Today was a half day after being pounded by traffic yesterday. There was a bit of respite from the A99 today as I veered off for a few hours on the B817 road. It was quiet for a time until a load of jack-the-lad boy racers bolted down the road. Again no soft shoulder to speak of, but I took my chances and lived another day to tell the tale
Approaching Invergordon was quite lovely and scenic, and I soon learned the reason for all the oil rigs present (photo below) was due to the fact this town is where they get repaired.
As I approached Invergordon town centre I was a bit wary as there seemed to be a disproportiate amount of young men drinking and smoking in the street. But upon closer inspection they seemed rather well-groomed instead of the down-and-outs I expected. Obviously it was I who was the ‘vagabond’ in town, judging by the looks I got as most of the men and women were all dressed in their Sunday best. They were friendly enough though and all returned a cheery ‘hiya’!
I had booked a room at the Marine Hotel on High Street and it was exactly what I was looking for. A quiet, well appointed room overlooking the water and a big comfy double bed. Bruce, the manager, was extremely friendly and accomodating. He told me that a new British Navy aircraft carrier was in town, on sea trials, but apparently ‘mum’ was the word. Well, that just explained everything to me; Navy boys were in town, and a good lot of them were staying in the hotel. So, what better way to spend a Sunday than drinking countless pints of Guinness in the pub downstairs and socialising to take my mind off my crushed feet.
Thankfully the pub shut at 11:00 pm and it was off to bed for me to rest up in anticipation of hard days walk tomorrow.
A big thanks to Bruce and his team. A great bunch of friendly people that made my stay that much better.