Friday, June 08, 2007

The Wrath of Bob

I went on a long, long journey to the end of the world.

Camped at Wrynose Pass, Lake District, with my little car.

Road to Ben Nevis from Fort William. Ben Nevis is on the left. The road runs along Glen Nevis, an astoundingly beautiful region and somewhere I'm very keen to return to explore properly before long.

The empty, dream-like A838 in the Far North

Gorse-lit view from the Borgie Forest, near Tongue

View of Strathmore River from Ben Hope. I scampered from a layby by the river at 9m altitude to the summit at 927m in less than 90 minutes, and loved it (this would be a snail's pace for a fell-runner, but very exciting for a Bob in fell-running shoes). There is mileage in this scampering business. Also it's a Munro in the bag! One down, 283 to go.

Bay of Keisgaig, on the 28-mile trek from Blairmore to Cape Wrath and back, via the idyllic and remote beach of Sandwood Bay.

Unless you take the passenger ferry and tourist shuttle bus (which gives you a fine half hour at the lighthouse before whisking you back again), I can report that Cape Wrath is an Absolute Bugger to get to.

Strangely, and some might say suspiciously, I managed to delete all but three of the photos I took on the Cape Wrath walk, and therefore have no evidence at all to offer of having made it there at all. I remember impossibly high cliffs, strange, straggly creatures, and sleeping in a bivvy bag in the clouds, a lighthouse beam sweeping above me.

So maybe it was a dream after all.
And the strange, straggly creature was me.

In relation to my quest for the UK's darkest skies, as related here, I can say that (a) it's mostly cloudy in NW Scotland anyway, and (b) it's close enough to the Arctic Circle that, when I chose to go at the beginning of June, it doesn't actually ever get fully dark at all. Which I would have realised if I'd thought about it. So, in addition to accidentally deleting my best photos, it was also a complete waste of time, and I feel very silly.

Luckily, it was also an incredible adventure and a life-changing journey. Paid my respects to the extreme NE, N, NW, W and Up points of my home island, added the dastardly Bonxie and the snowy Ptarmigan to my life list of birdies, did things I really didn't believe I could do, and came back all sprightly and nourished and Full of the Bigness of Stuff.