On Tour NC 500 – Day 9

On Tour Travelogue Day 9

Friday 8th June

Good morning from a sunny Dunnet Bay and goodbye for now.

This morning after a final walk on the sands of Dunnet Bay – and yes we once again had it almost to ourselves – in reality there was nearly total gridlock because at one time there was actually four people on the beach and five dogs.

It was a first world crisis in evidence but we overcame it without the need to resort to violence.

Anyway having “secured Doris for sea” (matelots will understand that reference) we set off for Durness which is right at the top of the west coast of Scotland for those who are interested.

Travelling along the north coast road we first came to Thurso which is the furthest most northerly town on the mainland and the birthplace of Sir William Alexander Smith born on 27 October 1854 who was the founder of the Boys Brigade.

I told you some of this amongst all of the nonsense and minutia there might just be something interesting.

From Thurso it was a relatively easy run for most of the way until we reached Eribol and a single track road all the way to Durness.

But before continuing – Motorhome and caravan etiquette.

Pull over – let them pass – and enjoy the view

When I first started out ‘motorhoming’ or whatever it is called I was always and still am aware that I’m effectively driving a big box and that I have all the time I want to get from point A to point B whereas those travelling behind me may well be on their way to work.

OK there will be those who simply cannot wait and are just idiots but let’s assume they are trying to get somewhere important to their livelihoods.

The point is there are always at regular intervals places that a motorhome or caravan can pull over to let the queue of traffic pass – which raises the question why don’t some – and it has to be said from my experience far too many – don’t?

They should try it because invariably as those who are being held up pass they acknowledge and appreciate what you have done.

So motorhome etiquette amounts to this – if you’re holding the traffic up get out of the effing way.

And while I’m on the subject those who think it’s a good idea to open the waste water drains as they’re driving along – “What is wrong with you morons” – give some thought for the cyclists and motorcyclists who end up wearing your waste water.

Talking of cyclists – there are an awful lot of people cycling either the whole of or at least sections of the NC500 laden down with their camping gear or fitted out in full Tour de France lycra.

Which by the way in the same way some people should not wear skinny jeans then some should definitley not wear Lycra.

Watching them as they climb up some of the quite intimidating hills especially across the Highlands and Cairngorms I couldn’t help but notice that not one of them looked to be enjoying themselves.

I suppose they must be or why would they put themselves through it?

Is it just for the challenge and being able to say to themselves – and no doubt their friends – I did it?

Right – back to the Eribol to Durness single track road across stunning countryside and views along the coastline.

I was warned that it was difficult to take a motorhome down the road.

Balderdash – I was going to say bollocks but thought it might offend – yes the road is single track and the chances of getting above 40mph in a motorhome are slim but it has been well designed because every it seems 300 yards (metres – note USA readers metres not meters) there is a passing place.

The benefits of the single track road and not being able to go at 60+miles an hour is you have time to appreciate your surroundings making it is well worth the drive.

So here we are in Durness on a pitch that is only about 25 yards from the cliff edge looking down into a brilliant bay.

Oh and the wind is blowing straight off the sea making Doris shake a little bit more than usual.

The bay is fantastic with rock formations on the beach and we can see an observation point about two hundred yards away that will have to wait until tomorrow.

The dogs have already discovered that the cliffs also have sand dunes so they were having first gone in the sea and then into the dunes two very happy – waggly tailed – sand covered Springers.

Well they were happy until the hose pipe came out then they simply looked wet and bedraggled.

Anyway tomorrow is another day to explore and anyway it is time to surround a bottle of red from New Zealand so, and besides which Luz is enjoying herself too much.