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20 April 2023

This wasn’t part of the plan for this trip to the NW Highlands. I was expecting to spend the afternoon on Handa Island, but having missed the last ferry it was back to the drawing board. However, it didn’t take me long to come up with a very attractive alternative. I needed to head back north to Kinlochbervie from Scourie anyway, so I figured I’d stay on the main road and head to Durness which was only another 20 miles or so. Boy, am I glad I made that decision because Balnakeil Beach is an absolute mega-beach. With easy parking next to the ruined Balnakeil Church, this expansive beach is spectacular in every sense, with its huge dune network forming part of the Faraid Head peninsula. Looking out to Cape Wrath on the other side of the water, I could see the golden sand of tiny Kearvaig Bay glinting in the distance. My visit there will come another day (the ferry to Cape Wrath only runs in the summer months), but no matter, I had all I needed for a full afternoon in front of me.  The tide was out and so I walked for miles along the back of the dunes, past rock formations of almost artistic intricacy, across the crescent bay and back along the shore under cloudless skies.  This was a magnificent way to end the day, and I was almost glad I missed the Handa ferry (I’ll be back to visit Handa and Kearvaig as a double-header on another day).