Day 7 The North West 500 Finish Line


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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands
August 2nd 2018
Published: August 2nd 2018
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Tish at the entrance to Smoo Cave, Durness
We started the day in Durness visiting Smoo Cave and the “award winning beach” and were glad to see the end of the constant rain which has followed us all around Scotland so far. Smoo Cave, completed with a blowhole, has two chambers, the second which is only accessible by dinghy and was formed by water seepage through a fault line and then dissolving limestone to form the cavern. The cave has a chequered past with a shell and bone midden dating back 5,000 years to neolithic man but is also the stuff of local folklore including residence of the ”Deil” with some fascinating stories about a murder disposing of 19 bodies down the blow hole because he thought no one would find them as all the towns people thought the Devil lived down there and were too frightened to enter.

We then commenced our journey across to John O’Groats, with much of the driving on a single lane road with multiple passing bays. Sounds crazy at first but it worked really well with only a few minor hold ups although our speeds were well below the 60 mph limit. We left the highlands around the town of Tounge which
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Tish gets the gear off at “Award Winning Beach”, Durness
was 46 miles from Durness. We eventually arrived at John O’Groats in the late afternoon and did the touristy thing checking out the hotel, harbour, sign post and novelty stores. One thing that we didn’t know was that the current between John O’Groats and the Orkney Islands is the fastest measured current in the world and there are stories of 1.5 tonne boulders on the sea bed being rolled around by the current when investigations to install turbines on the sea bed were being carried out. Local Pilots were used by ships to steer through the channel and there are stories of the captains sailing off with the pilots never to be seen again.

Continuing our journey, we made a pit stop at Cairn of Get outside Lybste. The cairn was a burial place for people living here more than 5,000 years ago and contained 7 human skeletons. The people of this time had great respect for their ancestors and built these fantastic stone Cairn‘s which lasted for more than 5,000 years before being discovered in the 1800’s. Even more amazing is that they unlikely had the same quality of dwellings for the living but it was known that
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Andrew at the North West 500 Finishing Line at John O’Groats
they frequently held ceremonies there asking theif ancestor’s sprints for guidance. We then continued our journey as far as Golspie where we visited Dunrobin Castle and its beautiful gardens modelled on the Versailles Palace near Paris. Our camping spot for the evening was Golspie foreshore - the quietest camping spot of the campervan trip by far.


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Tish at the John O’Groats Boat Harbour with the Orkney Islands in the background
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Dinghy ride to the second cave - Smoo Cave, Durness
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John O’Groats

Tish at the famous sign post at John O’Groats
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Tish rolling a 1.5 tonne boulder at John O’Groats
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The famous John O’Groats Hotel
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Tish showing that we are indeed at the northern end of the United Kingdom
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Burial chamber and passageway at Cairn of Get
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Dunrobin Castle just outside Golspie
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Dunrobin Castle Gardens outside Golspie
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Our dining selection for the evening - Golspie’s finest haddock fish supper
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Our camp location for the evening - Foreshore at Golspie
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Cairn of Get

Andrew lies in State in the main burial chamber at Cairn of Get - 7 human bodies were discovered in this chamber
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Tish in the main burial chamber of the Cairn of Get
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Walkway leading into the main waterfall cave at Smoo Cave


3rd August 2018

Haven’t been to this part of the world but it looks and sounds fascinating.
7th August 2018

So excited seeing all the beautiful photos. 5 weeks and we'll be following in your footsteps xx

Tot: 1.244s; Tpl: 0.055s; cc: 8; qc: 61; dbt: 0.0308s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 3; ; mem: 1.4mb