Log No 36. Sun 5th May 2013 - East of Macduff to Findochty, 23 miles (614 miles walked)
I had a late start today at 9.00, little wind and bright but cloudy. When I went to hand in the key for the toilet block I got the £5 site fee returned because of the walk.
Banff from Macduff
I stayed on the road to Macduff and did some shopping in Banff. The campsite just outside Banff did take tents, this is where I had intended making for yesterday. I had a break just past here, it was 11.00 and the sun had come out, this was the best weather I had had so far.
From Whitehills there was a grassy path along the shore and I met 3 folk walking along it (no dogs) so I hoped it went all the way to Portsoy. It petered out after about half an hour so I don't know where they had come from.
The shoreline path
I went up to the top of the slopes then into the field side of the fence, there was a stream coming into Boyce Bay that I was going to have to get over.
The map showed there was a bridge so I headed for it.
The stream at Boyne Bay
What the map didn't show was that it was working quarry and that the bridge had high security gates across. With it being a Sunday it was all locked up.
I took my boots off and walked across in the bay, it wasn't deep and it was a nice day for a paddle. Climbing back up I walked around the edge of rape fields until I finally picked up a footpath on the descent into Portsoy.
Coming out of Portsoy it was a good wide grassy path, well marked, to Sandend.
Climbers at Logie Head
The marked path continued from here along the top of the slopes past Findlater Castle, one of the many ruined 'castles' on a rocky outcrop, then down into Sunnyside beach and then along the bottom of the slopes into Cullen.
It was 16.00 when I was at the very nice beach and I was feeling like stopping, each potential site I came to I thought there would be a better one. Before I knew it I was out of the secluded areas so I would have to carry on to one of the campsites.
I met a lot of people on the Sandend to Cullen path and there was also a bit of rock popular with climbers.
The campsite at Cullen was high up on the cliff top and I wasn't making the detour.
Cullen had a Pet Cemetery on the shore, I presumed it was just stone markers and not actual burials, but there was a lot of them.
Pet Cemetery at Cullen
It was another half hour to the next site at Portknockie but it was chalets only, it was now 17.30 and I was needing to stop.
Two miles to next one at Findochty and all along the cycleway I was looking at every rough patch of ground, I didn't want to get to the next site and find I could't camp there. This section of path was not secluded and I briefly considered pitching next to a cemetery.
Nothing was suitable so I got to Findochty with my fingers crossed, it was 18.15.
I don't know if there was any proper space for me but I said to the caravan park owner that I hoped she could squeeze me in somewhere, and thankfully she did, between two chalets. I am not saying this is a posh site but the toilet block is carpeted!!
It has seemed a long day but the sun shone all day and it has been good scenery over the 23 miles.
I fear it is a losing battle trying to rely on solar energy to keep everything charged up. With the panel on for 9 hours the battery only put charge into the phone for a meagre 9 minutes.
There is no phone signal at the campsite.