Day 4 – Forse to Helmsdale

Weather: ☁️ then 🌥

Feeling Today: 👍

When I was planning the walk I was expecting this to be the least pleasant (or most unpleasant?) day of walking. Twenty miles on the A9 without anywhere to stop for a coffee or beer on the way and only occasional respite in the form of a short length of pavement or the route of the adjoining old road. An American chap is trying to create a path from JOG to Inverness along the coast edge ( but it’s early days and today’s stretch of this developing path is still too hardcore for me – wading streams, scrambling ravines, hurdling walls and barbed wire fences etc. So instead I stuck with a hard slog and walked at pace along the road, c17 minutes per mile.

I could have done with more of this …

and less of this …

But it wasn’t that bad for too much of the stretch and there was usually a verge to step onto as traffic approached.

Most drivers are considerate and pull out to give you room if they can. Those that do get an acknowledgement from me, ranging from a downward open palm for little effort to an upright waving hand, possibly with a smile, for those going onto the opposite carriage way. Signalling to pull out is also helpful to us walkers as it shows the oncoming driver’s awake and is taking positive action, as well as indicating that there isn’t traffic coming from behind you. From my unscientific survey, I’m afraid most of the inconsiderate drivers are women or fat, older men. They’re already way past me by the time I’ve finished abusing them. Van and lorry drivers are generally good which I guess they should be, as professional drivers.

The climbs into and out of the Berriedale Basin would be more fun in a fast car. (Jolly Boys note).

So I’ve left Caithness and entered Sutherland. Onward down the A9 tomorrow, similar but not as difficult as today.


13 thoughts on “Day 4 – Forse to Helmsdale

  1. Good stuff. Keep on smiling and remember try not to upset the locals too much
    else may be a rerun of straw dogs.
    What shoes/boots you in?


  2. Sounds a bit of a grind….well done. I see you may be going near (into ?) Dornoch soon. Fabulous golf course, although I gather you may not be carrying your sticks ?
    Keep the faith…..0


  3. Impressed you went to all the effort of setting up a “walking towards the camera” selfie. And having looked it up, I now know where Zetel is!


  4. Impressive distance.
    Similar to the as yet undisclosed stretch for day 1 FBW2017

    Stay safe on the roads – poor drivers come in all shapes and sizes (but do tend to drive Jags)


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