Our last night of camping done, but in order not to disappoint us the Scottish Airforce put in their first appearance.
The midges were out in force.
A cloudy day, with the sun poking through later and a light wind. The sea was dead flat.
We started out southbound back to Dunbeath harbour and the start of the coast path. In the harbour is Neil Gunn’s statue of Kenn, a nine year old boy and central character in his book ‘Highland River’, who caught a salmon with his bare hands.
A challenging walk today, taking 5 hours to walk just 16 kilometres to Lybster. The path was rough underfoot, along with sections of undergrowth to tromp through and a few steep sided valleys to cross.
There was one particular section that wasn’t waymarked and the trail guide advised careful navigation, unfortunately this was also a section where the guide had provided poor instructions to follow. At one point we ended up on the wrong side of a high barbed wire topped fence, we either had to retrace our steps or cross the fence, we chose the later and managed to squeeze between the lower wires of the fence. There was also one narrow ledge, outside a fence on a cliff top which had to be negotiated, where the cliff was falling into the sea.
Throughout the walk we had views of a massive wind farm out to sea and a couple of oil rigs.
The first port of call was Latheronwheel harbour, where we passed over an old stone bridge, but there was no cafe.
Just after the harbour there were some curious cows behind a fence in a nearby field, it appeared they all wanted to line up and be in a photo.
Later we passed the ruins of Forse Castle, dating back to 1200, it was inhabited until 1600 and was reached via a drawbridge over a natural ditch.
The final ruin of the day was an old herring station at Achastle-Shore, built in 1810. It was designated as a monument of national importance in 2016.
We arrived at Lybster with time to spare before we could check into our B & B. As there still wasn’t a cafe we were able to finish drying the tent on the village green.
A warm morale boosting welcome awaited us as at The Antlers, with a large pot of tea and Tunnocks Teacakes and chocolate wafers. We were also given a choice of rooms, so chose upstairs which had a wonderful sea view.
The husband of the host had lived an interesting life. Born in Canada of a Scottish father, he returned to Scotland and had worked in farming, fishing, tanning and cheese making, among other things, and was full of knowledge on the local history.