Today, as we feared, is grey. All that wonderful azure blue of yesterday has disappeared and we are left with… grey. Never mind, at least it’s not actually raining. So… what to do?
Well, first up a visit to the Community Centre is decided on, just a hundred yards or so from Far View. Inside it is busy and it seems to be the heart of village life – tourist information, bookshop, doctor’s surgery, toilets, showers, café and general meeting place. Of course, our intention is mainly to get access to the internet – you can either have a snack in the café or simply give a donation. On balance it seemed better value to have a snack! So a piece of something chocolatey and coffee was chosen and I settled down to complete the blog post for the 13th, whilst keeping an eye on the comings and goings. There were some elderly tourists (I don’t count us in that category!) and what looked like some estate workers – locals anyway.
That done, we went in search of the “triangular houses”, one of which we had stayed in 38 years ago with my parents and our (then) two young children. There seemed to be more houses than we remembered and so much vegetation had grown up in the intervening years that it was difficult to tell which one had been ours. Nevertheless, we took some photos and as we were driving back to the road, a man stepped out and asked if he could help us. We recounted the tale and he proceeded to fill us in with the details! Apparently, the man who had built the original three houses had decided they were a bad investment and had burnt them down and claimed the insurance! He was found guilty and went to prison for four years. We think that our house was probably one of these. The houses that are there now had been financed by different people but some are still rented out as holiday lets. He seemed to be the manager. An interesting chat.
The only shop in the village was closed for lunch (including the ‘petrol station’ opposite)
so we decided to take a trip to the most westerly point of the British Isles – Ardnamurchan Point – and its lighthouse. Designed and built in 1849 by Alan Stevenson, one of the remarkable Stevenson family of Scottish lighthouse designers in the 19th century, it is reached by a fairly tortuous single track road (what else?) over rugged moorland with a few houses and some sheep on the way.
As we approached, we encountered a set of traffic lights – on red. No indication of whether they might eventually change. We waited patiently and eventually the light turned to green and we drove up an extremely narrow road with a low wall and many bends – hence the need for traffic lights! There is a visitor centre with a café, which sells tickets for a lighthouse tour, but we decided against that as the wind was blowing a gale and I’m never too comfortable with heights.
There are few roads in these parts but we took the one that led to Portuarik, on the west of Sanna Bay. Here there is a small community and some wild sandy beaches plus, of course, sheep.
Back in Kilchoan the shop has opened again and we chose a frozen Chinese chicken curry for our meal tonight. This turned out to be a bit like one of those old Vesta curries, which were the nearest thing to convenience food in the 60s/70s! As usual in these far flung communities, the shop was an Aladdin’s cave of everything from a joke beer mug complete with kilt to pack-away children’s raincoats – very useful we’re beginning to think (the raincoats that is)!
By this time we felt in need of a treat and decided to travel back on the coastal road we had arrived on the day before, in search of a café we had seen which advertised cream teas! Yes, I know – food again but what else is there to do on a bleak windy day? It is 10 long miles from Kilchoan but worth the trip. A mixture of tasteful gifts, art and a quality café. The home-made scones were delicious and, although the jam was pre-packaged, excellent value. Peter bought a fold out guide to raptors which looked useful – especially if we ever get to see a Golden Eagle (!) and, before we got back into Bessie, we spotted a couple of baby Swallows. Gorgeous little birds.
Sally rang and we had a nice chat but were sad to hear that our two remaining blue tit chicks in the nest box at home, from a brood of eight, had died. I think they had been born too early in the spring, before the necessary caterpillars to feed them had been available. A tragic tale and one which probably occurs every spring, but when you have a nest-box camera you get first-hand evidence of course.
Favourite photo of the day – just what is this sheep saying?
Two of the other motorhomes had left our site when we got back. After our ‘Chinese curry’ Peter settled down to read and I got to grips with a watercolour in the evening. We are hoping for better weather tomorrow… We’ll have to see.