Day 6 - swimming with seals & seeing Birds of prey
Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
147Trip End Nov 18, 2010
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Walking this morning was the best yet, following a path along open grassland, with the coastline one side and woodlands edging a meadow to our right. By 11.30 we'd reached Dunrobbin Castle, home of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland for a thousand years. Most fascinating was a bird of prey display led by a passionate trainer who dedicates his life to bonding with these impressive birds. All the birds at the Castle had been saved from an early death. Apparently only 10% of these birds live to reach one year old in the wild (not surprising as they have to fend for themselves from the ripe old age of five weeks - equivalent to 25 weeks in human terms!). We watched a 15 year old owl, a 10 year old Harris hawk and a 1 year old falcon. The falcon was found with no tail feathers, which means 'no brakes'! The falconer was able to rebuild his tail feathers using cocktail sticks and discarded feathers. Remarkably he was soaring high above us with no impediment at all. As this sage trainer said "to know what is happening to the environment, you only have to study these birds, they are the top of the food chain and if they are doing okay it means everything down below on land is okay."
Moving on after a quick tour of the lovely castle, which would have been easy to spend the entire day at, we continued along a glorious woodland/coastal path. Noticing the effect of the fresh smells of the beach, Keith commented that he was transported back to Brighton (England) and Whitstable in the late 1950's walking with his mum and dad (the real ones!), taken there by the particular seaweed smell on this beach and which was obviously stored deep in his genes
We arrived at the unexpected delight of Golspie for lunch and spent 2 hours over cauliflower soup, while making full use of their free computer usage to catch up a few blog days. We happily walked out of Golspie feeling we had at last been able to do our bit by the blog and all was well with the world. By 5 pm we'd done our 18 kms for the day and were at our B&B at Cambusavie which was fairly modern but pretty remote. We had to call on our host, Tom, to drop us off at Dornoch, 6 miles (9 1/2 kms) away for dinner and embarrassingly to call him again to pick us up at 10 pm as the only taxi in the village was already in use on a run to Inverness airport!