TGO Challenge 2015 Day 10- Stotfield Hotel to Buckie Caravan Site

Day 10
Today was suppose to be another easy 10 mile day to make up for our lack of a true day off. Our original plan was to walk from Lossiemouth where we stayed last night in the Stotfield Hotel and then camp again at Spey Bay Caravan Park. We got a good nights sleep we felt very rested and we didn't even stay for the breakfast at the hotel in the morning, we just got up and started walking out of town.

Our view out of the window of the Stotfield Hotel as we packed up to leave
 Walking the streets of Lossiemouth in the morning.

We met a nice women just as we were leaving the hotel and asked if she knew a place to get a quick breakfast bit- she said there were several cafes open down at the wharf. We had to go that way to stay close to the sea, so we headed off to find breakfast we could carry.
 A couple of sausage biscuits, and a diet coke for Vick,  hit the spot just right. 

Walking around to the eastern side of Lossiemouth turned out to the shopping area near the harbor, so we followed it around and had to cross a long bridge taking us out to the beach.

 Vicky walking over the bridge to the beach

 Again we were alone on the beach just the two of us. 

 Looking back at Lossiemouth - all alone
Vicky along the beach 

We had 7 miles to do along the beach this morning to get to Kingston before we turned inland to cross over the Spey River. However after about 2 miles of walking on sand the shoreline becomes lined with rocks (Shingles=Scottish) these were too big to walk on easily without turning an ankle


We left the beach and walked along the top of the dunes. This was a nice vantage point as most of the time we could still see the ocean but it was easier walking than on the rocky beach.

 This area was also heavily fortified during WWII. All along the beach there were concrete barriers

 I had thought that the rocks had been placed on the beach as a man made barrier during WWII, but we were told later that the rocks come on the beach from the action of the tide and they are perfectly natural (it is an important geological area)  and can change quite drastically with the wave action


More of the larger concrete lookout points or even gun emplacements along the beach.

We came to the end of the beach and turned inland at Kingston we climbed up high on a ridge and could see Spey Bay along with a great view of the country side
 Great views from our high point. I think a whopping 200 feet above sea level.

Garmouth is a very quaint little town with nice narrow streets. It is the official end of the Moray Coastal Trail. 

 After walking through town you begin to walk on the Spey Side Way. (A Path on the Side of the Spey River). Of course there is a golf course. but the path is shared by here by many bike riders, and lots of people out Bird Watching (Birding).


 The pedestrian bridge over the Spey River

 Vicky taking the lead over the Spey River bridge. I think there was a dog coming that she needed to pet. I don't think one dog went un-petted in all of Scotland during our trip across this year.

Spey Bay (below) you might be able to tell from the photo it was very windy. Right here at the mouth of the bay is the Dolphin Center an aquatic museum 


We had planned to stop at the Spey Bay caravan park for the day (remember easy day, just 10 miles) Well the Spey Bay Caravan park was actually the Spey Bay golf course and caravan park. The person behind the counter at the golf shop was super nice and we bought coke and some candy bars and found a place out of the wind to have lunch. 
After lunch we decided it was too early in the day to stop and we wanted to keep going to cut some miles off the next couple of days. 
We would follow the Spey Side Way to Portgordan or Buckie depending on how we felt. 

 The Spey Side way is a lovely walk  into first Portgordon (above and below)

Upon reaching Portgordon we found a beach full of sea lions. My sea lions as it turns out.
The Craigenroan Seals.


Then it was into Buckie. Buckie is actually the end/beginning of the Spey Side Way. We had now turned what was suppose to be a short easy day of 10 miles into 15 miles and we were a bit tired. 

Buckie had that same great feel of narrow streets and stone houses right on the road. It also had a thriving wharf with lots of fish related warehouses and industries. I tried to get Vicky to camp in a park right at the marker for the start/finish of the Spey Side Way. In the end it didn't feel quite right so we decided to walk through town to the caravan park on the other side of town adding 2 to 3 more miles to our day

 what we found was not really esthetically what I wanted but the wind and the rain had picked up again and we were going no further today.
The Caravan park was owned by a lovely couple that let us stay at the site and the owner even walked us to a spot between two empty units so we could get out of the wind.

 Now, while this did have little in the way of view, it did have a restaurant open right across the street. We arrived in plenty of time to stagger over and find they had a great tea time supper with fish and an all you can eat dessert tray! After a Kopperberg cider or TWO we were relaxed well feed and ready for bed.

 The Bigou Restaurant in Buckie- Highly recommended! 

Our 10 mile day to rest turned into 17-ish miles still by a reasonable time of day as we had dinner done and back in our tent by 7 pm. 

8 comments:

  1. Feels good to get a bit ahead. I did it for the first time this year!
    Gets more picturesque again after Buckie 😊

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    1. I actually enjoyed the beach walk and the Spey Side way except for the trash dump site just past the golf course (we were down wind for a time)

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  2. What a contrast to our walk along that beach beyond Lossie. We hit it late on a sunny afternoon and the area beyond the bridge was busy, although it didn't take us long to walk beyond the crowds.

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    1. I did notice a few people on the beach early walking their dogs but it was raining and windy

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  3. Another successful day! The sights are really great, but I do miss seeing the slopes you have passed in days gone by. The beach along the water is really something, but I don't think you can beat the lushness of the places you have passed before. You all sure do have luck with meeting people who are so kind and helpful.

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    1. this is route is all to culminate in a town called Pennan in a few days. If it wasn't for us wanting to re-enact the movie Local Hero, we would have stayed in the Highlands and the mountains longer.

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  4. Your stamina and determination is impressive!

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