As I was up in Scotland and close to the coast, it was only proper that I should scout out a bit of the coastline we hoped to be walking in a few years’ time. That is what my friend and Official Guest Walker, Campbell, said. I agreed wholeheartedly with him, or at least I did for the first 10 minutes which was around the time it took for the rain to start to fall.
At about eight in the morning we arrived at Burghead Bay, lying some 30 miles east of Inverness. We parked at Findhorn and in the early morning gloom peered out over what was clearly a lovely stretch of coastline. Burghead (which can be seen in the distance) is part of Britain’s largest sand dune system.
Off in the Moray Firth we could make out a light. Can you see it? I tried to get a closer look. As I lay down on the wet shingle and stretched my zoom lens as far as it would go, I wondered for the umpteenth time why I had not brought my tripod with me on this trip.
We set off on our walk. Campbell was in his waterproof tweeds. I had a waterproof top, but was unsuitably dressed to say the least. The Scottish weather system saw me and took full advantage. When, exactly, did I realise how much trouble I was in? I think it was when I felt my back pockets fill with water, then start to drain out and trickle down the backs of my legs. Campbell, safe in his waterproof tweeds, looked at me.
“I’ll tell you what,” he said. “Let’s just walk around that dune and then head back. You’re looking a bit wet”. It made little difference to me. My drenched trousers clung to my legs as if their life depended on it, although I am not sure there was any life left in them – they were well and truly drowned. As we rounded the dune I realised I was also well and truly drowned. I thought to myself that I should really get a picture of myself in this truly horrific state. By the time we got back to Campbell’s car, however, I was over the watershed (pun intended). I had no interest in getting a photo. I just wanted to get dry.
Campbell was very good about it, and the mini tidal pools which formed on his car seats soon evaporated off due to the in-built seat heaters.
We drove back to our cabin. I peeled off my clothes and changed, thinking about my walking future in this part of the world. It is a long way to Scotland from where I live, especially if I’m just going to get soaked. And that is a distinct possibility in Scotland. It’s a good thing I’ve fallen in love with the place really…
Location of Burghead Bay (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Burghead Bay: N 57° 40.271 W 003° 33.227
- Date of Walk: 3 December 2013
- Total distance covered: 2.07 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!