I got Thebus ship-shape ready for travel, and was due to collect the scooter sometime after ten am but before twelve-thirty. Still at least they work on Saturday morning. I haven't really moved since taking the scooter up to the garage. The site here has mown grass strips between each of the pitches, and I find it hard to manoeuvre in and out without driving on the grass, which with all this endless wet weather is easily churned up. But when I did go out I needed to take some post to the post office, so decided to use their large forecourt for parking, and asked if I could leave Thebus there whilst I walked down to the Heritage Centre (which was closed). I mentioned to the lady in charge of the Post Office that I would have liked to get down to the harbour which you can just glimpse from the main road, but thought the approach was too steep and narrow, plus I was fearful of a dead end on the harbour wall. But she said that although the road was a bit on the narrow side, there was a good parking and turning place down by the harbour, so I gave it a go and was so pleased I did.
We had a lucky break with the weather which gave us blue skies and foamy white waves as I took Phoebe for a nice meander along the harbour road and out to the top end of the bay with huge boulders and pebbled beaches. If those were washed up by the waves there must be some really terrific storms here!
As I drove down the narrow, steep, hair-pinned road a little stone-built village came into view, clustered at the bottom of the valley round the harbour, and I realised that the old road had descended very steeply, crossed a tiny stone bridge, then equally sharply ascended up the opposite bank, and that this must have been the original village of Dunbeath. Now there is a huge new road flying over the whole lot and supported on massive concrete pillars, though the village is somehow round a bend in the river valley and you are not really aware of it as an eyesore.
Dunbeath must have been a fishing villlage, though one old guy sitting in his car by the harbour having a smoke, and who asked what breed of dog Phoebe was told me there was only one young man still fishing, and he just set a few lobster and crab pots. There were lots of them stacked by an old stone building but also some nets drying so someone must fish.
There is a well know local author, born in the late nineteenth century, who wrote the Silver Darlings which, though I havent read, I have heard of, and there is a bronze of one of the characters from his books set up by the harbour front to honour him. Also sadly on the wall behind the harbour was a memorial to a ship torpedoed off shore with many lives lost. Touchingly there are still fresh flowers beneath it.
Lots of seabirds were flying in and out, and had started establishing nesting sites on the rocks. I will have to get better at seabirds. I thought some might have been puffins, but on refleciton more likely oystercatchers. Too quick to photograph though.
We had a lovely walk, and just made it back to Thebus as the first of the next lot of rain arrived. I took masses of photos but mostly on my new iphone, and now I can't work out how to get them off, so you will have to be satisfied with a few I took on the old camera just in case. I will repost more photos when I can work things out.
Dunbeath Harbour looking inland
In the background you can just glimpse the modern road flying over the valley
Old Stone Fisherman's Building with Lobster Creels outside and Phoebe investigating strange new smells
Fishing Nets drying on the fencing
Sad Memorial to lives lost in
Second World War topedo incident off-shore
View from Habour across Dunbeath Bay to Dunbeath Castle through the haze in the distance