Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Missed Boats and Downpours

Sun 15th

I sleep fabulously well and awake at 6.15. I lay for a while to assess how I feel and decide to move the Hobby back to the harbour car park and then have a cup of tea and go back to bed, it’s Sunday after all. I make the tea and read my book for a while. It is the latest Dan Brown and is right up my street for this time. I fall back to sleep and wake at 9. Oh my that feels sooo much better. I get up and tidy the Hobby and get dressed and go outside to see if a boat trip might not be a great idea. I choose one that lasts 2 hours and costs £20. I get talking to a couple who have retired and are on holiday from Yorkshire, called Mary and Brian. They are very nice and friendly and we go for a walk to find a waterfall, but all we see is a horse in disguise. A kindly owner has covered it in anti-midge protection, it is strange, but I bet the horse is glad. I reckon it looks like a highwayman's horse in diguise. About 15 minutes more before we get to the fall, according to some folk we meet coming back, we decide that we will run out of time for the boat, so turn back promising to go there later. I get back to the Hobby and grab a quick sandwich as I am hungry and get to the place to get on the boat just in time to see it leaving without me!

I cannot understand how that happened as two minutes ago I have 20 minutes. I guess I just wasn’t meant to go there. I get in the Hobby and check out a road I had seen marked Badachro which according to the rough guide has a great pub in it. I pass the pub and head out to the end of the road, just to see what is there, discovering a red sand beach and a car park not designed for motorhomes. Even a large estate would have trouble parking so I back up 60 feet and turn in the ‘no parking turning’ circle, On the way back I pull up and park in a layby I had spotted on the way there. It is a perfect platform to watch the sea and I climb down the boggy heather strewn road edge to a boulder laddened beach. I almost left without a coffee and stopped, turned back and made one, carrying it down to the beach to drink. It seems a good thing to do.This is a bit hairy as it’s steep and untidy so not easy. I find myself cut off by a fence, but get to the corner of it and climb over the corner posts in an ungainly fashion. This is just the right time to conjour up that inflatable man! Once over I sit on the boulders and drink, watching the water and I feel compelled to write a text to others to share it. I am doubly compelled to make contact with the world as I have had no signal for days and I have one here of all places- on the edge of nowhere. It is almost perfect, blue skies above and clear blue seas below. The sea state is flat calm and a gentle breeze blows the yachts along slowly. Ahh bliss. I watch the water through my bino’s in case I should see a dolphin or the minkey that is purported to be out there. I see birds and four young lads trying to fish off a small rental, but no aquatic mammals. I decide to stay here and sleep tonight though and when I get back I settle down to some relaxing and watch a dvd. While I am relaxing I imagine Mary saying to Brian, scratching her head, ‘I wonder what happened to Su, Brian, I never got her blog address, what did she say it was again?’

I am pants at relaxing. While I watch, I sort out the office cupboards as I have named them- a row of cupboards above the table holding office stuff including my netbook etc. Then I stick some shoes together that have just about to lose a sole. Then I get fidgety and make another coffee, then a tea and it goes on. When did I lose the ability to just sit still and wonder to myself. That keeps me still for a while, then I have to rewind the movie again and see the bits I missed while wondering.

While on the hill earlier I had spoken to Andy and he is to meet me at the end of the week, back in this region, as his son is doing a half marathon somewhere near, so I am excited about that. I am motivated to go further north, to the top in fact and then come back to meet up.

With that sorted in my ridiculously busy head I settle down to watch the sun go down and as I sit in the driver’s seat and enjoy the slow descent of the burning orb falling into the sea, I become aware of the hoard of wee beasties collecting at the windscreen. After when I let Fin out for a wiz, I implore him to be ‘quick, before they see us’, like the last human alive in a cheap zombie movie. He climbs onboard and I quickly shut the door. I had spent an hour earlier while watching the film clapping the Carlson hands of woe as about 30 of them had got through the fly screens. I don’t think the German’s had Scotland in mind when they built this Hobby.

I write this tucked up in bed,after a sun set, looking out of the window at the coast getting sort of dark as it’s a lovely place to be and sleeping early seems to suit me.

Mon 16th

During the night I noted with curiosity that I had only half shut the curtain by the bed as I watched the sun go down, I have been uber vigilant to shut the world out up until now as I have felt at times particularly vulnerable, being a girl on my own and have been careful to note as I go through villages if there is a police station, if I have a signal on my phone and making sure Cara knows where I am at all times. I think it is sensible and I am aware that having worked for the police for the last 6 years I am overly aware of things around me, Ooh, that’s a point, I should be having a celebratory drink as I am now no longer employed by them as of Saturday!

I make the morning by cleaning up and making way back towards Gairloch. The wee beasties are not around this morning and I am safe for a while. As I drive past the village I wonder what happened to Mary and Brian and hope Mary saw the minkey. I wished I could have at least said goodbye as they were nice folks. I drive on to Ullapool through the mountains and it starts to rain a bit. I turn on the radio and it just crackles at me, so slide in a Sum 41 CD and sing to that instead. When I approach Ullapool I note a garage to fuel up and although I have half a tank I must as it’s a long way to the top and it gets expensive from here on. I also note how pretty this looks and am optimistic of a coffee and some nice folks to talk to. I find a carpark and note a Tesco. I need some fizzy water and I need to wash some clothes so am also relieved to note a launderette. I enquire as to the cost and it’s £4 a wash and starts at £4 to dry regardless of how long it takes. I decide that I will take the wash and leave the drying as that seems like extortion to me.

I wander into town walking Fin and am woefull after onlky a short space of time. Two streets with not too many people in them, but the usual suspects of tat shops and overpriced tourist souvenirs are on offer. A hardware shop, an outdoor clothing shop and café’s and restaurants line the rows. At least the Youth Hostle gets to sit overlooking the lochand harbour where a couple of boats take folks out to the Summer Isles for areasonable price. I decide to pop onto the largest café and hear my name being called. It’s Mary and Brian and I am overjoyed to see them as I can at least now give Mary my blog address and say goodbye.

I do my laundry while I shop and pick up my clothes after. I forget to ask the laundry lady for fresh water and chastise myself later. I have a two litre bottle so it’s not urgent, but Daft none the less. I find the car park at Knocken Craig where the techtonic plates meet at a place called the Moin Thrust and settle down for the night. There is a little man in a small red van nearby, a slim Bill Oddie type with shaggy beard and pony tail, but as the rain starts to pour and the weather on the radio tells me its going to gets worse I look at my washing and think ‘DOH!’.

So at only nine ‘o’ clock I climb into bed and hope I sleep well. Loch Inver and the best fish and chips in the world await tomorrow. Oh, and , erm, please God, can I have some internet as well…please!

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