The group of Yes activists walking 500 miles for independence have finished their first week with a soaking after they were drenched on their way from Banff to Fraserburgh yesterday.

Resting in the fishing port last night, the group revealed that the eight-strong team had successfully covered more than 168 miles in seven days which is almost 25 miles a day – perfectly on schedule to arrive in Edinburgh for the march and rally for independence on Saturday, October 6.

READ MORE: Royal Mile Yes march could attract in excess of 30,000

They are a hardy bunch, but an essential part of the exercise has been the support of Yes groups and individuals along the route, some of whom have joined the walkers for varying distances.

In an interview on the walk’s Facebook page, walker Wren Chapman said: “We have had such a lovely response from so many people, it’s been amazing.

“We had one elderly gentleman come to see us at Kyle of Lochalsh and he gave us a £10 note and left before we could thank him.

“People have been really welcoming and one group who came to see us said repeatedly ‘thank you for doing this for us’ and that touched my heart.”

The walk will proceed through a total of 70 towns and villages across Scotland in the 22 days that it lasts.

There have been some unpleasant scenes, of course, but the Yes walkers have an answer to that – the freedom bell.

Chapman said: “We have had people making ‘interesting’ gestures towards us from their vehicles so we just ring the freedom bell at them because for me that’s an inoffensive way of connecting with people peacefully.”

Dean Woodhouse of Yes Linton is also on the walk. He told The National last night: “The first week it has been raining every day except one, and today was brutal because it was driving rain all morning and 50mph gusts of winds.

“We were soaked to the skin and just happy to make it to Fraserburgh, but we’ll be on the road first thing. “

Woodhouse has also noted offensive material being directed to the walkers.

He said: “Twitter support has been wonderful but the targeted yoon abuse has been pathetic. Keyboard warriors calling us names like primary schoolchildren having a tantrum. Obviously our efforts are working. “

Another man making a long journey in the cause of independence is The National’s own columnist Paul Kavanagh.

He is travelling up to Newtonmore on Tuesday, September 25, to speak to the Badenoch and Strathspey branch of the SNP.

The talk is scheduled for 7.30pm in the Balavil Hotel, Main Street, in Aviemore, where the star of the show, as always, will be the Wee Ginger Dug.