Home at last, and back to spring after my brief taste of winter in Kintyre, not only did I arrive back on Raasay to a veritable heatwave with folk ‘sunbathing’ !!!! but I found three flies in the kitchen.
After the trip from Uig to Kennacraig and an overnight stay I arose early, helped with the ‘start up’ then ‘signed off’ just as CalMac’s most elderly and well travelled vessel arrived in port.
Built in 1983 at Ferguson’s she’s the oldest of the major vessels in service http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Isle_of_Arran The Saturn is older but is no longer in service, as are some of the ‘small ferries fleet’ but this elegant lady is the most senior of the ‘big ships’ and has probably covered more routes than any of the other major vessels in her long career.
So here they both are together at Kennacraig, CalMac’s newest and oldest major vessels
Much as I was looking forward to going home, there was a little part of me that was sad not to have set foot on Islay once more and then sailed down to ‘The Garvel’ http://www.forth-group.co.uk/gc.html for the annual ‘dry docking’.
The only thing that stopped me was the fact that you don’t qualify for ‘sea time’ in dry dock, and as that was the only reason for being aboard a major vessel in the first place then it would have been pointless. Well that and the fact that my windows are coming tomorrow
The long journey home
Sometime after 9:00am I set off on the 200 mile journey home, something that I should have done easily in five hours but it took me that long just to get to my parents some 50 miles nearer. I can’t even blame it on the traffic, for although there was plenty of it, it was all heading south, no, I’m just a carp driver and keep getting distracted along the way, stopping regularly to let traffic by and admire the view.
It wasn’t until I stopped in Fort William to buy milk, which turned into £27 worth of shopping and a bunch of flowers for the wife, that I realised it was 13:00 and the 15:00 ferry to Raasay was just a ‘pipe dream’. Never mind, time to visit the parents for an hour an hour which turned into an overnight stay A lovely meal, a walk with my dad and an early night, all the better for a fresh start at home today
It was Easter after all and I’ve not been for a good ‘tramp’ with the 84 year old ‘Sherpa’ for a long while, not that he remembers, or even knows who I am, but we all enjoyed it.
It’s hard not to though really, imagine waking up to this every day Now I can’t for the life in me remember the name of that hill but it’s the one ‘top right’ and sounds like chrysanthemum
No problem with these though, they’re the Five sisters of Kintail, complete with black dot inside camera
Not long after our five mile ‘walk’ I got up to do something and my pop chirps up “are we taking the dogs out” me I was shattered and he’d already forgotten he’d been out. He may be suffering from dementia but at 84 he’s still got ‘the heart and lungs of a Sherpa’, as he keeps reminding me
An early rise today had the pair of us out once more for a shorter hike through the indigenous trees of Glenshiel ,
with him and the two dogs in front as usual
A couple of hours later I was at Sconser
then onto the ‘Striven’
past two kinds of divers, clam divers in a boat and a shag on the slip
Not to mention this fisherman that George Rankine photographed yesterday by the picnic table near the old pier
Anyway, by 11:30 I was ‘home at last’, chasing hens out of the garden and watering pigs because of our miniature drought
We really are fortunate having such a laid back boar as Rocky any ‘normal’ hormone fuelled male pig would take chunks out of a wee boar trying to hump him
After that I spent the afternoon pottering about with the quads,
adjusting the track on the Honda TRX350 and doing an oil change on the Yamaha
and of course making old acquaintances My friend must be due to shed that fine pair of antlers shortly, so I’d better keep an eye on him.
That was it really, I fed the pigs, ate some free range pork for dinner, finished off servicing the Yamaha, watched the sun go down
and ‘called it a day’.