I then headed off to explore the town. An interesting note is that Helmsdale was planned and created to create accommodation and employment for those that were forced off their land. Many crofters became fishermen. My first stop was at the 10 foot Emigrant statue which overlooks the town and is dedicated to those who were forced to leave the Highlands. I sat there for quite a while just thinking about how terrible it must have been for families to be torn apart. My father's paternal family relocated to Canada in 1815 first settling in Nova Scotia and then Ontario. The same statue is in Winnipeg, Manitoba so yet another reason to revisit that nearby prairie city soon.
Commemorates the people of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland who, in the face of great adversity, sought freedom, hope and justice beyond these shores. They and their descendants went forth and explored continents, built great countries and cities and gave their enterprise and culture to the world. This is their legacy.
Their voices will echo forever thro the empty straths and glens of their homeland.
The text above is what is written on the side of the monument. Very moving.
The River Helmsdale
Isn't the gorse spectacular? A much welcomed sign of Spring for the Highlanders.
I walked around the harbour area as well.
By this time (mid afternoon) I was getting hungry so stopped at Thyme and Place bistro for a lamb shank and veggies. Nom, nom!!!
Time to go for a walk so I headed over to the river and walked along this path for some gorgeous views.
I could have sat on that bench for an hour or so just enjoying the view but time was a wastin'.
One last look down the main street and then it was time for the bus...buses in these parts only run every few hours so you don't dare miss one.
View from the bus going back to Golspie.
When I got off the bus in Golspie I decided it was much too early to go back to the B and B and I still had lamb shank to burn off...so I walked over to the sea and headed south this time.
The Golspie pier
I walked along this path chatting with a woman walking with her child and three dogs - all were rescues. (well not the kid I assume) I decided I wanted to cut across to the highway so she told me how to get there however it involved trespassing across a golf course. I was convinced I was going to get whacked with a ball but luckily the golfers were calling it quits for the day. (yes there were only three of them..this is Golspie after all!) I dithered on about it - I kept asking her if it was okay and I am sure she thought I was a nut case. (probably not too far off)
This is the view from the road to the main highway.
I stopped and had a staring contest with this lady - I won! I am surprised I could look her in the eyes after what I had eaten a couple of hours earlier but I could and I did! I actually blew this photo up and framed it. You know, with my sheep obsession and all...