Monday, 7 June 2010

Sandwood Bay part 2

The photos in the previous post tell most of the story.
We left Perth early on Friday morning and drove for about 5 hours (with just a brief T & P stop) to a tiny hamlet called Blairmore, which is as far north west as it is posiible to go without falling off Scotland.
A 4.5 mile walk took us to the start of Sandwood Bay, a glorious 2 mile long stretch of unspoilt beach with sand dunes and a large freshwater loch behind it. There was only one tent pitched in the dunes (where most people chose to camp) which had to bode well for our favoured spot to be vacant. We found this spot last year and it ticked all the boxes, over the next headland from the main bay, with its own beach, a little burn for fresh water and only reached by a strenuous climb over the headland.
As we reached our spot, the weather, which had been warm and sunny up until then, started to look more ominous. Black clouds appeared in the south followed by a distant rumble of thunder. We managed to pitch our tent about 20 minutes before the full storm was overhead.
It just added to the fun, cosy inside our tent with plastic cups full of red wine, and the thunder and lightning raging overhead.
Just over an hour later, in brilliant sunshine again we were on our deserted beach cooking pasta for dinner!
We slept like logs and after breakfast and a 3 mile jaunt up into the hills the next morning, we broke camp and headed back to the car in the mid afternoon.
From 4pm on Friday until 2pm on Saturday we neither saw nor heard another living soul. No phones, no TV, no music and no sounds of "civilisation" at all.
We saw gannets and terns diving, fulmars, frogs, dragonflies, a heron, several red kites and 3 great skuas.
There is no better way to unwind.
We will be back next year......

14 comments:

Andrew Scott said...

Almost as good as golf.

Andrew Scott said...

And, while almost sounding perfect, I do frown at "plastic cups full of red wine..." Honestly, my dear, I always insist on glass, no matter how rough the camping is. It is hardly any more weight and it does make all the difference. It doesn't have to be a stemmmed wine glass, a sturdy hi-ball glass will do, but it does have to be glass.

Ruth said...

The ubiquitous Ikea plastic cup is essential (pink for me, green for him). It is a wonderful invention. Can be equally well used for red wine, white wine, tea or coffee. It negates the requirement to carry different receptacles for different drinks. We have tried a number of substitutes (enamel cups, aluminium mugs etc) but nothing works better :-)

CalumCarr said...

Not IKEA plastic cups.

Long experience says that they have been designed with the specific aim of slipping through hands!

Ruth said...

In 15 years of using them, I've never had that problem Calum. But that probably just means I hold onto my wine tighter than you do ;-)

Andrew Scott said...

Agreed Calum. It's just shocking. I have been trying persuade her in person this morning but she is having none of it. It's just like in "Lord of the Flies" - off into the wilderness and oh so quickly the thin veneer of civilisation is lost and the uncultured beast within emerges. It's as well it was just a short camping trip. If it's wine from plastic cups on Day 1 then by day 3 one of them would probably be sawing a leg off the other and roasting it over the fire.

Ruth said...

If my memory is correct they didn't actually eat each other in 'Lord of the Flies'. I believe they killed a wild boar and ate that instead. Much tastier than BF's legs I would think (too much running, they're probably pretty stringy).

Andrew Scott said...

In response to today's discussion, I think MF is really much more appropriate than BF, given the advanced years, even if not as advanced as yours.

Ruth said...

Personally I like the idea of TB ;-)

Ruth said...

..not tuberculosis of course!

Andrew Scott said...

No, I think we are all clear that you mean you fancy Tony Blair (but will make do with the MF in the meantime).

Claudia said...

Your camping set-up looks magnificent. It must have been so enjoyable to witness peacefully the activities of the creatures you mention. I'm sure they didn't say a word to you about your equipment. It can be heavenly to retreat, with another kindred spirit, from the buzzing of the human hub, for a few hours. Specially when you're immersed in such spectacular sceneries. This was a great adventure, Ruth, and very well presented in words and photos. Thank you!

Amusing! The word verification is scoustst. You reminded me so much of my scouting days.

Ruth said...

Andrew - I will treat that comment with the contempt it deserves...

Claudia - we have put much thought into the camping kit and go with the most pared down equipment possible, mainly because I am much to wimpy to carry any substantial weight. I particularly like the colour of our tent which blends neatly into the background from a distance (and also weighs only ablut 2kg!)

Ruth said...

*about*