We have completed our walk and on the way we have been treated to a fine array of history in the land we have walked through. The first amazing stone we passed was on the outskirts of Forres, the Sueno stone. This stone dates from the third century and is Pictish. On one side is Christian symbolism, on the other are very detailed carvings of a battle and the reprisals taken on the losers by the victors. The stone is a massive six metres high and protected by a toughened glass case. Our second stone, also from the same era, was in the grounds of Brodie Castle. This is the Rodney stone and it is protected by a screen of woven branches, is around six feet tall and again has Christian carving on one side but on the other beautiful Pictish symbols. A third stone, the Kebbuck stone, with hardly any visible markings, is just outside a small cottage in woodland. All three we saw in one day.
A feast of stones came on a different day when we walked round the Clava Cairns near Culloden. These stones are much older, dating from around 2000 BC. These were built by Bronze Age people and it is thought that they formed a part of a large cemetery. There are chambered cairns surrounded by kerb stones and boulders and stone circles arranged very carefully according to type, size and colour of stones. The setting sun at the winter equinox shone directly down the entrance to the chambers. They are managed by Historic Scotland and, apart from the information notices and tidy car park, they are open to the elements and free to visit. Well worth coming to.
Our church visit this week was to crown Church in Inverness. We received a warm welcome from the Minister Peter Donald, and his congregation and were able to speak to the congregation about our project. The theme of the service was finding Christ in others, however different and receiving from them – which indeed we did a day after when a Good Samaritan – Kris, stopped is rather swish car on the roadside as we were tramping along, already having walked 12 miles and finding we were stranded as no bus had appeared to return us to our accommodation. Thank you Kris – a Christ-bearer indeed!
More thanks and hellos must go this week to David – our host for the week at Rannoch cottage, to Shelagh (hope you eventually managed to get to work at Fort George?), Catriona whom we met on the cycle track near Forres and Bob Macdougall who is training for the Scottish 500 with his friend Davie. Hope you have as much encouragement as we have had.
And finally – we have made it to the Kessock Bridge. We got there through a rainy Industrial Estate and linked up with where we had climbed the steps to cross the bridge on our Lands End to John o’Groats walk back in 2011. (See the LEJOG tab on the website).
It has been great fun, good walking and although we are five years older (and sometimes have felt about ten years older than then) we have really enjoyed it.
Miles completed 257
Money given so far £1193.61
Ancient Standing stones 27
Scrabble this week Nancy 4 John 1