Day 102 – Achany Glen to North of Rhian Bridge – 12.55 miles

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Monday 2nd May 2016 – 1108.55 miles
It rained on and off all night but stopped as we broke camp.

The weather cleared and then we had sunshine with just the odd shower.
We walked along the river and the road was climbing gently all the time.
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We passed an old mill which had seen better days and a cottage with an interesting garden.
About 2 miles from Lairg we saw a small footbridge across the river leading to Lairg railway station – the sign said that the station was 500 metres away. image
We didn’t cross the bridge but carried on along the cycle route instead and arrived in Lairg just before 9am. The first thing we saw was the “The Wee Hoose” on the loch. It is a model now but in the past the water levels were much lower and there was an island there originally.
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This was the moment that we realised that we had just completed our 1100th mile. The usual selfie was taken then we looked for somewhere to stop for a cuppa. We had the choice of The Pier coffee place, the local campsite cafe or the local hotel. We chose the hotel as it was more likely to have WiFi and our blog hadn’t been posted for three days! It was a little early but we went in and asked if we could have a pot of tea for two. The answer was yes. As we sat down a voice said “Are you Dave and Dot?” We turned round and saw someone smiling at us. Dave said “You must be Gaynor”. We had been reading Gaynor’s blog about her walk from John o’Groats to Lands End which she started recently and wondered if we might meet up. We had no idea she would be there. How amazing is that? We chatted about our walks so far. Gaynor has walked across country and has had loads of problems but is still smiling. We also met Ros, another guest at the hotel, from Manchester. She has enjoyed coming to stay at the hotel for some years and always finds something new every time she comes. Thanks for the donation Ros.
We decided to make a morning of it and ordered breakfast which was delicious. Meanwhile we were able to charge our phones and upload 3 days of our blog too. Emails were collected and we also added a couple of pics onto Facebook including our 1100 mile selfie.
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We ordered a pot of coffee and had our photo taken with Gaynor before she left for Invershin around 11am. We wish you well on your long journey ahead Gaynor and hope that the weather is kinder to you as you progress towards your goal – we’ll be checking your blog as you go.
After some time we finally left the Lairg Highland Hotel – thank you Helena and Dot for making us so welcome.
We made our way out of town stopping off at the local shop to buy some fresh fruit on the way.
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As it was a bank holiday, there wasn’t much traffic as we followed the road out of Lairg then turned right onto the A836.
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Despite being an A road, it is a single track road and not very busy. The weather was changeable – quite windy and sunny with the odd shower every now and again.
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We spotted a box on the side of the road which had eggs for sale and an honesty box. Dave suggested omelette for supper – good idea.
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We bought a box of eggs and left £1.60 in the cash box (we didn’t have the right change).
By this time we needed to find some water and a place to camp. The water was easy – Dave took some from a stream. Finding a place for our tent was a little more difficult because the recent rains had made the peaty ground very soggy. We walked for another hour and finally found a piece of ground which was well off the road and looked dry enough.
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The ground was a bit rocky though and difficult to get the tent pegs into the ground – one of them got bent! Dave solved the problem by attaching the guy ropes to a hefty rock or a small tree!
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All was secure before the wind and rain came. We enjoyed our omelette and had a hot drink. We phoned our daughters for a chat before settling down to sleep. Strange to think that we can talk to our family from a tent in the middle of nowhere.

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