Day 5 – John o’ Groats to Sango Sands via Broch Dun Dornaigil. 100 miles (160.93 km)
Part 3 of this Series can be found HERE.
When planning the NC500 adventure, one decision was which direction to drive the circular route from Inverness. The East coast is flatter and the West having the highlands to explore. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer, but we decided to go anti-clockwise purely as we wanted to save the spectacular West Coast and maybe the Isle of Skye until the end of our journey.
Today saw us heading to Sango Sands for our stop. The itinerary was fairly open for us, just the general idea of exploring Smoo Cave near tonights overnight camp. After stopping in Thurso to stock up on provisions, we enjoyed the coastal drive West through some remarkable landscapes.
Broch Dun Dornaigil
The trip guide app alerted us to a diversion to a Broch, an Iron Age Drystone hollow-walled structure found in Scotland which we decided to investigate. This led to some wonderful single track roads along Loch Hope’s shores that made us feel we were the only people for miles. I think we passed one car coming the other way during this diversion. It was great to explore such an old structure in the rain before we returned the way we came.
Arriving later than expected at Sando Sands due to a number of ambling detours we decided to delay our visit to Smoo Cave until the morning. The campsite allowed us to pitch on the cliff edge after checking that it wouldn’t be too stormy overnight! The weather had dried up a lot and we decided to explore the local village and made a wonderful discovery, Cocoa Mountain. Categorically the best Hot Chocolate we’ve ever tasted.
That evening we decided to walk to the nearest Pub/Hotel for some food. This ended up feeling further than the 3 miles round trip due to the rain returning and an interesting walk back after a couple of pints in the dark! Walking past the noise from Smoo Cave in the dark chilled us even more!
Part 5 of the series continues HERE.