15-Sep-2010 -- Continued from 59N-03W.
If I looked up the phrase “Scottish confluence” in the dictionary, this would be the picture I’d expect to see...
After a hectic two weeks of holiday travel from Normandy to Orkney, we were quite happy to slow our pace a bit before heading back home to Mississippi. So, after catching the late morning ferry from Stromness to Scrabster, we took a leisurely drive south on A9 to check in with our gracious hosts at the Culgower House Bed and Breakfast, a beautifully refurbished Victorian farmhouse (circa 1850) between Brora and Helmsdale. From our bedroom window overlooking Moray Firth, we could tell the persistent rain showers of the past few days were becoming less frequent, and decided the afternoon was perfect for a little confluence hunting.
As explained to us in a seven word description from Gordon Spence, the Backies confluence point is “easy, park up, 600 yards gentle downhill.” So, without reliance on any local maps, we passed Dunrobin Castle and then drove through the centre of Golspie, gradually gaining elevation as we headed to the northwest. The cp was visible from our pulloff by a small bridge, and the only difficulty heading down to 58N 04W was carefully crawling through two wire fences, one near the road and one near the water course.
We skirted a stone ruin about half way down the hill. As we approached the stream, with two GPS units in operation, our separate confluence dances quickly centered us on 58N 4W. After a dozen previous visits to this well documented site, about the only thing we can add is the report of a new house under construction up the hill to the east. Ahhhh, a home with a daily view to a confluence point! Who could ask for more?
We gave a nod to the distant colossal statue of George Granville Leveson-Gower, Baron Gower of Stittenham, Vicount Trentham, Earl Gower and 2nd Marquis of Stafford, and 1st Duke of Sutherland, erected in 1837; and started our hike back to the road. The day’s quickly changing weather had brought the clouds back in just as we were arriving, and our photographs as a result are a little more dull and dreary than we might have hoped, but the rain did keep its distance, and we had a most enjoyable walk. We concluded our day with an excellent meal at the Sutherland Inn in Brora, which seemed to be a pub popular with the locals.