Very windy but dry this morning,so that’s a much better start. The JOG trail was being given a second chance,so after being dropped at the bustling metropolis of Lybster,I headed off, instruction sheet in hand.
Almost as soon as I passed the first field, a whole herd of obviously bottle fed lambs came bleating after me.
The vegetation on the cliff was rough but not impossible,and while there was only rarely a clear path, waymarking was visible. While the wind was certainly strong,it was blowing onshore,so there were some spectacular waves breaking. The high cliffs that caused me so much difficulty could just be seen to the south.
At various intervals there were impressive rocky inlets called Geos which dropped straight down to sea level. This was definitely not a walk for those suffering vertigo. Most local landowners made sure that walkers were kept on the seaward side of fences. Only rarely did the route come back inside fields,and then it was only because the path was within 2 feet of the vertical cliff face.
The morning was turning into a regular geography lesson. Sea stacks, arches and caves appeared in turn to test the knowledge.
The remains of the herring fishing industry could be seen at Clyth harbour. A few ruined buildings and a wall were all that was left, but given the waves that came in ,it must have been a hard place to work from.
The cliffs were also a hard place to walk on. Difficult terrain but also from the old fence wire and farm junk dumped there. I managed to rip a hole in the knee of my trousers from a meeting with one unseen strand of wire.
My clothes are telling me it’s time to finish. My liner socks are threadbare, my T shirts are frayed and my sheet sleeping bag has holes in it. I feel a binning session approaching.
At one point I met a group of sheep out on the cliffs when they should have been in the next field. I needn’t have been concerned. As soon as they noticed me approaching,they climbed in turn on to the wall by the end fence post and then jumped down back into the field. This was clearly a regular outing.
The old lighthouse at Ousbacky.
Hanni Geo where there really was not a great deal of manoeuvring space between the fence and the edge.
After Whaligoe the cliffs became less precipitous, and the land slightly more level for walking on.
Ellens Geo was still scarily sheer, but at least I wasn’t penned in by rusty barbed wire fences.
Just as I reached Sarclet harbour the weather took a turn for the worse. This was another old fishing port, apparently designed by Tomas Telford of all people. The place was busy in its heyday but now the village is barely viable and full of tumbledown buildings.
Yet again,I was saved from a soaking by the arrival of Martin.