Leaving Cata Sand the path becomes little more than a sheep track. Meandering over the vast sand dunes it heads over the small piece of sandy land joining Cata Sand to Newark Bay and the ocean beyond. Higher than a building the dunes tower over the lagoon, held in place with grasses and low lying shrubs. Passing the base of one dune the path follows the fence line before a post with a wellie becomes visible.
A confusion, a strange thing to see on a sand dune overlooking a bay. But then it becomes clear, the wellie topped post marks the path to the silver white sands below. Hidden within the machair and grasses that coat the dunes the path is lost.
Sliding gently down the steep path, held in place by the grasses that thrive in the sandy environment we eventually reach the beach. White, tropical sand. Gritty but perfect, it stretches in either direction. The wide expanse of the Bay of Newark stretching as far you can see. The receding tide leaves perfect pools to paddle and watch the changing reflection of the clouds skitting across in the sky above.
From the beach the dunes are endless. The way back to the wellie post hidden, but then the realisation hits. There is a way back. The post on the beach with the creel. Is it coincidence that at the bottom of the path is a post with a creel? Weathered and worn but marking the way across the seemingly endless dunes we wander home with sunshine on our faces and sand in our shoes.
Visiting Bay of Newark, Sanday
Bay of Newark can be reached by walking from Cata Sand, following the path from the parking area until you reach a turning space and a path onto the beach. At this point the sand dunes rise on your left and the path to Bay of Newark follows the fence line up alongside the sand dunes. Look for the post for the path down to the beach. There is a bigger gap in the dunes about 25minutes walk further along.
Bay of Newark is also part of a longer walk to Kirk Banks Mound and Wasso Broch, an un-excavated broch and worth the walk to discover.
There are no facilities either at Cata Sand or on the Bay of Newark.
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