Life at the end of the road

May 1, 2012

The heart and lungs of a Sherpa :-)

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:26 pm

Two minutes to ten and I’m still in my overalls, so not much chance of an epic posting tonight even though it has been an epic day on all counts. Epic weather, epic day, and epic journey, well OK perhaps not such a journey as I’ve only been to the mainland and back but that’s far enough for me 🙂

It all started last night really at 22:00 when the phone rang and came up ‘hostel’ on the screen 😦 Alarm bells started ringing because we only usually here from the school hostel if our son is sick or in casualty. Himself never phones or even carries a phone to keep in touch, our twelve year old is certainly not ‘hanging onto the apron strings’ so to speak 🙂 Luckily it was just a case of missing shorts for PE today and not missing limbs from a footballing accident, unluckily it meant that I’d have to catch the first ferry to pass them onto one of his mates.

The wee lie in bed I’d been looking forward to before heading to visit my parents never happened and just after 7:00am I left he house to feed the pigs before heading for the 7:55 ferry.

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Though, once more, I was not the first one out of bed, I caught sight of a strange person through the window just after 6:00am. Someone in a Royal Mail fleece wearing pyjamas and wellingtons was carrying a dustbin toward some hens 🙂

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Once on Skye and over Drum na Cloich I stopped in that large lay bye at the head of Loch Ainort to go and have a look at the spectacular waterfall there

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that had been reduced to a trickle.

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Here it is in winter 🙂

Some forty minutes later I was on the mainland driving by a notable landmark,

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the most photographed castle in Scotland and it’s only 100 years old 🙂


Here it is in 1910 in slightly worse condition 🙂

Quick march

Not long after I was at my parents house drinking tea prior to going for a walk with my 83 year old father and the dogs. I say walk but it’s more of a four mile march above Rattagan and along the shore of Loch Duich.

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Having dementia he soon forgets he’s done this trek so quite often does it more than once a day with his two guides Mara and Leia. I’m by no means unfit but struggle keeping up with the wiry old bird, that despite his failing memory can hold a great conversation. OK, it may be the same one several times over but things form his youth in Italy he remembers with great clarity.

Arnish may have been a bit of a hike from civilization and the school children travelled to Torran school from several miles away on Fladda and up at Kyle Rona. It was the same for my father only his school was almost at sea level in Piana Battola on the banks of the river Vara and his house almost 500m higher up the valley some two or three Km away.



Near Castello di Madrignano in a village called Provvadasco, where I too spent some time as a child, Carzachi, some 200m higher is an even remoter village where my grandmother came from. We spoke (several times 🙂 ) about when he visited the doctor as a child after a bout of something that would have killed a weaker youth (and did too I think). The doctor told my dad that he ‘had the heart and lungs of a Sherpa’ to which the young Luciano replied ‘what’s that’, ‘someone that carries rich people up hills and back down again’ said the doctor 🙂

Funny really because I too had such comments after my diving medicals when I used to blow the lung capacity machine off the scale. Do you play the pipes the doctor asked me 🙂

As we talked mostly of his village in Liguria and the mountains I thought I’d see if I could find pictures on the internet. Though having tried previously and only found grainy images on Google earth I didn’t hold out much hope, until.



There it was  the highest house,


The very one he and I lived in, the one with the red roof, shutters and smelly outside toilet!!! the rabbit hutch just below the toilet next to the cellar door!!!


His auntie and uncles house on the left, boy you should have seen his face 🙂

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Of course he soon forgot all about it, but the beauty of that is I can show him again 🙂

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Anyway, it’s way past my bedtime so I’ll leave you with three and a half of the Five Sisters that just twelve months ago where ablaze.


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