FRIDAY 11 SEPTEMBER, 2009
CROMARTY TO ROCKFIELD – 15 MILES, 7 HOURS
MORRIS, IAN, ALEX, BILLY, COLIN AND BILL
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 506 MILES
For the next three days of the walk Bill and I had the company of four members of my fitness club and the use of a minibus which allowed us to base ourselves for two nights in Portmahomack. We had an early 0600 start for the drive north arriving at 1030 in Cromarty where we crossed on the two car ferry to Nigg. The weather was excellent with warm sunshine which made the 15 minute crossing on the ferry even more enjoyable. From the ferry we walked along the beach and onto the road for a short distance up a steep hill then joined the signposted Castlecraig circular path which we followed across fields and round the point of North Sutor to near Castlecraig. We walked past some very interesting and well preserved world war two coastal defence gun emplacements as we made our way keeping close to the coast. We encountered one or two gullies which we were able to cross but a large gully which runs inland from near King’s cave pushed us inland on a farm track for over half a mile before we were able to make our way back towards the sea and continue along passed Port An Righ. After a brief lunch stop we walked on, at one point wading through head high bracken across another gully before crossing some freshly harvested fields for an easy walk into the pretty village of Balintore via the sands of Shandwick bay. We walked out of Balintore passed the beach statue of the Mermaid of the North and through the adjoining village of Hilton. From here we joined a well defined path below the cliffs, close to the sea, but not affected by tides, which we were able to follow all the way to our day’s destination at Rockfield. We travelled by minibus to our accommodation at the Castle hotel, Portmahomack and a very welcome beer.
Summary; The first ferry crossing on the walk so far was a great start to our days walk . The first half of our route had some testing moments crossing gullies. The walk from Balintore to Rockfield was flat on an excellent path. All in all a very good days walking.
Highs; The ferry crossing, great scenery and the first WW2 big gun emplacements we have seen so far
Lows; The impassable gully near King’s cave.
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