I left Inverness and walked over the Kessock Bridge through North Kessock and now through Tore and am en route to Conon Bridge. That’s about 3.75 miles away, I think.
The pace carrying the pack in full sunshine is mighty slow and it’s hot, painful and sweaty business.
Despite my brother’s very helpful advice about keeping the lap strap very tight the shoulders do take a beating and I don’t think there is a solution to it.
I set out from Inverness this morning somewhat daunted by the distance still to go.
It’s 124 miles to Durness, which itself is a good 18 miles + from the Cape — and it’s 57 miles even to Ullapool. Plus I had nowhere to stay.
Not being sure which is my best foot any more, as neither are that great, I can’t now recall which one it was I put forward to set out.
I was heartened to see a road sign for Ullapool and it did indeed confirm my first forebodings about the distance.
Crossing the Kessock Bridge, helpfully opened by the Queen Mum in ’82, I had to use the closed-in metal footway by the side of the cars which was fine until I encountered an amoeba driving a Council sweeping truck coming down the path the other way!
A perilous squeeze-past which would not have been possible had I not lost all that weight!
The sun decided I’d had enough fun and re-doubled its efforts to fry me like an egg on the pavement.
As a result my trudge along the cycle paths of the Black Isle was a less than pleasant affair and I eventually gave up and started looking for somewhere to stay.
A lengthy side trip proved initially fruitless but turned into a true gem of a place to stay – at Tornapress at Easter Kinkell.
Lovely place, lovely people. To say God shines on this mission is an understatement. See pic from the place below.
Discussions with the family reveal a dark statistic. The rate of incidence of MS in Ullapool is very high for such a tiny place. No one is sure of the reason.
It lends a poignancy to my sweating in the sun followed by a refreshing meal and rest.
If a small community is hit with a big thing, the impetus to do something somehow seems stronger, albeit that the actual number of sufferers is far fewer than in say London or Manchester.
Why do our minds work this way?
Either way it spurs me on on my journey, the aim being not to just suffer, or just enjoy the sun and the breakfasts and the views but to raise money to find a cure and some effective treatments.