2021

Day 50 – Fog and Rain

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.

The tempting outdoor pool in Wick, this morning, near the sewage works
The lighthouse at Noss Head with “good views across the bay”. A couple of Swiss walkers in the foreground were lost, expecting the waymarking to be like Lausanne
The ruins of Sinclair Girnigoe Castle. A story of the earldoms of Caithness and Orkney, a developing castle from 14th to 17th centuries, debts and ruin. Fascinating place for my coffee stop
Sea stack, two a penny up here. Oops, not too close to the edge please
I love it up here, especially with the mist. My legs are dangling over the edge
Weather seems to be cheering up a bit
The path continues
Sea arch, also two a penny. Erosion, collapse and then you get another stack
No wind today, fortunately
The Ackergillshore pier. No amusements or ice creams
The much anticipated crossing of the River of Wester. Not as deep as it looks. Hop, skip and a jump

8 comments on “Day 50 – Fog and Rain

  1. I can see why they invented whisky…

    • Yep, it’s only just hit me. I’ll be sampling Highland Park on Orkney

  2. Vicky Williamson

    Kia ora, Tim, Great photos and you must be as agile as a mountain goat to manage those tricky narrow trails on cliff edges – impressive. You’ll definitely need that Scotch when you arrive in Orkney! Kia kaha, Vicky

  3. Jane & family

    Hello Tim, We are all enjoying your blog & we love the photos.

    • I have hundreds more photos to sort through. See you all next week!

  4. Amazing sea stacks. Not sure what two a penny is? A small flask of whisky (and a wee bit of cheese) can’t be that heavy to keep in your backpack 🙂

    • You’re right this is a wild piece of coastline. Two a penny is slang for very cheap or very common. My survival so far is due to me not carrying a wee flask of whisky. Nescafé is bad enough….

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