Watten Amazing Place

A short day of flat walking along the quiet back lanes of Caithness.

Again I have been walking in ancient footsteps – the way has been dotted with hut circles and standing stones. The juxtaposition between the 3000-year-old standing stones and the modern wind farm is an interesting one.

It’s been a short walk because we chose a nice loch-side wild camping location at Watten for me to meet up with the motorhome. I’m not keen on walking along roads other than country lanes and Kerriann is not keen on driving Dickie along the very narrow roads which means there are not many places where we can meet up.

Loch Watten looked ideal on the maps and when I arrived after some 4 hours Kerriann had found a lovely flat place to park in the shade, alongside the loch.
So today I’ve walked about 8 miles but tomorrow I will be walking around 18 miles to a campsite just 2 miles from John o’Groats. On Saturday, all being well, I should complete the last two miles of my marathon journey.
I’m not sure how I will feel about finishing; mixed emotions. Sadness, pride, elation? We’ll see.

Cairns of Camster

I have been road walking today but at least most of it was on very quiet country lanes. Heading exactly north through an ancient landscape dotted with hut circles, standing stones and cairns. I ended up meeting Kerriann and the motorhome in a lay-by next to the magnificent Grey Cairns of Camster. Why are these wonderful chambered cairns not better known? If you visit, which you definitely should, don’t wear your best clothes – to gain access you have to crawl into the low, narrow entrances.

Graham emerging from a cairn
The Cairns of Camster
Graham standing in the central chamber of the cairn
in the chamber
distant view of stone cairns
long view

It’s interesting to contemplate the fact that ancient man clearly walked exactly the same route that I am currently wandering and left plenty of clues that have survived the harsh Scottish weather.   

It saddens me that so many of the old farm houses and buildings in this area are empty and a lot of those that are not empty have ‘for sale’ signs by the front gate.

I’ve just pulled the last OS map out of the the bundle and highlighted the new proposed track to John o’ Groats which is now less that 30 miles away.

It is strange to think that my long walk is drawing to an end. In many ways it saddens me but I know that I do have to return to a more normal life style.

For the time being I will concentrate on tomorrow’s walk to Watten and hope that today’s rain has passed over.

Spare a thought for Kerriann who has had to drive Dickie the motorhome along the very narrow, single track roads that I have chosen to walk. She has done brilliantly.