Onwards and upwards
There’s raindrops sliding down our windows.
It’s cold, damp and misty. You can’t see across the fields.
Breakfast is taken at the Laidhay Croft Museum just up the road. We treat ourselves to a Scottish breakfast. Outside is a restored crofters cottage, fully furnished and with a story behind it. It’s just wonderful and thought how many have been lost. It’s quite sad.
In a light drizzle, we follow the A99. The countryside is now rolling hills and full of trees. The road gradually climbs up to the edge of moorland. There are pretty houses and villages, stone cottages and buildings replacing the pebbledash. We pass Berriedale, snug in a little ravine and tumbling towards the sea. With the rain becoming more persistent, we miss out Helmsdale and continue to Brora. We need to stretch our legs and the rain has eased off, so we make the most of it. We park in the golf course car park, and drop down on a long gentle beach. Low mist hangs in the hills. We walk so far and turn around. We clamber up to the edge of the links golf course and are amaze to spot cows grazing on it as golfers play their rounds. You don’t see that at the Ryder Cup. Small electric fences surround the greens to protect them. It’s all quite surreal.
Yes, there are cows in the background!
It starts to mizzle again, so we retreat into the van. With the low mist, scenery is obscured. We turn off and go inland, following the scenic route along Strath Fleet towards Lairg. It’s cold and drizzly, not inviting at all. We have a quick look at Lairg, grab a drink and a chocolate bar, and carry on. We stop at the Falls of Shin, where a brand new visitors centre and parking area has been constructed. It’s quite large and seems a bit out of place in the woodland. We have a quick wander down to the small viewing platform to the waterfall. It’s pretty, but it’s not in full spate and not dramatic. We hope to see a leaping salmon, but the best time is in the autumn. We wander the visitor centre which is impressive, but seems over the top for the actual Falls.
Getting rather wet, we carry on, stopping briefly, but with the mist down, any views are limited. We travel through Bonar Bridge, Spinningdale and to the coast. We head to Durnoch, a pretty little town, reminding us of the Cotswolds with the sandstone buildings. We find the campsite by the beach, but it’s more a caravan park with static caravans and rather large. We’re not keen and head back into town. We stop and have a wander around, spotting the other branch of the Cocoa Mountain from Durness.
But the miserable conditions are not helping and we seek another campsite, this time in a town called Tain. Another pretty town, but we realise the campsite is back on the A9 and we have to retrace our steps. Tired, we book in. It’s a pleasant, neat campsite sandwiched between a road and a railway line (to the delight of The Dog who can bark and try and chase the passing trains). The weather has closed in and it’s raining steadily. I take The Dog for walk, but don’t get very far as it’s a bit restricted where you can go. And we’re getting wet. Poor old thing – she hasn’t had any good walks today and cooped up in the motorhome. We return, curl up and listen to the rain pattering on the roof. This is when motorhoming isn’t so great – when the weather is inclement and you’re stuck inside. Hey ho, lets hope it’s better tomorrow – we’ve been so lucky so far with the Scottish weather, so we can’t complain.
Tomorrow, we near the completion of the Scottish 500 but have another little adventure!