MONDAY 4TH OCTOBER, 2010
BRIMS CASTLE TO FRESGOE HARBOUR – 9 MILES 4 HOURS
MORRIS, GEORGE, BILL, ALEX, COLIN, DEREK, JAMES AND JOHN.
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 690 MILES
After breakfast we loaded the minibus in preparation for the long journey home. Our stay in the excellent value Castletown Hotel was most enjoyable with excellent rooms (some with baths), good food, friendly helpful staff and is highly recommended by all of us. After a short drive back to yesterdays finish at the ruins of Brims Castle we were soon walking in fine weather round Brims Ness passed the graveyard. Ahead we could see the ‘triffid’ like towers of the wind farm and further in the distance the dome of Dounreay. Although there was no discernible path underfoot conditions were very good and we soon made our way round Ushat Head to Crosskirk where we stopped for a chat with Fiona and Nick who were fishing the Forss water. We crossed the river by the footbridge beside the old spice mill and walked on to the graveyard at St Mary’s chapel. Crossing the stream from St Mary’s well we walked beneath the huge wind farm turbine at Forss Technology Park. This location was previously the site of a U.S. Navy communications base and the mooring for the 12 masts (one 610ft high) are still evident. The base opened in 1962 and closed in 1992. Walking on along the cliff tops we negotiated several geos and were now close to the inaccessible Dounreay site. Just passed Oigins Geo we spoke to James a surveyor working on site in the field adjacent to Dounreay who advised us to walk inland to the disused WWII airfield runway which we did. Making our way to the car park at the Dounreay visitor’s centre we spoke to two patrolling police officers who advised us where we could make our way back to the coast. We used the minibus to transport us from Dounreay to the access road at Isauld House where we made our way down passed the edge of Reay golf course, crossing a fast flowing wide burn onto the lovely beach at Sandside Bay. A notice at the start of the beach give warning of the possible presence of radioactive particles and the presence of two vehicles which perpetually scan the sands was quite concerning. We walked on to our finish at Fresgoe Harbour. On our long journey home we had our usual stop for a fish tea at the excellent‘Trawlers’ in Golspie.
Summary; An easy half days walk with good underfoot conditions.
Highs; Some great views. The interesting wind farm site
Lows; The beautiful but sadly contaminated beach at Sandside Bay.
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