Mmmm not the most exciting day, the initial low clouds and Scotch Mist made for a chilly and slightly damp start as I followed a quiet country lane towards Dingwall. There were views across the Cromarty Firth to the Black Isle and the long A9 road bridge which was never going to be on my route and wasn’t supposed to be on Cath’s either (more of that later). I descended into Dingwall via a pleasant diversion through Craig’s Wood, missing out some of the housing area but that’s all. Dingwall looks like quite an interesting place – some historical buildings and it is a Royal Burgh. The next stretch to Maryburgh was alongside a main road but the old road running parallel is now a cycle route so I used that. I didn’t dwell in Maryburgh, not a terribly inspiring place and marched on to Conon Bridge. As I contemplated find a way to photograph the old bridge, Cath rang to let me know the Sat Nav had taken her the wrong way – yes back over the road bridge towards Inverness. To give her the benefit of the doubt it is probably the fastest road route but not quite the plan. She was actually not far away in Muir of Ord so I loitered in Conon Bridge and we finally met at the railway station, had some lunch and I took an extended break to catch up on emails. Back on the road it was a short hop along the vergeless A862 then a bit of a climb away from the main road and a skip around some windy lanes before the jump down into Muir of Ord. I was treated to some nice views of high mountains to the west with smatterings of snow still visible, but too far away for my IPhone camera to do any justice.
The rest of the day was walking along the A862 again but at least now it had footpaths. Muir of Ord shows signs of failed industry and is not somewhere I would revisit, although it does have a golf course, which caught my attention. 2 miles further on I passed through Beauly which does justify its name, looking almost like a French village. I stopped briefly to take a look at the ruins of the abbey there. After that it was another mile or so to the camp at Lovat Bridge. Tomorrow I have a short final piece of road to negotiate then I will be picking up the Great Glen Way and starting my way down Loch Ness.