Day 69 (16.9 miles)

Kinbrace to grid ref: ND027404 (Dail Righe?)

It had rained all night. Not ideal when you’re attempting the boggy moorland plateau of Knockfin Heights the next day. The rain has stopped by the time I was ready to strike camp, but I packed a tent that was soaking wet.

I walked north along the road out of Kinbrace until it was time to turn right and head easterly into the wilderness. There was no path and I wouldn’t see a path at all until I came down off Knockfin Heights. The route to the top wasn’t as bad as I’d feared, I also saw a herd of about 70 red deer on the moor before the climb started, there was even a trig point (438m) at the top to welcome me – it felt like the most remote place on earth.

Now I just had to cross the plateau and find my way down, being careful not to descend into the wrong valley (as pointed out in my guidebook). The top was very wet (as the OS map indicates) I did my best to avoid a swim and found the stream I needed to follow down.

The stream I followed is the source of the River Thurso, eventually it took me to an access track (that I’m guessing is used for grouse shoots). This is where it started raining heavily again, the stream is called ‘Glutt Water’ at this stage, I followed it as it turned north and passed ‘The Glutt’ (a small farm and its many buildings).

From here there was about 4 miles to go to the ‘recommended’ wild camping area. When I got there I didn’t share the guidebook author’s enthusiasm for the place (“one of the best places to put up a tent between Land’s End and John O’Groats”)… mainly because it was still torrentially raining & I was soaking wet. I had to pitch a soaking tent and I couldn’t find the ‘flat grassy ground’ the book talked about.

This bit would have been so much more bearable had summer arrived in Scotland as I had planned. Instead of enjoying a night in the wilderness, I was just about surviving 🙁

Some stats:
Mileage count: 1,210.1
Pint count: 252
economy: 38.4mpg
Malt Whisky count: 26

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