2021

Day 45 – We join the NC500 race to Golspie

Dornoch to Golspie, 22Km

Golf is one of those games I would probably enjoy if I played it. I think I’d be good at it too. You hit the ball towards the hole and it goes in, providing you hit it straight. Rose and I plan to have a round of crazy golf in Brora and as I’m a scratch player I expect she’ll be buying the ice creams.

The Dornoch Hotel’s gate led straight onto the Royal Dornoch golf course which is world class and looked very grand. It’s situated between the hotel and the beach. The putting greens glistened in the early morning sunshine. Several groundsmen were pampering the grass which looked immaculate. Really, there was no excuse for missing the hole. One chap was eyeing up his put as we walked past but he missed it.

We followed the former Dornoch light railway for the first few kilometres. The railway company also built the hotel in 1904 and spent more money on the hotel than the railway. At least the hotel is just about still standing.

After hacking our way through some bracken, we came to Loch Fleet which is a haven for those who enjoy looking at ducks all day. One man sat poised with a very large camouflaged lens waiting for the moment. The North Coast 500 is a popular drive around the north of Scotland and it attracts big motorbikes, exotic cars and camper vans. We chatted to a couple who had parked their glittering Mazda MX5 at the edge of the loch. They weren’t young but I bet they felt it. I always fancied renting a scarlet Ferrari and driving it over the Alps and down to Maranello but I gave up that dream when I tried driving one at the Thruxton circuit.

We walked around Loch Fleet and had to edge along the A9 to cross the water. The NC500 racers passed us and will be in John O’Groats within the hour. The A9 is my backup plan around the inaccessible bits of the trail but I hope I don’t need to use it. The cliff top looks safer.

Looking across the Royal Dornoch golf course this morning
Loch Fleet: waterfowl and seals
Shame about needing that extra bag; sign of old age. Presumably all the pills
The trail is not quite so tame today
The bracken has the upper hand
The gates no longer open
You have to walk around the fields

4 comments on “Day 45 – We join the NC500 race to Golspie

  1. Sophie

    You’re catching up with our NC500 route now! We wild camped at Loch Fleet on our first night! Did you see many seals?

    • No I wonder if they’ve gone now that the young have grown up.

  2. Vicky Williamson

    Kia ora, Tim, I’ve just checked out the rest of your route on Google maps and I learn that you have about 23.5 hours of actual walking yet to do and a bit of climbing – challenging?! I’m really looking forward to your photos and your comments and I’ll miss my daily fix of your ramblings when you’re finished! Kia kaha, Vicky

    • Google will calculate the time walking up the main A9 road when there’s no traffic rather than scrambling along the cliffs and beaches etc. I also have a week in Orkney so you won’t be done inside a day! Glad you’re enjoying it.

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