Having packed up, Martin and I decided to get hot drinks before going on. Brora hadn’t really got going yet, but The Sutherla d Hotel ( n was on holiday) had its doors open,so in we popped. Lights and TV were on and barman was behind the bar. ‘Sorry, we’re not open’till 11.30′ was the response to our request. This is definitely a business made to succeed.
Actually, Brora is a lovely place. It has an informative town trail booklet. Did you know the word Caa is Gaelic for Brae?
I walked around the miniscule harbour and then out around the coastal side of yet another very long golf course.
The sea was as calm as a millpond. I also noticed that this course had free range cattle living on it. More than just bunkers as hazards for little white balls.
Over some almost non existent streams and then the days challenges began.
There was a very narrow strip of land between the railway line and the sea, which had only just started going out. I had started going along the very small path between the fence and coastal defence boulders, when I noticed something uncurl slowly and slither away. Yes,I saw 3 adders in a very short space of time, and yes, I did decide that boulder hopping was a preferable route. Rather carefully.
Back to more beautiful empty beach after that with seals singing from the offshore rocks.
At the Loth burn which I knew I had to paddle over,I made the mistake of following other peoples paths and white marker posts which took me right to the railway bridge. It would have been easier to cross nearer the beach although for once my feet enjoyed getting wet.
On through dunes with the curious and extensive remains of some WW2 installation, and a less than pleasant caravan site. I had a brief and too close for comfort meeting with a pit bull type dog which shot out from one tatty caravan. It was recalled in the nick of time.
At Kilmote Burn life became a bit difficult.My route instructions I was to discover, were out of date, so I yet again followed other walkers tracks and went the wrong way up a small hillock towards a concrete building .
Having sorted myself out, there followed a wild goose chase through 2 horrible bracken covered gullies before reaching a good usable track. All the time,I will add, following written instructions.
Just before I reached my destination, what should I see, but clear waymarking coming up from the shore on another path. If this is typical of the John O’Groats trail, then my last few days are going to be a challenge. Note to others: keep to the shore.