Day Five: Lochinver to Dunnet

We woke to blue skies and bright sunshine …. no really, this time we did! It has been a lovely sunny day today so it’s been roof down motoring all the way. We only got a little bit wet as we approached our destination but otherwise sun cream was the order of the day!

We had a relaxed start this morning, the B&B had ten guests but only eight seats at the breakfast table so we let everyone else get done and out of the way so we had the place to ourselves.

First stop on our tour today was just a couple of miles up the road. Achmelvich Beach is supposed to be one of the best beaches in Scotland, and it lived up to its reputation. Golden sands and turquoise sea, we could have been in the Caribbean, if only it was about twenty degrees warmer!

From there we followed the coast road, a minor ‘B’ road, which was tight and twisty and quite nerve-racking at times with blind brows and bends, but some spectacular scenery. The coastal views were stunning.

Our next stop was to see the Smoo Cave. Located on the north coast this spectacular cave meant another hike down a load of steps, then of course back up again! Ninety-something steps according to a breathless Angela (I’m sure she’ll tell you more about it!). We stayed for a picnic lunch while we recovered!

We’re now heading east along the north coast along some fast and flowing roads; big smiles from the driver (sorry to keep going on about it but it is a driving holiday!). Fast AND smooth, Angela fell asleep again for a good part of it.

After a couple more stops at lookout points to admire the scenery we approached Reay and the Dounreay nuclear plant, in the process of being demolished. From there it was only a short (and wet) run to our digs for the night, a huge, lovely furnished room in a big house overlooking Dunnet Bay!

Total distance covered today was 123 miles, all on land!

THE LAST WORD: sunny and warm, I even took my newly acquired Scottish woollen blanket, scarf and coat off! However, there was no actual sun creaming going on so tonight we look like two barbecued beetroots! We have been getting strange looks from the locals this evening not because of the colour but because it has pssssed down with rain here all day, maybe they think we’ve been in the tanning shop, doubt if there is one here though.

First twisty road, bleugh! It wasn’t the twists and turns that made me feel sick it was the constant stop start and reversing every 10 yards to let someone pass. We stopped for 10 mins in a lovely charity tea room with fantastic view over a sea water Loch, Andy had tea and scone, I breathed and sat still.

There were lots of lovely white sandy beaches with turquoise and deep blue seas, mostly without anyone on them, but we didn’t have time to stop and make sandcastles. Andy didn’t see them because he was concentrating on not driving down the verges and breaking the car.

The cave was amazing, like a big natural bus stop. I didn’t count the steps on the way down but we went the short route, we came the long way back up, 70 steps up, 39 down and some slopes both up and down.

We stopped to look at a lighthouse but as we couldn’t drive right up to it and had to walk the last 500 yards Andy said “no way” so we drove on.

Best sight of the day a self service laundry machine on a garage forecourt WTF?!

Cave-Man or Man-Cave?
Who even thought of putting washing machines in garage forecourts?
Blue skies and bright sunshine … for real!
Achmelvich Beach
Climbing on the rocks!
Coastal scenery … and a car!
Smoo Cave … outside …
… and inside
Another room with a view!

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