Yesterday a nice chap in a car pulled alongside me on a country lane and offered me a lift into town. I declined the lift and he said, ‘very sensible, you are now walking in the best county in Britain and you’ll be amazed by what you see … god willing you may even see an eagle’.
Well to be honest I have read too many miserable accounts of the last leg of Lands End to John O’Groats walks to believe that I would be amazed by wonderful sites. I was wrong. Today I was truly amazed by the beautiful scenery and wildlife. Sometimes it was almost surreal. I was walking along a deserted sandy beach when a fairytale castle appeared, then the seals started calling whilst the waves crashed around them. I had to pinch myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream. I sang to the seals and they came very close to see who was making the dreadful noise. What did I sing? A mashed up version of the Selkie of Sule Skerrie of course in a very bad Scottish accent. Luckily nobody but the seals heard me – I hope.
I feel so sorry for the walkers who have slogged up the A9 like Richard who should have finished his LEJOG today (congratulations Richard!) and missed this lovely stretch of coastline. Yes, I had to negotiate a couple of barbed wire fences and walk on a railway line but it was worth it.
A local farmer said that walking on the railway line was the best route – ‘the train isn’t due till 2 o’clock and I doubt if there are any specials’ – so I decided to risk it. The same farmer also said ‘we had the naked rambler through here last year – he walked on the railway line.’ Maybe the 2 O’clock tourists on the train saw more than they were expecting!
Kerriann has headed off ahead of me in the motorhome and stopped at Brora campsite. I called her on my phone and asked her how to find the site: ‘follow the coast path and turn left at the dead puffin’ was her response – that’s not a sentence you hear every day.