Yet again leaving the campsite at around 10- 11am, we realised were not early risers, never have been, never will be and even though we left late we have never to date arrived at a campsite or a place to sleep past 6.30, as when we walk, WE WALK! Looking at distances and times, most of the time were walking at around 4mph, which with our bags is not bad, even though the terrain is pretty flat. Another day along the A99 for us but I think it might have changed to the A9 today....... not too sure. Today marked the day of our first county crossing! From Cathiness to Sunderland!Walk was fairly pleasent, both our feet were starting to hurt today, toes fetting crushed, the beginning of blisters and just general aches and pains, the road had lost its novelty too, it was starting to get a bit busier, which meant staying more alreat and dodging lorries, there are sooo many lorries up here! We can't understand where all of the lorries are going!
Every corner we turned we were dreading this 'massive hill' which we had been warned about, however, every corner we turned....nothing. Just a little incline/decline in the road, we finally got to the outskirts of Berridale and we saw a hill worhty of being called a hill, however, walking down in to the Beridale dip was more hard work than walking up the other side! We kept the same pace throughout and barely broke a sweat! We were wondering if that was the 'massive hill' and it must have been as it was flat as a pancake all the way to Helmsdale, so just to let the lady know, she was not aware of what we were capable of! and my bag didn't feel heavy the whole way :)
In the morning we had been told that we may be able to pitch our tent outside of the youth hostel as we couldn't afford to stay in the youth hostel and there were no wild camping areas or campsites nearby, so we rocked up at the youth hostel at around 5pm and asked the lady if we could set up our tent, she was unsure as she was new to the hostel so rang the owner, unfortunatly the answer was no as they could not support campers due to their facilities but she told us there was a tourist information centre down the road which would give us a better idea where to go.
The tourist information centre was so cute! It was a little nik nak shop with tourist information attatched, we asked the lady if she knew anywhere we coulde could set up our tent for the night and was shocked when she replied 'yes follow me back here' so we went around the back of the tourist information centre which looked like a large garden and she went through all of the places we could set up the tent, she was really lovely and didn't want any money or anything, when we asked what to do about toilets she said we could find the harbour master who may lend us the key to the toilets for the night, we were getting tired for a wild goose chase and wanted to shelter from the rain so we thought we would go to a local pub for a drink where we could charge our phones and use the toilets.
Had a lovely night in the pub called the Belgrave arms hotel chatting to the locals and a German couple on holiday, they warned us the further west we go (Fort William) we will be plauged with midgies and rain! Somehting to look forward to then i suppose.
After using and abusing their toilet facilities and phones fully charged time for diary writing and bed!