Day 9

Eriboll to Eriboll via Lairg

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or, Scotland at it's best

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img0024.jpg (93431 bytes)img0031.jpg (102841 bytes)When I woke up it was raining. Slowly I should find another opening sentence, but this one is rather fitting. Once it stopped I headed south through the land, and it was indeed a magnificent sight which can hardly be described in words. Also fitting, the only LW radio station that could be received broadcast a discussion about Prince Charles, Diana and Camilla. About any possible opinion was represented: should he marry and become king, should he marry yet leave the king part alone, etc. The IMHO best line gave an older lady about Lady Di: "Very pretty empty head who lived in the center stage". I could not have put it better. During another radio broadcast, the story was that a police station was evacuated after a guy brought in a bomb from WW2 which he found at the train station. The state agents were of course not very pleased about that and the bomb was detonated by the bomb squad somewhere else.

Did I already mention that sheep are rather shy animals in Scotland? Usually I need a telephoto lens to take pictures of them, but there was this one sheep with a probably very itchy butt, as it was rubbing its behind at the grass, making very happy / relieved sounds, and was not at all disturbed when I approached it and took a candid picture...

img0032.jpg (69458 bytes)img0091.jpg (79431 bytes)Around noon I drove through the town of Crask, consisting of two houses. I am used to rather cute "villages" from Montana and Nevada, but two houses, one of which seemed uninhabited, made me wanting a town of my own as well. Not much later I have met two young Germans in a rather strange small motorhome as they just were preparing breakfast, as they said. We talked a bit and eventually went our own ways. Just as I found my campsite for tonight, though, which is completely invisible from the road, I saw their van pulling in. So we hung out for a while again, before they followed the dirt road which lead just in front of my campsite, to come back only a few minutes later saying that the road disappeared in the nearby river. This prompted them to get back on the main (one lane) paved road and to the nearest town this rather boring, common way. Since here are very few roads which one can choose from around here, chances are I will see them again.

img0027.jpg (130948 bytes)img0026.jpg (54933 bytes)Here at the campsite it is rather cold and rainy. It is cold enough that I felt it necessary to do for a few minutes what every good American does when waiting for more than a few minutes -- leave the engine running. I also put on double socks and dug out a winter sweater for the night, just in case. Once I turned off the engine, many sheep and even two deer families joined me. This is not Yellowstone, folks: here, deer are being shot by hunters, as the signs say, so it's truly unusual that they get so close to people, especially if they smell the way I do. I could not take any pictures of them as even at f2.8 the exposure time would have been around 10 sec, and deer won't wait that long posing. Yet they enjoyed the fresh grass and the water in the river quite extensively, and likely are doing so even now as it's completely dark and I can't see a damn thing.

In short, this was a day like I imagined it: little driving, very few tourists, no big events, quite some water from the sky, peace and animals; little to tell you other than to come yourself and see it with your own eyes. It sure is worth it.

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