Tumbles: 1 (Al along the uneven pavement at the edge of the road)
We just figured out that today was our shortest day of the whole trip. I guess our B&B hostess was right this morning. She gave us the distinct impression that we were complete slackers for only walking to Lybster! I'm glad we did because it gave us a chance to visit the harbour, which is about a mile and a half from our B&B. But I get ahead of myself.
The weather continues to hang in for us. It was a bit misty out at sea this morning, but sunny and lightly breezy where we were. We saw the last of the A9, which turned north to Thurso, and continued on the A99 towards Wick and John o'Groats. It was slightly quieter, but as a big van screamed by me from behind as he passed a line of cars, I thought longingly of our turn onto quieter country roads tomorrow.
The land along the coast continues to be mainly livestock fields. Sheep are the predominant population, but today we had a first. A whole field of deer. I guess this is where the venison burgers we've been seeing on pub menus lately come from.
After we settled in at the B&B we headed into town. Lybster is a village that was built to support the herring fisheries of the early 19th century.
For less than a hundred years the community thrived, but by 1900 the herring had "disappeared", as the sign board noted. They didn't really disappear. The 200+ boats operating out of Lybster just caught them all. Once the herring were gone, they caught all the whitefish. So now there are a handful of boats fishing for crab and lobster and Lybster's big attraction is an internationally known glass studio.
Another interesting feature of Lybster is their super wide main street. Apparently they used to haul boats up from the harbour to be worked on, since the harbour sits about 200 feet below the town in a narrow inlet. In the heyday, the available space was taken up by the fish processing facilities, so it was up to the main street for boats that needed work. Now it just seems to highlight the quietness of the town.
Down at the harbour there's a little exhibit about the history of the town and the herring fishery. It included this super creepy display about the women who worked gutting and packaging the fish.
The bloody hands were a nice touch. We looked for headless women around town, but didn't see any.
I can't believe we're so close to the end. It will be strange not to be doing this everyday. I'll have to choose what to wear again since I won't be wearing the same thing every day. Maybe I'll stop hobbling around for the first few steps when I get up from sitting! It's going to be weird. I am looking forward to being back in Corvallis again, especially now that Ian is home from uni, as they say here. The biggest surprise to me is that I could keep going. I'm still enjoying it and don't feel like I need to stop, like I kind of expected to by now!
Location:Quatre Bras,,United Kingdom