The same bus driver picked me up this morning as had transported me back yesterday, he was keen to know where I was heading today. By the time he dropped me off at Nybster we were on first name terms, they’re a friendly lot up here.
Walking down to the small harbour the weather was awful, maybe I’d misjudged the forecast. Anyhow I was on my way. There were a couple of geo’s and the odd sea stack for starters though the rain was getting on the camera lens.
Ahead in the mist were some castle ruins on a headland. Bucholie Castle dates from a 12th-century Norse nobleman but what remains today is from a 15th-century rebuild.
By now the rain had thankfully stopped but the wind remained strong.
Lovely open walking around Ness Head brought Freswick Bay into view. On a sea stack fulmars were kings of their castle. The other house/tower/castle call it what you like has Norse origins which are normal in Caithness. I was able to wade a stream, have lunch and then walk leisurely across the beach towards Skirza Head.
A diversion sign took me on minor roads to avoid some clifftop properties although I was tempted to go direct. Maybe access negotiations are delicate so I didn’t want to inflame matters. At least I didn’t end up in the field with this chap.
I arrived back on the coast at a small harbour.
Rough and dramatic walking along the cliffs covered in Sea Thrift, it seemed to take me an age to get around Skirza Head and a couple of geos. There were lots of seabirds on the cliffs with guillemots doing their best penguin impersonations.
Ravens meanwhile were doing their best acrobatic displays, I wonder if they are responsible for this egg stealing. More likely to be Herring Gulls.
Yet more dramatic clifftop walking with my first distant view of Duncansby Head and its stacks.
Then I was peering down into the largest geo I’d seen, Wife Geo. A complicated chasm with stacks and caves within its depths.
Open boggy moorland lay ahead and then the impressive Stacks of Duncansby held my attention for some time. I came round Duncansby Head below the lighthouse and joined the masses milling about in a car park. Some were whale watching. Stroma, Hoy and South Ronaldsay were just visible in the mist.
I left the road as quick as I’d joined it and took a bearing across the open moor to the Bay of Sannick, I was the only person on its beach. A bit of scrambling around the headland, Ness of Duncansby, and I was on a made gravel path heading straight to the circus of John O’Groats.
A couple from the Wirral took my picture at the appropriate signs, I bought a postcard for my old walking buddy Mel who is now on kidney dialysis. I enquired without joy at the TI office about bus times, had a coffee from the kiosk who gave me the correct bus times – one in 5 minutes.
I’m now in Thurso for the evening before a long train journey home tomorrow and reflections on my journey.
Congratulations! I have enjoyed these posts immensely!
A wonderful few days walking, each day in itself was an adventure.
We live in a beautiful country no matter how we are determined to spoil some areas.
Time for reflection when back home.
Many congratulations on finishing your trek from Land’s End to John o’Groats .. no mean feat by anyone’s standards! You’ve made many memories for yourself to reflect upon and achieved something not many have. Well done! Jules
That last week on the Caithness coast was great fun. Have been re-reading your posts from the same sections.
Have you not some new adventure planned?
A job well done. Glad you persisted with the photos in the poor weather. You wouldn’t know about that weather looking at the photos.
I tried to post this earlier but was foiled by WordPress.
There was panic that day when I lost my camera in the wet grass. I should take a camera bag but recently I’ve just been popping the small camera into my pocket for ease of use.
Wordpress was playing up on me while away – wouldn’t upload the photos readily.