Day 101 & 102. Wed, Thurs 5th & 6th July. Rhiconich to Kylescu.
The trouble with falling behind when writing these blogs, I'm moving through so many places, meeting so many people, after a few days it's almost impossible to remember who I met and where. The reasons I fall behind with the blogs are many. After a 19-23 mile walk, I get pitched up, get myself scrubbed and fed and in no time I'm falling asleep. If I'm wild camping, I don't have WiFi and very often my signal is so weak, I'm not able to upload the pictures onto the blog and if I'm lucky enough to have company, it would be very rude if I were to sit through the evening tapping away on my phone.... as John was with me for the best part of a week, I'm now so far behind it takes twice as long to create a blog because I can't remember any of the details.
Anyway, the order for the next few days would pretty much take the same format. I'd wake up at whatever time either the birds or my bladder woke me. I'd strip my tent and pack my kit and then attempt to wake John up by shaking his van or when that didn't work, just banging on the side shouting obscenities through the joint in the side door. Did I mention that Booney doesn't rush to get up in the morning ?? 😬 John would then get up and knock us up a breakfast roll of bacon, sausage and mushrooms and a brew and I'd set off walking, normally between 10-11am, far too late to start walking but what could I do ? John would then drive past me at some point and drive on ahead to recce a suitable site to pitch up for the night.
My walking for the foreseeable future was to be mostly road and verge walking tracing the many sea lochs that sometimes stretch for miles inland from the sea. By the waters edge, it's still nice walking but it gets very tedious when the road moves away from the water and most of the time it's impossible to follow the water. I had as nice surprise leaving Kinlochbervie when I van pulled up and Sean from Lodge Laxford called out of the window, he was working on a house further up the road so I stopped in for a chat on the way past. They were replacing all the facias and guttering on a property, I'd didn't offer to help as I'd only have got in the way, the guys were doing a cracking job so we said our goodbyes, again, and I set off for Scourie. When I arrived at the campsite, John had already paid and set up so after I'd pitched up, washed my clothes and had a shower, we sat down to a fantastic meal that John cooked on his burner.
It was also a pleasure to meet these lovely people on the site, Chris & Georgina from St Helens had recently got married and were touring around Scotland in a motorhome on their honeymoon. Chris came over to take the piss when he saw me polishing my boots, Chris was once in the Royal Vetinary Corps so he had a dig about whether I was intending on bulling the toes of my boots !!! 😬 Thanks for your donation guys, I will get that put into the fund today and I hope you enjoyed the rest of your road trip around Scotland. 😍
I would say it was a fairly non eventful walk down to Kylescu but the sun coming out causing me to sweat buckets meant the clegs were out in force. Every time I decended into a dip in the road, any chance of a breeze vanished and the little bleeders dived bombed me like Stuka 109's... trying to make light of the situation I was constantly screaming "you little Focke" every time one of the little bitches sliced me a drew blood on the backs of my arms, legs or neck... I was losing patience with these assassin flies quickly and if I managed to swat one from me and I noticed it land, stunned but not dead, I'd bend down, pick it up and rip one of its wings off... chunnering away to myself in my best Sylvester Stallone voice justifying my cruelty, "you drew first blood you little bastard, let's see you slice me again, now your walking, like me"... 🤬😡
I don't do cruelty in any way, to any creature but these bloody things are beyond reproach. The less of them there are to terrorise livestock, or sweaty tourists the better... they serve literally no purpose on this planet that I can see and there would be a lot of happier Sottish folk if they were gone....
I eventually reached a plateau with a beautiful view looking over to Kylescu bridge, so I stripped off and sat in the cool wind to admire the view.
Lots of cars and bikes were pulling into the viewpoint and I quickly dressed myself when a chap stood reading the poster attached to the rear of my pack explaining what I'm doing and why. David from Australia and his Spanish wife Veronica had driven up from Bath for a whistle stop tour of the highlands. We had a good chat and as we parted, David very kindly said he would make a donation. I couldn't believe it when I saw the funding page, we had literally been chatting for 5 minutes and David had donated £100. Thank you David, that was incredibly generous of you and I hope you both enjoyed the rest of your road trip. It didn't stop there, I walked to the bottom of the very large hill, easily over a mile in decent and arrived at the Surf & Turf sandwich bar, just as a large cloud burst, I managed to shelter under their canopy for 10 minutes and Dawn kindly made me a cup of coffee and offered me the last piece of fruitcake in her cabinet, they were just closing up for the day so we had a chat as they were clearing up. I was shocked to hear that Anna, the young lady working there had suffered the lost of two of her female freinds to suicide over the past few years. 😢 devastating and another reminder that this is all around us, every day.
John was waiting for me just over the bridge, he had found us a place to wild camp so we decided to nip around to the hotel for a pint. They couldn't serve us food due to not having enough staff, something I've been seeing for my entire journey. After we'd had a couple of pints and I'd charged my phone up, we managed to talk the manager into convincing the chef that he should squeeze us in right at the end of his shift, he did and we had an incredible meal, John quaffing a plate of Oysters followed by a huge bowl of Mussels while I had a bowl of Cullen Skink for starter and probably, the best fish 'n' chips I think I've ever had. It was s superb meal and a nice treat
as we'd both been eating campsite food for a week.
We also had a bit of entertainment while we ate, watching the harbour masters leading a fishing boat back to harbour, he had been having engine troubles so the guys were on hand to drag him back if needed.
Job done, they came in for a pint and one of them came over and shook my hand, a Freemason from Laxford Lodge, he was away at the weekend so couldn't make it to the lodge to meet me.
These Masons, they're everywhere you