19th May – Dunbeath to Whaligoe

20190519 0842 Dunbeath harbour
Dunbeath Harbour

Today was another long day as I combined two sections of the path.  The cliff scenery was magnificent, but you earned the right to enjoy it due to the nature of the trail.  In the past two days I have not seen anyone else on the path.

Rather than give a description of the route, I am going to let the pictures give an impression of the day and just make a couple of comments.

20190519 0851 Dunbeath Castle
Dunbeath Castle
20190519 0915 Sea stack near Dunbeath
Sea stack near Dunbeath
20190519 1120 Typical section of the path
Typical section of the “path”

The trail is new as a through route, but it is obvious that hardly anyone walks it.  Most of today was spent outside or inside the cliff boundary fence.  Outside, you are very near sheer drops at times and you definitely don’t want to slip or trip.  Inside, cattle have reduced many of the fields to a rutted uneven horror which is unpleasant to walk on.  Many of the stiles, where they exist, are topped with barbed wire, and the Trail signage is at best sketchy.  It will definitely improve over the years as more people walk it, but the walking conditions are much tougher than the South-west Coastal Footpath, which is probably a good comparison.

20190519 1132 First we go down and then we go up
First we go down, then we go up
20190519 1218 Looking back at Forse Castle
Looking back at Forse Castle
20190519 1227 Looking down at the old herring processing station at Burn of Ashsinegar
The old herring processing station at Burn of Ashsinegar
20190519 1258 Lybster Harbour
Lybster Harbour
20190519 1342 Spectacular sea cliffs north of Lybster
Spectacular sea cliffs north of Lybster
20190519 1356 The old house at the Clash of Mavesey
The old house at the Clash of Mavesey
20190519 1415 Sea stack from Roy geo
Sea stack from Roy Geo
20190519 1416 Not a great advert for the John O’Groats Trail
Not a great advert for the John O’Groats Trail

Right, now for an angry old man rant.  Many of the geos (zawns) I passed today were unofficial rubbish dumps.  These places are very beautiful and isolated, so it’s not being done by fly-tippers.  I am afraid that the culprits are the local farmers who seem happy to dump any old thing down the cliffs.  It is not a great advert for the country, and I will only say that it doesn’t seem to happen in Devon, Cornwall or Wales.  Rant over.

20190519 1426 The upper waterfalls at Burn Mouth
The upper waterfalls at Burn Mouth
20190519 1438 The Stack of Mid Clyth
The Stack of Clyth
20190519 1446 Clyth harbour
Clyth harbour
20190519 1502 Spectacular cliffs and Clythness Lighthouse
Spectacular sea cliffs and Clythness lighthouse

Today was the last of the long days, and I am looking forward to more fantastic scenery and views in the next parts of the journey.

20190519 1549 The Stack of Mid Clyth
The stack of Clyth

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