Wednesday, June 27.
Well, as you can see by the title, we have finally arrived at John O’Groates.
View out the front window of Bess in the camp ground. Notice the blue sky. When people hear we are from Aus, they thank us for bringing the sun.
We have now travelled from Lands End in the South to John O’ Groats in the North. As you can see by the sign, that is 874 miles, give or take a few. It did take two years though.
Do I have to look into the sun?
Can I have a slide?
Bit of lunch in the sun, then onto a ferry for a ride out into the Pentland Firth for a circumnavigation of the Island of Stroma, part of the County of Caithness, on the mainland. It is now deserted save for about 300 sheep. There are 78 houses on the island but the last inhabitants left in 1962. Originally the was around 280 residents, but WWI saw the island loose around 200 due to the war and living conditions. Island is now owned by one person.
Old church mausoleum and cemetery.
North Sea current hit the island here. Can run at 25 knots. Interesting that early last century, the fishing boats converted to Diesel engines. The smallest engine was 3.5 horsepower. They converted that to three and a half Clydesdales, and everyone knows that is to much horsepower. So they had smaller engines made, which were not powerful enough to cross the current, so two crew members would jump ashore and pull the boat past the current.
This cave actually goes all the way under the island, to appear on the Atlantic side.
The old slipway, which was where all contact with the mainland was achieved.
Lighthouse on the northern end, which is now automatic, as are all lighthouse in Scotland. This is the main reason there are only sheep on the island. There used to be cows, which the lighthouse keeper fed. No keeper, no feed.
Flock of guilomont.
Whirlpool of the lighthouse where many boats and lives were lost. The whirlpool creates bubbles which decreases the buoyancy, and you sink. The water wells up here about a metre above the surface, just like a geyser. Called the swells from Danish mythology which says that a ship carrying a millstone which produced salt, sank and is still spinning. That is why the sea is salty.
Cave opening on the Atlantic side.
Cave, called a group here, goes right through the rocks.
Look closely, thousands of birds.
Seats at the opera.
Red object top right corner is a hold cover of a ship. This is all that was left of the ship, after three winters, which ran aground.
The cover was placed across the gap between the rocks to allow access to the rock on the left.
One of the freestanding formations along the coastline.
Abandoned houses dot the island.
Atlantic seals. Lots of them around the island.
Returning to John O’Groats.
Wander round the village, ice cream and back to Bess for a relax. 8.00pm, check out the sunlight and still blue sky.
Pitting Bess on the ferry at Scrabster, to spend four days touring the Orkney Islands.