Day 20 – 24 on the Scottish National Trail

Day 20

This morning isn’t much better than yesterday.
It’s really slow going walking on a muddy/swampy trail.
Around lunch time I end up on a road that I’ll be walking on for about 15 km.
I’ve never been this happy to roadwalk (a weird thing to say, I know…) and definitely wasn’t looking forward to it to be over.
But the trail is actually really good now and I arrive on the beautiful Sandwood Bay.

I contemplate doing a 2.5 km detour to go to a bothy, but I feel lazy and pitch the tent.
And the midges are going absolutely crazy outside my tent, to the point that I have to wait till it gets cooler, around 10pm to go out and do my business.
I have 11 km left to Cape Wrath, which would have been the end of trail if I didn’t flip-flop.
I need to be there before 2pm, as the only way out of the Cape is by minibus and ferry.

Day 21

Pretty boggy for most of the morning but it’s a beautiful day, which feels great, as I can’t remember the last one.
There are some really beautiful cliffs on the way.

I arrive at Cape Wrath where there’s a lighthouse, a tiny café, and not much more.
To reach the main road there’s a pretty cool minibus ride on a dirt road then a short boat trip.

I get to Durness where I go to the campsite and manage to get some laundry done. It’s been a while since I’ve done a “proper” laundry, so that feels great.
There’s no bus going to Inverness (the closest town to where I rejoin the trail) so I’m planning on hitching, but somebody tells me it’s raining all day tomorrow.
Another option is to take a bus to another town, then some trains.
If the rain is really bad, I might just do that.

Day 22

After what is probably the most expensive trip I’ve ever been on relatively to the short length of it, I arrive in Inverness, more than 24 hours after leaving Cape Wrath.
I think I’ll have to start hitching in the rain in the future because transport is ridiculously expensive…
I’m planning on going out to see live music in a pub in town, but after 2 beers at the hostel I’m staying at, I’m feeling too lazy.

Day 23

A last bus ride takes me back to Cluanie, where I flipped 2 weeks ago to meet with Gil and Peter.
I’ll be now going Sobo towards Glasgow, instead of Nobo.

It was really sunny when I left Inverness this morning, but it’s raining when I arrive in Cluanie.
There are some really beautiful views of Loch Cluanie (pronounced like the actor, Clooney, which was again a bit confusing for the bus driver when I asked a ticket saying it wrong)
The weather is chaotic all day, to say the least.
It’s changing literally every 10mn, from one extreme to the other.
From freezing wind and rain to be sweaty in my rain gear in the sun, to hail.
I’ve never seen weather changing this fast, this often…
I’m actually surprised it’s not snowing considering how cold it is.
Speaking of snow, I checked the weather forecast and the Cairngorms, where I should be in a few days will have snow, not for one, but for eight days. In June.
Though I prefer walking in the snow than in the rain, so it could fun.

I have still quite a lot of swampy terrain today, but also some forestry roads.
And boy, do I love those road walks after the swamps…
It’s definitely not an easy trail, but I’m still having a great time.

Day 24

Today is pretty easy and I’m definitely enjoying not walking in a swamp for a while, so I make good progress.
I walk on the Great Glen Way for about 15 km. Its a national trail going along Loch Ness and it’s pretty popular. I might do it next month if I have enough time.

I ressuply in Fort Augustus, a pretty touristic town as it’s the Southern end of Loch Ness.
While ressuplying I get a pint of ice cream, which is my go-to treat when in town but for some reason I haven’t had any yet.
Keeps me going all afternoon for what ends up being a 47km day.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?