2021

Day 46 – a noticeable shift in the scenery today

Golspie to Brora, 10Km

There was a noticeable shift in the scenery today. The sea pounds the coast like it does in Brighton and the pebbles are no different but everything now feels a little bit more wild and remote. You can smell the seaweed and the salt in the air and the faint path struggles to maintain its presence. From high on a hill, the first Duke of Sutherland looks down over his county and his castle. He was the one who started the Highland clearances, evicting his tenants to the coastal villages and burning their homes so that he could use all the land for sheep farming. Many people thought it a jolly good idea and the subscriptions poured in for the 30m high statue after his death.

I slept for 8 hours last night, a miracle considering the state of the bed. It felt like a half filled water bed. The previous night I had a twin room; the first bed was unfit for purpose. The springs dug into me. The other bed was slightly better so I lay on the bedding from the first bed to cushion the springs. Every bed is an adventure.

Rose also stayed in the Golspie Inn and while she took the full Scottish breakfast, I wandered up to the Co-op for my usual cereal, fruit salad, croissants and a large cappuccino from the Costa Coffee machine. I assembled my picnic on a convenient wheelie bin, outside.

We walked along the coast today to Brora. It was a lovely little walk, all 10Km of it. In addition to the Duke’s castle we inspected the Carn Liath broch, a double skinned stone roundhouse, about 2000 years old. There are many in this part of Scotland and on Orkney. It was excavated by the Duke’s usual ruffians so sadly much of it was destroyed. Farther along the coast we stumbled upon a recently deceased dolphin and a healthy seal colony. And then it was a spot of lunch outside Linda’s cafe in Brora. Today was only a warm up for what is starting tomorrow.

Dunrobin castle, home to the 25th Duke of Sutherland
Carn Liath Broch
An old bathing pavilion
A seal waving goodbye
A dead dolphin
The John O’Groats Trail along the coast to Brora
Brora with a JoG waymark
The Sutherland Inn, of course. My home tonight

8 comments on “Day 46 – a noticeable shift in the scenery today

  1. a6bi2i

    I’ve been reading the descriptions of the final few stages of the JOGW, and now understand your increasingly frequent forebodings. “Risk of death,” it proclaims each day. I’d better put you in my morning list of requests for protection!

    • Thanks and a prayer to St Magnus if I’m to get to Orkney. The risk of death is only if you fall off the cliff. No multitasking! I’ll see how far I can go without chickening out.

  2. Fabulous beaches, how do you stop yourself going for a refreshing dip? You can also muse over what lurks beneath…

    • Scotland’s only naturist beach tomorrow so I might take a dip…

      • That wasn’t what I meant about what lurks beneath…

  3. Philippa

    The bathing pavilion with its corrugated iron roof and wood walls could be in NZ, if it wasn’t for the castle in the distance!

    • A castle is a big hint that it has to be Scotland!

      • Philippa

        True, though we do have a few castles (follies mostly) in NZ, the most prominent being Larnach Castle not far from Dunedin on the Otago Peninsula, our most Scottish city! And seals live there too …

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