Monday 29 August 2011

Camera hiccup

It was one of those rarer moments this year - I had some spare time, Cupar was happy with Sue, and the weather was good..... I could go for a walk!

I plotted myself a route which involved a bit of farm track and some off-track walking which took me to a remote inland loch, a few ruins (I love exploring ruins!) and finally, to one of Skye's bronze age souterrains - this one reputedly difficult to find, as it is just inside a forestry plantation.

All was well as I made my way up the track, and after a mile or so, approached a lovely stone built sheep pen - disused, but in good order. Out came the camera for a picture, and the screen read: 'recharge battery pack'... I muttered a few words that I wouldn't type here... Now what was I to do? Return home and not have my walk, or continue and not have any photos? I chose the latter, and am pleased that I did.

The loch was beautiful, and so, so quiet. The ruined farmstead stood solid and silent, but close to a splashing waterfall. The house is overgrown, roofless, but with walls still standing about 5 feet high. There's remains of a barn alongside. It was possibly inhabited well into the 20th century - I wonder who lived in such a remote spot, and how they lived their days?

A little further on, and with guidance from my magic little GPS 'sat nav' I found the souterrain. Wow! This would have been built some 6,000 years ago. The tiny entrance tunnel is in perfect condition, and leads into an underground chamber - possibly more than one. To get inside would mean crawling on one's stomach - definitely no room to crawl on hands and knees - so I just looked in awe from the outside.

I've ordered a spare battery pack for my camera now, so won't be caught out again. And I'll be retracing the six miles or so of my walk when I get the chance, so some photos will follow...!!!

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Back to School

Not me, I hasten to add... All that kind of thing thankfully came to an end in my former life....

But here in Scotland, the Autumn term started today - at least a couple of weeks before English and Welsh  schools get their pupils back behind the desks.

All it means to us, now, is that we have to remember to listen out for the school bus in the mornings as we walk Cupar. In the mornings, we walk up a local township road, and generally see just the same one or two cars every day, but the bus is big - a full-size single-decker - so it is best to be aware of its approach, and find a good place to pause for it to pass and give a wave to the driver.

Sunday 14 August 2011

Drive carefully...!!!

Doing two turnarounds yesterday meant I had to drive right across the island twice. It was one of those weather days when anything could happen at any time with very little warning - dazzling sunshine, heavy rain, thick drizzle, swirling mist. We were getting frequent bright rainbows, and because of the rain, there were foaming waterfalls splashing down every hillside.

Quite spectacular. (Of course, my camera was safely tucked up at home...grrr)

Now, Saturday is the day in the week when many people begin their holiday, so there were a lot of people driving across Skye yesterday who hadn't been here before. Many of these visitors are foreigners, often driving unfamiliar hire cars and for them, on the 'wrong' side of the road.

Can you see what's coming...? Suddenly-appearing stunning scenery, wet roads, unfamiliar car, someone in the back shouting 'stop, I want to take a photograph'...!

I didn't hit anything, and didn't see any accidents, but near-misses were happening all the time. Cars were parked in the daftest of places, or stopping suddenly without any kind of signal, or creeping along at 20mph inviting reckless overtaking.

My message - when you come to Skye, don't be surprised to find it to be beautiful. And if you are driving, while your passengers may excitedly point out every highland cow or brilliant rainbow, you need to keep concentrating on getting those passengers safely to where you are going. PLEASE remember that there are other people on the road, and don't leave your driving skills at home.