Log No 60. Fri 7th Jun 2013 - East Strathan to beyond Hope, 14 miles (1016 miles walked)
Sandra dropped me off at East Strathan at 09.40, I was truly on my own again.
The bay at East Strathan
The tide was out so I was able to cross the stream over stones in the bay instead of having to make a detour. Then it was straight up the side of the hill onto a sheep track in the heather.
I hadn't been going long when I tripped, I landed on my knee but the forward momentum and the weight of the rucsac meant I couldn't keep my balance and my forehead crashed into the ground. Luckily it was soft ground and I only suffered a small cut above my nose. It served as a reminder of the possible consequences of walking alone in remote areas.
The land was low initially but soon became very high with the north facing cliffs reaching 200m and as they went against the contours I was constantly up and down. I saw an eagle in this section.
The coastline south of Whiten Head
From Whiten Head the coast turned south and followed the contours. This made the going slightly easier as I could follow a contour and walk horizontally for a while.
Sheep track on the side of the cliff
It often looked like I would have to move inland a bit and climb up to get round a section of cliff but the sheep have usually made a track on the face but you do need a head for heights and you can't afford to trip up!
With good walking conditions I can do 3+ miles an hour but with this type of coastline I sometimes can only manage half that.
The coastline towards the R Hope
I had hoped I might get to Durness tomorrow but it will more likely be Sunday now.
Coming down along the side of the River Hope I saw a landrover slowly ford the river up ahead.
River Hope at low water
When I reached that point I put on my trainers and waded across, it only went up to my knees and saved me having to walk on to use the road bridge.
It was 16.00 and I was ready to call a halt.
The coastline along Loch Eriboll
The coastline round the next headland was no easier and it took me an hour to do the 3km to the light beacon. 14 miles will have to be enough for today.
I could see the top of a mast up ahead so I thought I might have a phone signal but no such luck.
Camping by the beacon
There is no footpath here that I have seen yet 3 people have gone by the tent while I have been writing this log.