Thursday, 2 June 2011

After the storm

This is Wednesday evening's Blog; no signal yesterday.

There were at least a dozen tents at the campsite last night; by this morning only three were left standing (mine included). It was mainly the larger tents that suffered most, with broken poles. This morning two guys were in the loo, attempting to dry out their soaking wet sleeping bags. It amazes me how stupid some people were, pitching their tents in hollows, rather than on higher ground. They soon got flooded out, including two young German backpackers with whom I'd exchanged a few friendly words, and who had pitched their tent only a few metres from mine, but down the hill. I heard them packing up, amidst howling wind and pouring rain, around midnight. Goodness knows where they went, because they had no car.

If Dave Fergusson hadn't insisted on driving me around North Skye yesterday, I would have been 'wild camping' at deserted and exposed Neist Point last night. Now that would have been at experience. At times, last night, the gusts of wind were worse than the previous Monday, when I was at Durness.

I packed up the tent at about 11.30 during a lull in the rain and went straight across to the hotel bar for a bowl of nachos and guacamole. With that inside me I gritted my teeth and set off south.

On the road near Sconser there was a sudden squall from my right. Two things happened simultaneously: a blue wheelie bin shot into the road and was hit by a passing car, whilst I was shoved (by the wind) on to the gravel at the edge of the road and toppled over. No damage done to me, but apparently there were some dents and a broken wing mirror on the vehicle. The car driver went to see the property owner, who subsequently drove up the hill to catch me up, wanting my details for evidence of what had happened. He was annoyed because he had attached a caribiner (rope and hook) to the bin, but when it was emptied earlier in the day the binmen had failed to re-attach it. Whoops.

So, apart from the grim weather (the wind did ease considerably), I was able to reach Armadale by 18.30. A sign at the start of the road (at Broadford) had stated that sailings to Mallaig had been cancelled, so I was prepared to have to camp somewhere near Armadale. But as I neared the harbour, I saw the ferry steaming across. I just made it in time. There had been only three sailing during the day, instead of the normal eight.

So here I am in Mallaig, on the mainland again, staying at the Marine Hotel. No signal here, surprisingly, so I'll have to find somewhere to send this tomorrow. Only a few photos too, mainly because of the weather.

1 comment:

  1. Shudder to think what might have happened had you camped at Neist Point. It certainly was a wild night.
    Ah! I see you became acquainted with the famous Skye wheelie bins, they get everywhere.