We woke to rain as anticipated, and with a poor forecast for the day. I left Nybster at 8.05 passing Samuel’s Geo and a pig farm…
…before arriving at Bucholly Castle. The castle is delicately balanced between two geos.
Rounding Ness Head, I dropped down onto Freswick Beach, passing Freswick House on the way.
Once past the beach I was detoured up to a road before rejoining the trail at Skirza jetty.
Skirza Head at the end of the bay had a large guillemot colony, and they were very noisy.
After two more geos I stopped for a break in an old quarry. It was one of the few places where I could find any shelter from the wind.
Soon after leaving the quarry, the rain began again in earnest, and I was fortunate that it cleared as I approached the Stacks of Duncansby and Duncansby Head. I met a lady on Orca watch as I came up to the stacks. Apparently some had been seen off Helmsdale last week.
I looked at the Geo of Sclaites as instructed by the guide – it looked similar to several others.
I made my way to the lighthouse car park, and sheltered behind an information board to eat lunch.
The route led me down to the Bay of Sannick, where locals were tidying up the beach.
It was then just a question of going round the Ness of Duncansby and entering John O’Groats. I arrived at 1.10.
The weather had taken a turn for the worse at Duncansby, and became what my mother-in-law would have called “lazy rain”: it doesn’t bother to go round but just goes straight through. That being said, I have been incredibly blessed with good weather both last year and this year. Rainy days have been few and far between, and the dry spells have made the trails much easier. Few of the bogs mentioned in the trail guide actually gave me any problems, but you could see they would be very difficult in wet conditions.
Today was the highlight of the John O’Groats Trail with easy walking and superb scenery. Tomorrow I will take to the roads, and with luck should reach journey’s end at Dunnet Head by early afternoon.