Moray Coast Trail – Day 3

MAY 25, 2024: Woke up to sunshine!

After Mark finished Shabbat morning prayers, we had kiddush and then prepared to go on a short hike. Thursday, we had headed east along the coast from the campground, so today we would head west.

Our campsite in Findochty sits on the Moray Coastal Trail, and heading west we would hike along the coast towards the town of Buckie.

As we hiked, at times we were level with the sea, and at other times, up on cliffs overlooking the beaches and rocks below.

At one point, we found ourselves on a golf course. Golf is very popular here, In fact, Scotland is widely regarded as the birthplace of golf. St. Andrews, a town we drove through on the way here, has the oldest golf course in the world and has hosted The Open Championship, the world’s oldest golf tournament, numerous times. Today Scotland has over 550 golf courses and golf tourism is a significant part of Scotland’s economy.

Yesterday, on the way to Bow Fiddle Rock, we drove past this golf course, and saw people playing in the rain. Today, a beautiful sunny day, the golf course had even more players.

We continued up and down on the Moray Coast Trail until we reached a large grassy area. This was an eastern neighborhood of Buckie called Strathlene. There is a large mansion here and the remains of what was once an outdoor seawater swimming pool. The pool opened in 1932, and the mansion operated as a hotel. It was a popular vacation spot in the 1930’s and 40’s. Over the years, its popularity faded. The hotel was converted to private flats in the late 1970’s.

There was an inland route to return to the campground, but we enjoyed walking along the coast and returned the same way we had come.

This time however, when we reached the gold course, the golfers asked us to wait until they had taken their turns, before continuing on the trail. The flag the golfers were aiming for was not visible, and we only understood later that it was around the curve. No way to do a hole-in-one on that one.

Above our campground, high up on the hill, is a war memorial. In the late afternoon, we went to have a closer look. There was a beautiful view of the town from up there. The memorial has the names of local soldiers that fell from both World Wars.

We could easily see our campground from the top of the hill. The motorhomes and tents that are passing through are called tourers. There are also several static caravans, pre-fabricated homes that stay there year-round. Some of these operate as AirBnBs.

We walked back to our motorhome and then studied, read and worked on blogs. Shabbat ends late here and there was still several more hours before sunset. It was a restful day with much appreciated sunshine.

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