Day 94 Skelbo to Brora 13.5mls

With the tide being out around Loch Fleet, the seals were in residence out on the sandbanks this morning.

The campervans were in residence too, parked up in the’passing place’ lay-bys. The morning was absolutely beautiful.

The dreaded walk along the A9 onto The Mound where the river came out didn’t materialize. As I reached the main road there was a handy sign directing me towards a clearly used parallel path.

When that tried to take me back up to the A9, I went down to the shore which was lovely. Just before the bridge,I popped up over the embankment and surprised a lorry driver. Apologies for the lopsided photo, but I had trouble balancing at that moment.

After a stretch of edging around farmland and being followed by yet more cattle ,I entered Balblair Wood. This was a nature reserve which being native Scots pine has rare plants growing.

I didn’t see any, but the trees were rather lovely.

I’m glad the foresters had thought of my every comfort.

Lots of sand dunes, and more creeping along the edges of yet another golf course. Many signs warning walkers to keep off the tees. As if I would dare. I then reached Golspie.

Right behind this little town is Ben Bhraggie which has a large statue of the Duke of Sutherland on top of it. Unfortunately the A9 rather dominates the town, but the shore was peaceful.

I headed over a little bridge by a ford and across a large area of grassland.

All along this coastline were seals basking on rocks looking rather like large fat grubs. The silence was broken in turn by the RAF practicing low level flying out at sea, and by the strange unearthly singing of the seals.

Part way along I passed Dunrobin Castle the ancestral home of the Dukes of Sutherland.

Later still I passed the remains of a Broch at Dun Liath. I’m glad I bothered going off route to pay it a visit, for the remains of rooms and staircase were fascinating.

There were the beginnings of low lumpy cliffs after this.

The route alternated between being a clear path through grass and having to go down over pebbles on the shore. Some parts were quite difficult to walk over, but the colours of the seaweed made up for that.

Just before I reached the campsite I got talking to a retired crofter driving his tractor. He had bought it new in 1960 and, I rather guess, was his pride and joy.

I’m going to comment on this campsite at the old signal station, because athough at first glance the building looks terrible, the place is perfect. In windy weather it could be very exposed , but it’s right on the shore and very peaceful. There’s a kettle,a fridge, a room to sit in and lovely showers so perfect for the backpacker.

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