Gandalf the VW is parked up with panoramic views of the Moray Firth ahead. Our home for next three nights is Sunny Brae; a C&MC CL on the outskirts of Findlochty. The site is small but very well positioned with all 5 hard standing pitches positioned to give privacy and a view. Once again we have no facilities other than EHU and a tap/emptying point- oh and some shaky WiFi, but at £12pn we can’t help but think this is one of the best priced CLs on the network.
We managed to get set up just before the rain fell, and we enjoyed watching a storm out at sea from the shelter of our sun canopy with a g&t.
We’re starting to feel quite tired – we’ve been on the road and on the go now for two full weeks (bar one night quick changeover) since the end of the school term, and whilst we’ve had a brilliant time, it comes at a cost of beginning to feel worn out!
Dinner tonight was homemade haggis, mushroom and spinach pizzas, made in the Remoska which were delicious and then we settled down for a quiet night of reading and watching Ozark (K).
This morning dawned with beautiful blue skies. Seeing as it looks like our run of good weather may be changing tomorrow we decided to get up and on, in order to enjoy the best of the weather.
After a quick bacon sandwich and some household chores, we got on the bikes. Today’s adventure was cycling some of the Moray Coastal trail; a mostly off road cycle trail. We picked the trail up in Findlochty, just half a mile from our campsite and followed it to Cullen.
The first part was directly on the cliff top and as such had tremendous coastal views.
At Portknockie we opted for the Disused railway track- the coastline between there and Cullen looking more rugged and contouring on the map, and perhaps less suitable for our road E bikes. Plus we do enjoy disused railways tracks (and they tend to be level!)
Our approach into Cullen was spectacular, the weather gods were really on our side, and we enjoyed cycling over the impressive viaduct that dominates the skyline.
We headed up to the castle hill, a former motte and Bailey and enjoyed the views over the coast.
We then cycled back down to the village and onto the beach and harbour area, checking out the viaduct from ground level too.
We considered taking the coastal path back but in the end the Scottish Open being held on Cullen links prevented that so we happily retraced our steps back to Portknockie on the railway path, pausing for lunch at Bow Fiddle, a dramatic rock formation that resembles the upper part of the a violin bow.
We watched (and listened to – they’re noisy so and so’s!) the sea gulls and cormorants that nest here for some time, before making our way to Findlochty. We then continued in the opposite direction to Buckie- again this stretch of the coastal trail is disused railway with lovely views across the sea and a wonderful tarmac path.
At Buckie we picked up fresh fish from Eat Muir and then made our way back to the campsite, via the pub at Findlochty, where we enjoyed a drink overlooking the pretty harbour.
Once back at Gandalf we spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine: if the weather forecast is to be believed this may be the last of the blue skies we see for some time!
Dinner tonight of course was… Cullen skink!
Well the weather forecast was correct for once and rain did indeed fall today! Lots of it! it actually didn’t bother us at all, as I’d mentioned earlier on this list we were beginning to feel exhausted -in a nice way – so we took the rain day as an opportunity to have a duvet day; something which we very VERY rarely do. We stayed in bed til 11:30, then got up and made a brunch cooked breakfast.
We then settled in to begin watching Breaking Bad, which we ended up watching for the remainder of the day, with a break in the middle for a game of monopoly and sweet and sour chicken dinner.
By dinner time the rain had stopped so we were able to cook under the canopy and we were even treated to a glimpse of blue sky.
After dinner, we went for a short leg stretch on the track behind the campsite, before retreating back to Gandalf to continue Breaking Bad .
Sometime I think we get a bit carried away on these trips and forget to give ourselves time to stop and catch our breath. We get so caught up in wanting to make the most of our time, and not wanting to miss anything in the new areas that we travel in, but we forget that our normal day to day life is exceptionally busy, and we’re mainly rushing around and working 12 hour days. At some point we just have to pause! This site has been the perfect place to draw breath as we’ve got wonderful sea views in the distance and it’s lovely and quiet.
We move on tomorrow for our last push north. We’ll definitely return here to cycle more of the Moray a coastal Route and also do a bit of coastal walking and the cliffs and contour gradients are not as dramatic as down south on the South West Coast, yet the views are just as dramatic. I’d also like to do the walk from Cullen to Findlater Castle and cycle to Portgordon and beyond.
Until next time