Tuesday 1st September 2020

A scooter adventure to Caithness (206 miles).

Retirement is the business! Tuesdays for the past years have mostly not been too bad. Last year I had three free periods.

What a nice light timetable to finish on!

However in the year 2017-18 I had no free periods on a Tuesday. Two of the periods were double periods. But today I was on my scooter.

I left the house about 9.25 and headed over the Struie and then after Aultnamain turned down to Edderton.

This is just after turning down to Edderton.

I moved north over the Dornoch Bridge, through Golspie and Brora and stopped for something to eat at maybe 10.30. This is between Brora and Helmsdale.

I went on through Helmsdale and over the Ord. The road at Berriedale has been straightened but I couldn’t stop to get a picture. It is a pity as it was the most fantastic hairpin. I gather lorries, buses and caravans got stuck. Serves them right for slowing down traffic.

I stopped beyond Lybster to take these. It was a beautiful day but very cold to start.

I’v said before I hate wind-turbines. What do you make of this?

I pushed on to Wick and went into Tesco to get drinks and some chocolate. I picked up petrol.

Then it was a right turn from Tesco onto the Castletown road.

At Castletown it was a left turn along the North Coast and a quick stop in Thurso. This was to get a cake at the bakers. There was a really poor choice. I wanted millionaire shortbread but I bought an eclair. It was pretty horrible when I ate it.

Before Dounreay I turned left onto the Achreamie road and stopped at the Cnoc Freiceadain historic site. We used to come here when the children were small. We only had the two boys then. I have this picture of them on my desk. It was taken here. My boys were the loveliest little boys. They are still the loveliest boys even though they are in their thirties now.

We always had such great holidays in Caithness. Uncle Hector and Auntie Anna would lend us their caravan at Huna. Special times.

Things change and there is a huge wind farm here now.

I walked up to the cairns taking my picnic with me.

At the top I sat on the highest cairn to have my lunch.

Orkney can be seen in the next picture/

And Dounreay.

The spherical containment building was where the original prototype fast breeder reactor was housed. 
The long white building to the left with the dark oblong against it was the containment building for the later fast breeder reactor. I used to take Chemistry classes on visits here. They were superb trips. The UKAEA would give as a great time including a meal. We were take into the containment building and also the labs and the ‘caves’ where spent fuel was processed.

The old Caithness farmers walled their fields with flag stones. It is a characteristic of Caithness fields.

Back to the scooter. I followed the road I was on and turned right at the end which took me to Reay.

It was then along the North Coast, not far, to the Halladale road. It is a lovely run. This is beyond Forsinard.

Look at all the dead insects on my windshield.

Beyond Kinbrace you come to the turn off to Glen Loth, one of my favourite roads. It was more favourite some years ago when you were unlikely to meet anyone on it. Today there were several vehicles.

I stopped by the wooden hut and had a picnic and rest in the sun. Here is the horrible eclair from Thurso.

There has been massive timber harvesting. You can see it higher up in this picture.

At the top I stopped to get one or two pictures. Morven is in the centre of the picture.

I had to stop and take a picture of Mairi’s house. This is where she thought she would live when she was at school. We had a picnic one May at this spot. I also should point out, I have the loveliest daughter.

The heather is very purple this year.

Near the bottom there were road works which held me up for about 5 minutes. Someone took their fancy BMW over this road!

It was a matter of keeping going until home was reached. This was back down through Brora and Golspie and onto the Dornoch Bridge. At the roundabout I went left keeping on the A9 until Kildary where I headed home via Invergordon and Alness.

A lovely day on the scooter. A trip I have done many times but this time not going near John O’Groats. Also there was the wee diversion at the back of Dounreay to see the cairns at Cnoc Freiceadain. What a lovely place I live in.