SUNDAY 22nd AUGUST, 2010
KEISS to DUNCANSBY HEAD – 12.5 MILES 6 HOURS
MORRIS, BILL, ALEX AND KEITH
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 638 MILES
After a good nights sleep and another filling breakfast we drove to Keiss and were underway from the harbour at 0900 following a path thru fields at the edge of the sea to Keiss castle. After the castle the path was less obvious and progress was frequently slowed by fences and gulleys. Between Brough Head and Sgarbach we passed three uninscribed monuments one of which is apparently to Sir Francis Tress Barry who excavated the nearby Nybster Broch .Another is thought to commemorate the Highland Clearance people who left these parts for foreign lands. Underfoot conditions at this part were difficult with no visible path, long grass and nettles. Footing improved when we reached the cliff tops near Samuels Geo and some of the cliff views at Black Score, Castle Geo and Ness Head were amazing. The ruined Buchollie castle sits on a promontory at Castle Geo and dates back to the 13th century and was the home of the Caithness Mowats given to them by Robert the Bruce. On approaching Freswick House we were unable to walk sea side and had to make our way behind the house onto the beach at Freswick Bay where we had a welcome tea break. Leaving the short sandy beach we made our way to Skirza Head sometime on the grass banking above the sea and sometimes on short stretches of stoney beach. A huge unnamed Geo which comes inland just north of Skiza Head forced us inland and we returned to the cliff tops making our way passed Skippie Geo and Salt Skerry to Wife Geo and Fast Geo where we gained our first views of the Duncanby Stacks to the North. There is no path on this stretch and the underfoot peat covered by heather or grass tufts made progress slow. Again the cliff views on this part were fabulous. As we neared the Duncanby Stacks we picked up a well trodden path which we followed all the way to the lighthouse at Duncansby Head and the end of the east coast leg of our walk.
Summary; Quite a challenging last days walk due to rough underfoot condition most of the way.
Highs; The fantastic scenery along the rugged coast and the satisfaction of completing the 636mile walk up the east coast.
Lows; Quite a few fences to cross.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
ROUTE MAP – CLICK TO ENLARGE