Day 41: Dores to Inverness

Jonathan at InvernessWaking up with a little bit of a hangover I cooked up a breakfast before slowly packing up camp and the boat. Unfortunately my kayak trolley had developed a puncture overnight so I had to drag the boat down to the water. Passing through the last section of Loch Ness I was soon into the man made section of the canal which I remembered well from my last visit. I paddled on, mulling over what I was to do. I stopped at the locks where I checked the weather forecast for the next few days – it wasn’t great. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time left to reach John o’ Groats and so decided that I would finish in Inverness. Work may well have given me some extra time off to finish but there was no way of guaranteeing the good weather that would be required to paddle the final section of exposed coastline. It would have been costly to change my train ticket and besides that, my life would not be worth living if I missed my sisters wedding next weekend (and nor would I want to miss it). I was pleased with my progress and had got to where I wanted to be both mentally and physically. I had enjoyed every minute of my trip. Logistically it would have been very difficult to stop anywhere other than either Inverness or John o’ Groats. Paddling into Inverness I wondered on what I would do with my kayak. Portaging around the flight of locks and down to the basin below I called in at the sea scouts base where I spoke to a couple of guys. The Sea Scouts were willing to buy my kayak off me so I made a quick deal. I also got some accommodation sorted (which was rather difficult to source as Inverness was packed out for a festival) and a lift which was very kind. After settling into my bed and breakfast I headed out to eat at a lovely restaurant – ‘The Mustard Seed’ which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a lovely end to my kayak odyssey! In the six weeks I had managed to paddle over 1200Km, rough camping with no back up. I have further expanded my collection of crazy stories and experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life; I also have a sore bottom, back, arms and shoulders!