Once more we feel drawn to wild Scotland.
Some items still are open like Cape Wrath, the most northwestern spot of the island. The name means something like "Point of Return". Naturally we have to go there.
Crossing from Amsterdan to Newcastle was as pleasant as it usually is although the much esteemed Dinner Buffet no longer is what it once had been. In former times there was too much choice, today there is too little.
The first attraction of this journey is the newly opened Queens Ferry Bridge near Edinburg. Lets take it...
After a night in one of Scotland's most beautiful towns, that is Pitlochry, the "Gate to the Highlands", we start early in the morning to the Shin Falls. Overnight stay at Morag Cottage was excellent, good beds and a gorgeous breakfast.
Now the most terrific part of Scotland lies ahead of us. Passing the Cairngorms, we go to Inverness. Behind the Dornoch Forth Bridge we have to turn left. Follows the necessary stop shortly before Bonar Bridge. Public toilets are rare on this route - therefore the necessity...
Behind the bridge we proceed to the left and soon there is the next must-have stop. Everytime it feels queasy to walk down the grating of the bridge to the other side and look into the depth of the Kyle of Sutherland. Well, after all you get a great view at Carbisdale Castle from here which by the way is used as youth hostel since 2011.
Soon we reach the Falls Of Shin Community Project.
Not much on today, no jumping trouts or the like. We are a bit nervous because we don't want to be late at our first cottage in Durness so that we are in time to get at supplies from the local supermarket.
We get to Lairg and for the very first time don't take my favourite route via Crask Inn and Altnaharrah to the Kyle of Tongue but once more turn off left to Rhiconich. So we avoid driving around endless Loch Eribol.
In radiating sunshine we reach the Transvaal Cottage in Durness.
For the second half of the week the weather forecast has no nice forecast and so two days later we set out for Keoldale. After 20 minutes we reach a small pier. We are not the only ones wishing to get over but there's room enough on the boat.
The crossing takes about 10 minutes, then on the other side of the Kyle of Durness a small old bus is waiting for us. It's all but comfortable but we somehow manage to get everyone into the bus. Then we start stuttering along.
Slow speed over rough and smooth. The driver explains that he and the team of his enterprise are responsible for the state of the roads. We can easily believe it.
As matter of fact we are in a military area and therefore there are no "public" roads and visiting the lighthouse of Cape Wrath is only possible in this fashion. All right, there also is the Cape Wrath Trail, a path of about 320 km through the northwestern Scottish Highlands from Fort William to Cape Wrath but today we wish to relax. The driver sees to it that we don't.
The bus literally rumbles over rock and gravel. Now and then relicts of amunition and craters can be seen. The Royal Air Forces uses this region as training area for bomb dropping.
No bum not hurting when we pass a gate. The bus stops and we are there.
The lighthouse was built in 1828 by Robert Stevenson and first of all we look down the high cliffs whether any pirate vessels are in sight...
...this Robert Stevenson - an engineer - has however nothing to do with Robert Louis Stevenson the author.
Neither can we see any Vikings. In former times they are said to have returned home from this spot, therefore the "Point of Return".
The lighthouse and its foghorn.
The view is incredible, there is a small coffee shop and a stop of about one hour. Then the Cape Wrath Mini Bus driver calls us from our Point of Return.
The weather is getting worse, for the next days a storm is announced. We rumble our way back.
Luckily there's a short stop to see the beach of Kearvaig in the distance.
Beside that there's just heather and many small ponds.
On the opposite side Faraid Head and the beach of Balnakeil can be seen.
Seals at the Kyle of Durness...
... and back at the pier.
While we are crossing with the boat, rains comes in from Cape Wrath...