Thursday, 11 June 2009

Day 68 Thursday - Kinbrace to Altnabreac

Walking 9.10am to 6.45pm
Distance walked today 19 miles
Total distance walked 1024 miles
Distance left 36 miles

I had a brief exchange of emails yesterday evening with my friend, Gayle (, regarding her route from Kinbrace last year. In fact, the route she and Mick took over Knockfin Heights is the one described in Andy Robinson's "The End to End Trail". The OS map shows absolutely no paths over Knockfin Heights but Gayle likes a yomp over boggy, featureless moorland, the wetter the better.

I didn't go this way. Taking advantage of having my support vehicle and team with me, I took a day pack with just waterproofs and water, donned trainers and power walked the seven miles by road, the. A897, to Forsinard. This was single track with passing places and there were very few vehicles about.

The road north of Kinbrace

We had a quick look round the RSPB Visitor Centre and then went for a pot of tea at the Forsinard Hotel. I then continued, covering a further four miles in record time.

After this, I put boots back on, shouldered my Golite pack and headed off, initially south east, on a trail signposted Altnabreac. This was easy to follow, being waymarked and having a good sandy surface. In fact, I'm certain it was wider than the A897 in places.

The map I had was supposedly up to date and I expected to be walking through forest much of the way. Most of the forest had been cleared, obviously some time ago as part of a scheme to return the land to its original wet moorland state.

My planned overnight stop around Cnoc Maol Donn proved to be totally unsuitable so I collected water at a burn and carried on walking. After another three miles, I found a reasonable pitch close to the railway alongside a forest track at ND010461. In the three hours I've been here, one vehicle and one train have gone by.


  1. Phew!
    Back from my own trips,I've just enjoyed a marathon session catching up with your reports.
    It all seems to have gone very smoothly - you must have prepared well.
    What will you do for the rest of the summer?
    No doubt you will be savouring the last few miles, and sad when it all comes to an end...

  2. On the home stretch now Geoff. The birdlife in the Flow Country is sensational - take time to lie down and listen to their song - it's quite wonderful.

    Even better with a sip of whisky and some bread and cheese...