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Day 32 – Brora to Dunbeath (Berriedale)

Day 32 – Brora to Dunbeath (Berriedale)

Day 32 – Smellydale Berriedale

We awaken by the sound of a train passing us by, 30 cows around our tents and the busy trunk road heard. Not quite the scenic Wild camping Scotland we’d encountered along the way. However, there isn’t much choice on these last few days & in hindsight looking back, next time I’ll probably try heading up to Cape Wrath which goes through Scotlands Western Flank through the last wilderness with very little civilization for many days.

As we continue along the coast off the road and off the path, its very pleasant. Seals are seen and heard in the north sea which is an amazing experience for the 2 of us. We figure, if we just follow the coast, the walk would be nicer in so many ways. We take this plan, until we hit a river which isn’t really cross able.  Adam’s witty thinking leads us to throw big boulders for 20 minutes into the river making it crossable. Quite literally ‘Building bridges’ & whatever tensions has naturally arised between us during the trip diminished at this point as we rebuild not just physically but emotionally. I must say, no matter how puny the bridge was, it is the first time I have build a bridge. To be fair, it would make for a great team building exercise. We soon change our minds and decide the road is probably going to be the better option from now. The ghost town of Helmsdale is reached, pots of tea are had with a light lunch.

We make pace walking through the high winding roads which vaguely reminds me of a visit to the Pakistani Himalayas as a young boy. On a bus cutting through the cliff faces with view of the K2 mountain in the distant. It has me thinking I must visit that part of the world again at some point. What comes next is what all the locals have been talking about. Berriedale, which is a series of small, extremely steep hairpin bends. As we reach the bottom , into the very small hamlet of BerrieDale, we stop for tea & biscuits, air out our feet & rest. Berriedale Smellydale. It’s quite a steep climb back up but nothing compared to what we have experienced over the past month.

As we arrive in Dunbeath, we hope for a shop, but the spar is shut. So we check in at a campsite & proceed with cooking an extremely bland meal with a pack of pasta, a can of chopped tomatoes & some mince. Food for fuel I suppose. Not quite the lobster & champagne we had hoped for…. nethertheless, the high pressured, hot showers at the campsite made up for it all….

Day 31 – Skelbo Wood to Brora

Day 31 – Skelbo Wood to Brora

What a day, at times today for some moments It seemed like I was in Barbados. This North East flank of Scotland is beautiful & full of pleasant suprises.

Road walking continues, and it is never easy, however today we walk the road for some 6 miles to the town or village called Golpsie. It is here, the usual pot of tea is enjoyed outside a cafe in the smeltering sun, than we sit for lunch by the ‘award winning’ stoney beach, the town is quite nice actually & well presented….

dav

dav

Golpsie beach
Golpsie beach

Not a soul on this beach, and the space in front which is the north sea, is so clear. We decide to walk the longer route along the coast, as we do the coast line just gets better & better, sands whiter & whiter. Before arrive at Brora, we pass a mighty castle. Dunrobin castle, an impressive build, but the stories behind arn’t so impressive. About the families once living in the castle, clearing out the poor villages. When arriving Brora we buy some dinner supplies & find a place to camp a few miles north from town by the coast. Brora is much like Golpsie, but a bit more run down with a ghost town feel to it.. We head north a few mi

Brora beach
Brora beach