precaution of wearing my Hi-Vis waistcoat and was pleased at having made the right decision. The slight climb gave me some wide views of the Cromarty Firth with the unmistakable Cromarty Road Bridge, carrying the A9, getting ever closer as I progressed.

The Cromarty Bridge in the distance

Blue sky and sunshine were once again the order of the day. A pleasant breeze kept the temperature in the high teens – so much better for walking than last week’s humidity and hot weather.

After 6.5 miles I reached Evanton and sat down on a bench at the war memorial for a break and a drink. My route now joined the B817 which offered a dedicated cycle/walking path for the rest of the way to Alness. I caught a glimpse, in the distance, of a number of oil-rigs berthed at Invergordon.

Good advice!

Of course, I arrived far too early to check into my B&B, so I wandered past it and enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the main street in Alness. Having some crisps and cheese left over from yesterday, I sat on a bench in the town centre to enjoy a walker’s lunch while watching the world go by.

Pete arrived as planned at the B&B to accompany me for the remainder of the walk. Tomorrow, as I said, is a long walk to Dornoch. On the plus side, I am looking forward to my last big bridge crossing of LEJOG, the Dornoch Bridge.