SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER, 2009
ROCKFIELD TO TAIN – 19 MILES, 8.5 HOURS
MORRIS, IAN, ALEX, BILLY, COLIN AND BILL
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 525 MILES
After a long tiring day yesterday we enjoyed an excellent evening meal, a few beers and had a reasonably early night. We had a hearty breakfast and were underway at 0900 for the long days walk ahead . The weather was excellent again when we set off from Rockfield for our walk to Tain. We walked out of the village picking up a well defined path under the cliffs close to the sea. Ahead we could see the imposing Ballone castle perched on the cliff tops. The castle dates from the late 16th century and is currently under restoration. Underfoot conditions were very good and we quickly made our way towards the lighthouse at Tarbat Ness. Near Tarbat Ness the path leaves the sea edge and climbs to the cliff tops where we became aware of the strong westerly winds. The imposing lighthouse at Tarbat Ness designed by Robert Stevenson in the 1820’s and third highest in the UK is distinguished by its two broad red bands. We walked round the point and continued near the sea edge passed Port Buckie, Port Mor and Port Uilleim to the village of Portmahomack where we enjoyed tea and cake in the Carnegie Hall. We walked out of Portmahomack on the beach towards Inver. On this stretch the underfoot conditions varied between mud, seaweed and pebbles and at times was quite arduous. On nearing Inver we were grateful for the relief of the vast firm sandbanks and beach which run into InverBay. On reaching Inver we enjoyed a beer in the very welcoming Inver Inn in the company of ‘mine host’ Ann and some of her regulars. On leaving Inver we were unable to continue on the coast due to the inaccessible RAF bombing range which occupies the area of Morrich More (currently in constant use and permanently closed to public access). After walking up the estuary as far as we could we made our way along a disused WW2 runway before joining the main road for a short distance. We made our way back to the sea via an access road towards Balcherry and the woods at Cnocan Mealbhain. Our route into Tain from the beach was through Plaids and the golf course, We travelled by minibus back to Portmahomack.
Summary; A good longish days walk with a mixture of underfoot conditions,
Highs; The imposing Tarbat Ness lighthouse. The walk into Inver bay along the sandbanks (tidal). Ann and the locals in the Inver Inn.
Lows; Not being able to walk round Morrich More and Whiteness sands.
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