We woke to a crisp frosty morning with sunshine and clouds. We had just about packed everything away when Barbara came out with two very welcome cups of hot tea. A lovely start to the day. Thanks for sharing your garden with us Barbara.
We started walking at 7am along the road which gradually got busier as people dashed to work and did the morning school run.
We turned left onto the A831 towards Lovat Bridge where we were able to make use of the cycle path and then right onto the A862 to Beauly. Easy walking as there was a pavement all the way.
At the risk of being boring, we are still seeing spring flowers and the blackthorn is just coming into bloom.
We arrived at Beauly and Dave popped into the local Co-op to buy some fresh fruit. He also picked up a small carton of milk and some lemon cupcakes as a treat for later. Susan served him and, when she heard about our walk, she paid for our shopping. Once again, the kindness of strangers has come our way. Thanks Susan. We sat outside and ate our bananas and drank our milk then walked on into town. A very pretty town and worthy of a visit.
The Priory just on the edge of town was interesting and we spent some time wandering around. It was there that we met Justine from Edinburgh who had been working at an archaeological dig on “The Shieling Project” not far away.
The road out of Beauly had no pavement so we marched on along the road towards Muir of Ord hoping to find somewhere for a cuppa and a chance to upload our blog. We were hopeful as we had seen a sign for a hotel not too far away but when we arrived it wasn’t open. We carried on and on the edge of town we found another hotel. Unfortunately that too was closed but the owner told us that there was a good coffee shop in the next town – Conon Bridge. He said it wasn’t far and that we’d walk it in 45 minutes ( there speaks a car driver).
One hour and 15 minutes later we arrived on the outskirts of Conon Bridge. A few minutes later we came to Planet Ocean Aquatics which has a lovely coffee bar too. We ordered our usual pot of tea for two and I was able to use their Wifi to upload the blogs for yesterday and the day before. We ordered a coffee each and one of the customers, Ernie, chatted to us about our walk. He was interested in which way we had travelled through Devon as he was born there. The owner, Catriona, was also happy for us to charge our phones too. In addition to that, when we came to pay our bill, she said to put the money into the Macmillan fund as her donation – thanks Catriona. As we were leaving, two customers came in. They had seen the writing on our bags and gave us a donation – thanks Kelly Mackenzie.
Fully refreshed we walked out of Conon Bridge and then onto a cycle path which took us towards Dingwall. We met Simon who is interested in doing LEJOG himself. Go for it Simon, we can recommend it as a great life experience.
There is a cycle track from Conon Bridge to Dingwall along the old road which runs parallel to the new one. We met Robert and Margaret Mackintosh from the Black Isles who were out walking with their lovely King Charles spaniel. They gave us a donation – our thanks to you both and we pray that you continue to respond well to your treatment Margaret and good luck with your future cycle challenge.
Dingwall was a welcome sight and it wasn’t long before we found the Dingwall Camping and Caravanning Club Site. We were greeted by Tina and Ray who did not charge us because we were walking for charity – thanks both and we wish you well in the future.
After the tent went up we paid a quick visit to the local shops to find something tasty for supper and a few bits for tomorrow’s sandwiches.
Dave cooked supper – sausageburgers in a bun with caramelised onions and a salad of baby green leaves and fresh tomato – yum. Thanks Dave! While we ate supper we had music from the fairground next door. Loved it! It reminded us of our walk in France in 2006 when we arrived in a small town celebrating Bastille Day with music and fireworks too.
Yet another good day today – wonder what tomorrow will bring.