Day 4 – Brora to Tain 

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What a horrible photo, but that white blur is meant to be Dunrobin Castle, the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. Apparently still lived in. It’s presence explains the ‘style’ of people living in Brora and also of a town/village called Golspie. Unfortunately, as I wanted to get on and make up for lost miles I didn’t visit the castle. Though it would have been difficult to get near it with all the tourists out. 

So, I survived my first wild camping night. Everything was still in one piece, including myself, but it was morning now and I still had to face the dash back across all those fields, fences and train tracks to the road in broad daylight. 

I negated to realise that today was Saturday, which invariably meant continous streams of holiday/weekender traffic. It was impossible to build up any speed and get some mileage under my belt. Apart from Golspie, which was a sister town to Brora, the walk was pretty uneventful and arduous. Most of the walk was forested on either side of the road, but it was leading to my first major achievement, the Dornoch Firth Bridge. 

The only interesting thing that caught my attention today were signs directing traffic to a ‘Pictish Trail’ (photo below). Though I wasn’t willing to walk the 3 miles out of my way, I did want to learn a bit more about it, so I held up my phone to the road sign. Moments later I heard a biker parked behind me start laughing. Apparently it was a symbol and not a QR Code.

The constant starting and stopping and waiting for convoys of traffic to pass was beginning to wear me down, but the thought of getting over the bridge today spurned me on. When I finally got out to the Dornoch Firth the weather turned particularly nasty and the winds whipped up violently.  Crossing the bridge was going to be like the boss fight at the end of a level of a video game. There was a sign posted warning of crosswinds, but I didn’t realise how bad they could be until I had to cling on the handrail for dear life for almost the whole journey across. The massive HGV’s streaming past didn’t help my cause and efforts much either.

By the time I got to Tain it was too late to get a B&B so I had to look for another camping site. It would be another hour of walking until I came across a little clearing in the woods and set up camp…and then it started to rain…Again!