Walking Home

reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

June 9th, 2022

Walking to Cape Wrath, Day 30, June 9, 2022

ZERO day in Ullapool. Woke to a large cruise liner moored in the harbor, so town (the village) is a bit more crowded than before. The hostel here is well-appointed and well-run. My bunk room had 6 middle aged men from six different counties, and I ended up in a good conversation with a bicyclist who does leadership training via adventure. Fascinating man. Then, as my only real tasks today are replacing my lost bandana and laying in food for the final push to Cape Wrath (a stretch that still makes me anxious), I wandered town after an amazing breakfast of salmon hash at the Cult Cafe, followed by a long and wonderful conversation with back home, and then a no-exaggeration epic late lunch of spicy seafood soup and a dozen langoustines at a food truck—Seafood Shack— they were fresh off the fishing boat and could not have tasted better. My food tour ended at the Argyll Hotel for seafood stew (Cullen Skink) and steak pie while a trad band played— good way to finish evening in Ullapool.

Have to admit my anxiety level is a bit higher than usual, given the daunting task of 4 straight 30+ km days in foul weather and sometimes trackless trekking. That got driven home when buying food at the Tesco—counting out ounces of protein measured against days of strenuous hiking. Some good news is the first night out will now include a meal at the Oykel Bridge Hotel and a night in their bunkhouse, all because the folks who work there are such great people. Still, this last week will be brutal.

But today was a quiet wander, watching the tourists from the Viking Cruise liner moored in the bay, and picking up little odds and ends to make this last big push a little more tolerable.

T. Hugh Crawford