Sunday, 15 April 2012

Day 6 - Cullen Bay to Wick via Black Isle, Cromarty .

Actual Miles Driven Today - 219

The Over Night Parking Spot
The Green Goddess survived the high winds of the night before. I was up early and out to give her her daily wash. I later took some photos of the Hotel and this one shows how it is possible to see the weather changes before they hit you. This one missed us though.

Rough Weather Passing just off Shore - A Mini Tornado, I am told?
It was good to get those Salt Stains off of the paintwork. She will need a very good sort out after this pasting.
Take the Photo and then go.
After saying my farewells to the guests a breakfast, I was presented with a handsome £20 by one lady.

My first diversion from my planned route today was after just a few miles as I travelled to Buckie via PortKnockie & Findochty with their small harbours

Then I had a run in with a Sleet Storm with the Hood Down. Spey Bay is an unusual River estuary with Rough Terrain and Shingle Dunes forming a Wildlife reserve. 

The area is known as the Dolphin Coast, if you have time and Field Glasses to scan the sea.

Training how to throw a life line
I did not stay long there but being a Sunday it was very busy. The Car Park was full of Coastguard vehicles.

Not sure what this team are up to?
He was told to get his Legs Down as the Current took him.
Cormorants taking the Sun
There were Training Exercises taking place in three places as the Birds looked on.

Comfort Break, I think they call it.
I moved on through empty wooded roads to the lovely town of Lossiemouth

Footbridge to the Beach
The sun was shining now making the sandy bay appear magnificent.

The Beach at Lossiemouth
Knowing that The RAF had a base there I sought it out for a photo shoot. The gate was the nearest I was able to photograph.

RAF Lossiemouth near to the Main Gate
The Long and Empty Road

I next went to nearby Kinloss on my way the the Findhorn peninsula where there is another nature reserve at the end of and extensive sandy bay.

Findhorn is also a Sailing centre and the small cafe seconds as a Chandlery and Beachwear Shop. I took the opportunity to buy myself one of those 'Hood Over Neck Warmers' which went on immediately.

There were no more diversions now as I set off to reach Inverness for my first of three Bridge crossings to North Kessock

Bridge at Inverness
My route now would take me around the Black Isle all the way down to the town of Cromarty at the head of the Cromarty Firth.

Mog at Cromarty
When I met John & Dennis at Whitley bay Dennis warned me about keeping to the speed limits in Scotland.

I have been a very good boy doing just that so on a quiet Sunday the last thing I expected behind me was an unmarked Black Volvo with its Blues flashing.

The young police woman and man quizzed me on what I was doing and showed great interest in my project as the warned me to watch my speed.. I knew I tripped the speed indicator as I came into though a very small village and did slow down. They must have been watching  and nabbed me.

The young man's parting suggestion was that every time I am stopped in this way I put £60 in the H4H bucket. So I am in debt it seems. I used the opportunity to put the hood up in another Sleet Storm. It was such a bitterly cold wind that I decided to leave the hood up for the rest of the journey as I was frozen by now.

Cromarty Bridge in the distance.

On the Bridge
On the way back along the north coast I missed the turning down to the sweeping Cromarty Bridge so had to double back.

Once over the bridge is was a straight run to cross at the Dornock Firth Bridge and head up the A9 to Wick.

Waiting to Fill Up at Glenmorangie

I popped into the Glenmorangie Distillery only to find it closed, so took the opportunity for a photo or two.

Emptying again at Golspie Super Loo.

I stopped off at the town of Golspie for a coffee and newspaper. I traded the Sunday Times Magazines to a more worthy lady who then donated £2 to the cause. 

Here I found on of the cleanest toilets I just had to take a photo.

I stopped in Brora to fill up with fuel, paying my first £1.52 ltr., before blasting all the way north to Wick on more fabulous driving roads, including the HairPin Hill climb here.

I finally arrived at Wick just after 6pm as planned leaving Mog in the Car Park again.

Not a Happy Moggie in this one.

More News tomorrow as I head for John O'Groats and then along the top to Durness before going south again to Inchnadamph, my next stopover.

 It is Extra Fuel Day needing to fill my 10 litre can, which I am not keen to do, but need must until I can empty it and give it away.

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