THURSDAY 31st JULY, 2009
FORTROSE TO CROMARTY – 14.8 MILES, 7 HOURS
MORRIS AND DOUGLAS
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 491 MILES
After excellent food, Belgian beer and a good nights sleep in the excellent Anderson hotel we set off in lovely sunshine for our walk to Cromarty. It was low tide and we were hopeful of completing most of the walk on the beach. We walked out of Fortrose via the harbour and south side of the golf course to the lighthouse at Chanonry Point where we had seen Dolphins the previous evening. Across the narrow three quarter mile wide neck of water we could see the imposing Fort George where we had walked on day twenty nine. We continued on the beach along the north side of the golf course to Rosemarkie. From Rosemarkie we walked at the sea edge for the next five mile on beaches ever changing from sand, pebbles, rocks, to stone and slate slabs (on a few occasions requiring a bit of scrambling). Eathie beach is well known to Fossil collectors and I spent a fruitful ten minutes finding a nice souvenir to bring home. It was on Eathie beach that we met Mike Pearson a local walker who advised us that if the tide was turning we may not be able to continue on the beach passed McFarquhar’s cave and might have to return to Eathie beach to access a path to the clifftops. As McFarquhar’s cave was only a mile and a half ahead we decided to carry on but on reaching it Mike’s local knowledge proved correct and the incoming tide made it impassable and we were unable to make our way round the cliff face and had to turn back. Needless to say the trudge back was not done with much enthusiasm as we were aware we would now have a dreaded four mile road walk into Cromarty. From Eathie beach we made our way up the hillside on a very good path to the minor road above. From here we walked on the minor road passed Eathie Mains and Navity joining the A832 road for the walk into Cromarty finishing our days walk at the harbour. After a refreshing pint at the Royal Hotel we caught a bus back to Fortrose, and had a bite to eat before the drive home.
Summary; One of the hardest days so far due to a mixture of difficult underfoot conditions, very warm weather, not to mention a bit of fatigue from previous days walk.
Highs; Some great beach scenes, successful fossil search at Eathie Beach.
Lows; Having to turn back from McFarquhar’s cave and the last four mile road walk.
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