Well, my day began by trying to avoid an old man who was staying on the same campsite as me (he lived about 8 miles down the road apparently), but failing miserably. Last night he had asked me if I wanted to go to his caravan to keep warm/watch tv/have a cup of tea and I refused all three times. This morning I thought I’d better talk to him and there were a number of moments of silence in the conversation when any normal person would have just said ‘see ya then’ or something, but not him. He carried on standing there until I said something or he thought of something else to say. Honestly, what is it with me and old men?! Another one stopped his car next to me when he saw I’d been taking pictures of a lighthouse and proceeded to tell me something about lighthouses in the area. It may have been very interesting, but I could hardly understand a word his was saying!
Anyway, during my (late) research I found a number of smaller lighthouses in Scotland that are no longer operational and so you don’t hear about them. Around the Edinburgh area I had been irritated by not being able to find or see some of these smaller lighthouses so easily. So irritated, in fact, that I had almost decided to forget about them and just focus on those in operation and promoted by the Northern Lighthouse Board. However, today has changed my mind and I will tell you why at the end of the following paragraphs.
Rosehearty, Macduff and Banff (my first three stops of the day) were all small towns and not necessarily worth a huge mention. I would call them “sleepy” if I had to use one word to describe them. Macduff had a small ‘Macduff Movies’ shop, which looked very closed and, as a result, very dodgy.
It was on my way to my next stop, Cullen, that I drove over a bird. It’s my first incident involving an animal whilst driving and was horrible really. Basically, it didn’t move out of the road as I approached and I may have been able to do an emergency stop (there was no one behind me), but I didn’t and just after I passed over it I looked back and it was clearly pretty injured. I didn’t run over its body, which probably just makes it even more cruel. Anyway, that was horrible, but it happens all of the time (I’ve seen a lot of roadkill so far) so we must move on.
And move on I did! To Cullen, which is one of the towns that makes me pleased that I chose not to reject all of those smaller lighthouses. The lighthouse itself was nothing special, just your standard small structure on the end of the pier, but it was a really lovely place with a great feel about it and some amazing scenery (there’s a big old bridge that runs parallel to the beach, just beautiful). Probably a great place for a family holiday too (not that this applies to me, of course).
I don’t have a lot to say about my next stop, Buckie, except it has two lighthouses, which are lovely. One of them sits on a patch of grass in front of some houses and overlooks the harbour (this was where the old man stopped and started speaking at me). The only other thing I will say about the place is that no one there seems to know how to use roads properly. I had people pulling out in front of me on roundabouts, people crossing the road in front of me, all sorts of tomfoolery!
Covesea Skerries (pictured), which has just or is about to be turned off as the Northern Lighthouse Board believe it is now surplus to requirements, was my next destination. It wasn’t massively easy to get to and I had to stop and ask at a holiday park where they informed me of a little road near their entrance, which was easily missed. It is a shame that it’s been/being turned off, but it’s privately owned now, so hopefully they will keep it well-maintained.
My final stop involved a long old drive to Black Isle and Fortrose. I am staying at a campsite that is around 30 minutes walk from Chanonry Point lighthouse. So, I took a nice stroll along the beach to the lighthouse this evening. I had also been informed that dolphins frequented the point, but when I arrived a couple informed me that they may not be about for another couple of hours. It was really chilly, so I gave up on that idea. Another couple appeared to have pitched up on the point for the evening. Clearly they love dolphins!
Ooh creepy, I’ve just noticed a sea mist setting in again. It certainly does make a place a bit unnerving (it happened really suddenly this morning as I was leaving the campsite too). Weird! 🙂