Friday, 20 September 2013

Dunnet Head to Dunbeath Harbour | Scotland Tour 2013 | Living in a Hiace Camper Van

After taking my time over coffee and cooking up a boiled egg served with scotch crumpets I decided it was about time to get on the road. It was still raining quite heavily, though the wind had dropped somewhat from last night.

There had been a lot of rain last night and I wondered would it give me any problems getting out of the field and up the incline back onto the road. I got turned around without any problems and made for the road, but even with taking a bit of a run at it, I got wheel spin and couldn't get up.

This could be a bit of an issue in some camper vans, but all I had to do was hop out, lock up the front hubs, and shift into 4WD. Then I simply drove up the bank onto the road with no slippage at all - problem solved! This then inspired a bit if off road driving.

Across the road was a steep rutted track that led up to some old army bunkers, and I had some fun driving up it, in the rain, through the ruts and over the rocks - a bit of adventure to start the day.

I was soon on the road and heading for John O'Groats, just to have been there, and if I ever go to Lands End, (probably likely), then I've done the whole route. There's not really a hell of a lot up there. A nice modern wooden holiday village with huge windows, looking out towards the Orkneys - it's probably quite a nice place on a sunny day. There's also the lighthouse at Duncansby head, which I stopped at, and sea stacks a short walk away. I didn't get out at all due to wind and rain.

I headed south again, not stopping until I reached Wick, and topped up my tank and fuel can with reasonably priced diesel - it's quite a bit more per litre at the more remote service stations so I've learned to carry a reserve 20L in a jerry can. At this point the wind and rain were horrendous, so I stopped in the car park and made lunch - summer was definitely over, it wasn't getting much above 12°C during the day.

This afternoon my main priority was to reach a reasonably interesting and sheltered spot for the night, which also had a mobile Internet signal - something that's becoming more and more important to me in this weather.

I've stopped at a place called Dunbeath which I can really recommend. It's right down beneath a huge flyover on the main road, into a bay. Drive right down to the harbour, and on round as far as the road goes. There's shelter behind an empty cottage, amazing north sea views, a toilet block, and I can get 3G Internet. There's a castle on the headland across the way, and a big cave. I haven't been out much due to the almost constant rain, but it looks like a nice place to wander around in better weather.

It seems catches are good here

It looks like a great spot for fishing here too off the rocks, and this morning a group of about seven or eight seals swam right past, just in front of where I'm parked.

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