Wick to Keiss, 17Km
I’m not going to complain about the weather because I’ve been so fortunate in Scotland. It’s been the best summer ever and without midges. Today was more normal Scottish weather: foggy and a misty drizzle all day. I walked the full stage around Noss Head with its lighthouse, which I walked past without seeing, and I visited the ruined Sinclair Girnigoe Castle perched precariously on the cliff edge. After that I descended to the endless sandy beaches backed by sand dunes for the final stretch into Keiss.
The “most formidable obstacle of the entire trail”, says the guidebook, is the River of Wester. Obviously the author hasn’t walked the rest of the trail. Here was a little stream flowing across the beach in which you could safely leave your toddlers to splash around with a bucket and spade. If you were walking south and you now thought the worst was over, you’d be in for a shock.
I made the mistake of booking a B&B called A Castle View which is half an hour away from Keiss. The rain is now lashing down so I had to cancel my pub dinner. Instead, the Bombay Spice in Wick prepared a chicken tikka Jaipuri and delivered it hot to my bed. This was a first for me: an Indian meal without beer.