Today was about making the walking fit in with things we were keen to see! Two of Olivia’s friends, Angharad and Katie joined us and we decided on the Castle of Mey as our start point.
From here it was quite a long and hard stretch on the road, with lots of hills! However there were still some beautiful sights to be seen, including an old mill where we stopped for some photos, and various lochs with plenty of bird life.
We were aiming for Dunnet Head, and eventually it appeared in the distance. As we walked towards it there were a number of occasions where it appeared to be getting further away from us!
We eventually reached the turning for Dunnet Head, where the sign told us it was only 3 miles to go. However, we made the decision to join the North Highland Way for a short time which probably added on a few miles but was definitely worth it.
There were plenty of barbed wire fences to negotiate, and a few holes and high bracken but the views were amazing. At one point we had been struggling across the heather for about 10 minutes when someone looked to their left and realised that there was a perfectly good path just a few metres away!
It was quite a climb up Dunnet Head and we stopped for a while to watch the lifeboat heading out. The last part was definitely the steepest but we powered up it, motivated by the imminent consumption of lunch! We met Phil and the dogs at the top and admired both the view and the information boards.
As we stood on the top of the hill we were struck by the contrast in the weather in each direction. Looking out towards Orkney the sky was a beautiful blue, however when turning to the opposite direction the sky was almost black!
As the blackness moved swiftly closer we hurried for the car, arriving just in time as the first rumble of thunder could be heard and the rain began. There were a couple of flashes of lightning too, both of which Katie tried and failed to photograph! We ate lunch in the car which was a tight squeeze with all 5 of us and 2 dogs whilst we waited for the rain to ease.
Eventually the rain did become lighter and the skies brighter and so off we went. As beautiful as the off-road route was, we chose to head back on the road as we had seen a lovely cafe on our way up which we wanted to reach before it closed! Although it was raining we had a good laugh, singing songs to keep our spirits up.
We unfortunately reached the cafe just a little to late and it was already closed. However the owner was lovely and brought us each an ice cream, the thought of which had been keeping us going all afternoon so we were extremely grateful!
After demolishing our ice creams and having a good chat we piled back into the car again and headed for Dunnet Bay to get another few miles in. The beach was beautiful and we took both the dogs and their favourite toy with us so they had lots of fun!
Kate was on the phone to a restaurant in Thurso to book a table for tea, when she spotted something in the water. She couldn’t work out what it was at first but then she realised it was a sea otter! We kept watching it as we walked along and kept it in sight for over 15 minutes. At one point it left the water and ran up the beach towards the dunes for quite a distance. Of course this was the one time during the whole walk so far that we didn’t have our camera with us but the experience was magical and something we will never forget!
After we lost sight of the otter we let the two very confused dogs off their leads and they continued to race about and play. Meeting Phil at the other end of the beach we all squeezed into the car for the final time!
Today truly was a lovely day, and the 13.37 miles we’ve done seemed to pass so quickly. We are so grateful to Anghard and Katie for coming up to support us!
In August 2019 we're walking 500 miles round the North Coast of Scotland in memory of Kevin Kerr, raising money for MND Scotland, Marie Curie & SITraN
Day by day