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reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

Walking to Cape Wrath, Day 29, June 8, 2022

June 8th, 2022

Walking to Cape Wrath, Day 29, June 8, 2022

Bad luck/good luck. So far the story of this trip. Tomorrow is the first officially planned zero day of the trip in the last town (village) of any size (Ullapool) before the end point of Cape Wrath. The plan today was to walk out the last 14 km and either hitch or call for a ride from Inverlael to Ullapool. My go-to trekking shoes have always been Salomon Ultra X… over the years. Comfortable, good grip, dry fast, etc. however they usually only last about 500-600 miles in rough, wet, rocky terrain. So, perhaps not to my surprise, I blew one of them out today. That’s the bad luck. The good luck was it was the one day when I had the prospect of replacing them— either by taking the bus to Inverness or finding a pair in Ullapool. As my luck was exceptional, Ullapool Outdoors had a pair of Scarpa’s that I hope will not only walk me out of the SNT, but be a good pair for the summer’s casual walks— fingers crossed. No doubt they will initiate a whole new set of foot woes over the next days, as all new shoes do.

The day’s trek out was surprising as it started on a Land Rover road, running down to a minor road with a car park. I assumed the Ullapool highway would be nearby, but the trail took me up a steep mountain for a long wander (couple hours) across a plateau before descending to Inverlael. I continue to be amazed at the utter wildness of landscapes that seem so close to settled areas— I guess in part because all these areas have once been settled, as the ruins I regularly encounter attest.

The day was mostly logistical— getting off the mountain, getting ride to Ullapool, getting new shoes, then gorging myself on seafood most of the early afternoon at the Seaforth restaurant— amazing place with wonderful staff. Then laundry and catching up with work. In other words, no blog worthy thoughts manifested today, but was exceptionally smooth given all its bumps.

T. Hugh Crawford