Monday 10th April.
Our timing couldn’t have been better. Today was to be the first day that the Cape Wrath ‘ferry’ was to run this year. The only way to get to Cape Wrath is by the ferry or a long walk in from the West coast. It is without doubt the last great wilderness of Britain, 108 square miles of moorland and dramatic cliffs where the North and West coast of Scotland meet, there’s no land mass north of here until you reach the artic. Nobody lives here, only the sheep and the deer. The Royal Navy use it for shore bombardment, The RAF launch thousand pounders into the peat and the Army give it a good battering with artillery and mortars.
‘John the Ferryman’ takes you across the Kyle of Durness in his boat, and he’s been doing it for the last 33 years, ask him what he does in the winter, and he’ll tell you he’s a “Converter…..” In Cape Wrath speak that means he converts Guinness into urine.
Stuart is your guide (he also does the fencing, a bit of game keeping, road maintenance and quite a dab hand at salmon fishing by all accounts), and gives a well informed commentary for the 90 min trundle in the minibus up to the Cape, never getting out of third gear due to the road conditions.
John (a different John) runs the Ozone cafe situated next to the Cape Wrath lighthouse, and sells good strong tea, and slabs of cake, and boasts that he accepts all currencies.
After another 90 min trundle across the moor and a more relaxed low water crossing of the Kyle, we’re heading East again for a campsite at Dunnet Bay.
Tomorrow we have an appointment at the Rock Rose distillery.