The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Day 78 - Oykel Bridge to Lairg

1 July
Distance: 16.25 miles
Number of killer dugs (thwarted by fencing): 2
Number of deer we witnessed trip over a fence: 1 (and I always thought they were such elegant movers!)

When you've requested your breakfast for a certain hour of the morning, been told that the requested time is no problem, and given your order the night before, you rather expect to receive your breakfast at the appointed hour, don't you?

Not at the Oykel Bridge Hotel, I'm afraid. We sat for twenty five minutes beyond the agreed time waiting for our cooked breakfasts, which saw us leaving rather later than we would have liked.

It was fast walking today, though, and shorter than the schedule said for having taken a more sensible route.

For the initial part of the day we took a riverside and track route that kept us off the main road, then from about five or so miles in we were mainly on the A road. It's not a busy A road - it's single track with less traffic than the lanes at home, so aside from the fact that it was tarmac underfoot, it wasn't a bad walk.

We had company too. A whole swarm of flies that accompanied us pretty much the whole way from the excellent general store at Rosehall to Lairg. They must be very well exercised flies now and they certainly didn't respond to repeated requests that they 'procreate and travel'.

We're not entirely looking forward to tomorrow. The walk looks fine on paper, but our bags are going to be mighty heavy. We've not resolved our accommodation problem in Watten so it looks like our only option is to have a fourth consecutive wild camp a few miles before (my, we'll stink by Dunnet!). That means that we next get to a shop on Sunday. Plus we've just picked up our final resupply parcel so we're heavy on dehydrated food and gas too. My left shoulder is going to be crippled.

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