• Facebook
    • Google+
    • Twitter
    • Get new posts sent to your inbox!
      Enter your email address below:

  • Sunday, September 21, 2014

    Inverness, Scotland

    I crossed the Irish Sea on a 2-hour Ferry ride to Troon, Scotland

    On my way to Cape Wrath to begin my hike across the Scottish Highlands, I went through Glasgow. I didn't do much in the city, though. I'll be walking to Glasgow from the Northern Coast so I want to save it until I've earned it. 

    The vote on whether Scotland will leave the United Kingdom would happen soon, so these signs were all over Scotland.

    Next, I took a bus to Inverness, where I met a backpacker from Australia. On our way to have breakfast, we happened upon a 400 year old Inverness tradition. At the start of every school year, students, faculty, religious leaders, and men in kilts march around the city to a church where they are blessed before they begin another year of study.

    I spent a couple night in Inverness to get the blog up to date. On my way to a campsite, I stopped for a few photos. This is Inverness Castle.

    This is the River Ness, which flows into Loch Ness.

    I passed St. Andrews Cathedral while looking for camp.

    There are no trespassing laws in Scotland. This means I can pretty much camp wherever I want, which could lead to some interesting nights. I found a perfect hidden spot between hedges and shrubs. Next I'll be hitching to Durness on the northern coast.

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

    The Scottish Highlands

    I have finally settled on a route for for the next section of my hike through the Scottish Highlands.

    After busing and hitching way to the northern coast, I will begin to follow the 234-mile Cape Wrath Trail. This section is unmarked and a lot of it is trackless, so I will have to rely heavily on map and compass. This does give me some freedom to choose my own route, but it also means that I will have to slog through bogs and ford several unbridged rivers, which could slow me down if there is heavy rain.

    The remoteness of it is intriguing to me, although, my enjoyment level is very much dependent on the weather. After walking so many roads in Ireland not far from civilization, I'm ready to spend some time in the wilderness.

    I may not have cell service for long stretches, but I plan to stop in the towns of Ullapool and Fort Williams to take a day off and update the blog and I will still be able to update the map on a regular basis.

    I won't be tempted to go into towns, since there aren't many up there, but due to the difficulty this section could still take three weeks.

    At Fort Williams, I will take the West Highland Way for 94 miles to Glasgow. This is Scotland's first, and most popular, long distance trail. I hope to meet a lot of fellow backpackers on this section, which will be a nice change of pace after three weeks on the Cape Wrath Trail. It is well marked, so should only take about 6 days.

    One last thing, you can see where I am by clicking on the View Map button on the top right of this page. Once it loads, click the Satellite button, to can see arial photos of where I am. Given some of the weird places I sleep at night, this could be interesting to see.

    My Last Morning in Ireland

    I was up before the sun on my last morning in Ireland.
    On my way to the harbor at Larne, I watched the sun rise above the horizon. 

    Of course Ireland would be absolutely gorgeous until the very end. The beauty of the Island and the hospitality of it's people far exceeded my expectations. Thank you to everyone who made this the adventure of a lifetime.

    Scotland... you have big shoes to fill.