Moray Coast Trail – Day 1

MAY 23, 2024: We came to Scotland with a 283-page document with what to do every day, and reality make us realize that we need to think of it only as a suggested itinerary and remove or add items depending on the weather and how we feel. Sickness had us do less in Leeds, and now the weather made us rethink our plan for today.

Last night it rained and rained. This morning it was still drizzling and overcast. Cold and windy. Miserable weather.

Today’s plan was to drive to Findochty, to our campground for the next three nights. Findochty lies on the Moray Coast Trail – a 50-mile (80 kilometer) hike along the coast visiting several fishing villages along the way. Similar to the Fife Coastal Path, but with a more varied coastline and not so full of tourists. Our kind of place. Over the next three days we were supposed to do the highlights of the Moray Coast Trail. However, not everything always goes as planned.

This morning took us a long time to get organized. We are still learning the ropes with this motorhome – how to fill the freshwater tank, dump the gray water, empty the toilet tank, etc. Each motorhome does these things differently. For example, in the USA motorhome, you had a pipe that you would connect to the sewer at your campsite for the gray water to go down (gray water is the water that goes down the drain in the kitchen sink and the shower). Here in the UK, you drive over a sewer grating and open a valve under the motorhome and dump the gray water tank contents into the grating.

By the time we finished all the motorhome maintenance and left the campground, it was close to noon. On the way to Findochty, we wanted to stop at the Crovie Village Viewpoint. To reach the viewpoint, we drove on very small secondary roads. There was such a thick mist, we could not see more than several meters ahead of us. Driving was very slow.

About a mile before reaching the viewpoint, there was as sign that the road is not suitable for campers. We needed to turn around. We figured we did not miss much not making it to the viewpoint – visibility was so low we probably would not have seen anything anyway.

We have a special navigation system that is supposed to know if roads are suitable for a vehicle our size (that is the reason we bought it), however, it does not recognize the names of places other than cities. For example, if you put in the viewpoint name (which does not have an official address) it does not find it. It only finds cities and villages and can help us navigate through them but does not know how to bring us to any site not in an urban area. I guess the app is made to be used mostly by truckers, not for vacationers in a motorhome.

We finally arrived at our campground in Findochty. The weather was still miserable. We were both not feeling 100% and gave up on hiking for the day. Instead, we just rested in the motorhome and took it slowly for a few hours.

Towards evening, when the rain stopped, we went for a walk from our campsite northward on the Moray Coast Trail. First, was a walk along Findochty harbor.

At the harbor there was an old World War Two mine with a sign: Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society – This old Second World War mine is placed here as a collecting box. Your donation will help us support the dependents of those lost at sea as well as sick, disabled, and retired fisherman and mariners in need.

Many houses here in the village have a name – Seaview Cottage, Oceanside Haven, and so on. We were surprised to find this one:

As we left the village, the coastline views were stunning.

After a short walk, we returned to the motorhome to prepare our Shabbat meals. The weather is supposed to be better tomorrow and maybe then we can follow the plan.

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