Monday, 8 June 2009

Day 65 Monday - Oykel Bridge to Lairg

Walking 8.30am to 4.00pm
Distance walked today 16 miles
Total distance walked 971 miles
Distance left 89 miles

The route as originally planned would have had me walking along the A837 all the way to Lairg. However, in somebody's account of a LEJOG walk, I was able to identify a bridge crossing the River Oykel at NC407006 which isn't shown on the Landranger map. This enabled me to plan a route south of the river as far as Inveroykel. This bridge does exist (June 2009).

Bridge at NC407006

I followed then a path alongside the river a short distance to a hill fort. It's not clear here exactly where to go. There's a track shown on the map a little to the south east but no obvious way to it. I went too far to the north of the track but a lady walking a dog pointed me in the right direction.

River Oykel at Inveroykel

Having gained the track, it was an easy walk to Inveroykel. I stopped and chatted to a farmer on a quad bike for twenty minutes or so. He was extremely English but has farmed here for years and wouldn't live anywhere else. He told me that the village shop in the next village, Rosehall, is owned by Mohammed Al Fayed, (who also owns some 70,000 acres locally) and let to the proprietor. I went in the shop, called Invercassley Stores. It's very good.

Invercassley Stores

There was about a mile of the A837 to Rosehall, then, just past the river bridge, a track leading to Invernauld House. A lane from here took me up to the A837 again and I then followed this for the remaining six miles into Lairg. It was single track with passing places much of the way with very little traffic so, as far as road walking is concerned, it was quite good. It was dry and cloudy/sunny most of the day.

The remaining mileage to John o'Groats is now in single figures!

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