Walk Day 66 – Conon Bridge to Alness

Day 66 – June 17 Conon Bridge to Alness
 Weather: Sunny and warm  B&B: Tullochard B&B (£39.50)
 Departed: 8:45 Arrived: 13:30  Walked: 4h 03m Rested: 0 hr 36m
 Distance Today: 13.8 mi / 22.21 km  Total Distance: 1067.4 mi / 1717.81 km
 % Complete: ~ 91.23%  Pint of the Day: tbd
 GPS Track for: Day 66

There was excitement last night at the Conon Bridge Hotel when the burglar alarm went off at 2:15am. I’m assuming it was the burglar alarm as it didn’t sound like any fire alarm I’ve ever heard and I couldn’t smell smoke. The racket went on for well over 15 minutes and I’m not sure who, if anybody, disarmed it.

I was on my way at 8:45 under warm and sunny skies and immediately passed through Maryburgh on the way to the pretty town of Dingwall. The train station, small but perfectly formed, is sandwiched between a pub and a Christian bookshop (a clever way to cover your bases). A film is being shot in Dingwall right now and it wasn’t hard to spot the movie equipment around town. One of the investors was sitting next to me at breakfast and he told me it was a thriller about a 9-year old girl who is kidnapped and her Russian Mafia father’s attempt to get her back. It sounds like the bodies are really piling up around Dingwall and that the town itself will be burned to the ground, or to be more precise, an exact replica that has been built somewhere up in the hills.

I got my ass out of Dodge before the shooting started by way of National Cycle Route #1. It avoids the A-road by following a quiet road that runs for many miles along the hill overlooking Cromarty Firth. I had an excellent view of the bridge that carries the A9 over the Firth and of several oil rigs in the direction of Alness. There was also an abundance of wildflowers and a lot of rabbits, some of which were decidedly flat.

There were black clouds on the horizon but there was big patch of blue sky above me for almost the entire walk. It was hot going and so I took a break at Evanton and then found a foot / cycle path that ran parallel to the B-817 all the way to the junction with the B-9176. There was a sidewalk for the last two miles into Alness and so despite spending all day on the roads I never had to spend much time dealing with traffic.

Tomorrow I’ll continue following the cycle route all the way to Dornoch. Congratulations to J.P. as well as Andy & Alfie who both finished their LEJOGs on Tuesday (and to Russell Whitmore who completed his on June 4). Pete & Gyp are one day ahead of me and so by this time next week both of us will have completed our walks.

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