originally part of training/fundraising for the Hepatitis C Trust's Nepal trek. Now, sporadic musings...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

solitary splendour

Our last full day; Lucy opts for the shores of Loch Scresort to spot more seals and possibly the elusive otters, while I decide to see if I can make it to Harris on the other side of Rum.
I think it's approximately 8 miles to Harris - it's certainly further than the 5 miles between Kinloch and Kilmory. In spite of 'writing in a get-out clause' - I'll turn back if I get too knackered, too wet, whatever - secretly, I'm determined to reach the bay (and if you'd read Magnus' description of the road to Harris, you'd have embraced the challenge too).
I have an awesome day.
And awful!
I get drenched in squall after squall; it's cold and dank... but it's also majestic and incredibly beautiful. The wind may have an uncomfortable chill factor, but it also dries me out as the rain moves on to adjacent mountains. For mile upon mile, hour upon hour, I tramp through this wild and wonderful landscape with not another living soul in sight.
Just me and the wildlife on God's own isle, thinking our thoughts together.
The intense peacefulness in these miles of uninhabited space is almost impossible to describe. It's too cold and wet for my notebook, so my mobile doubles as dictaphone - unfortunately inaccessible until I get a new charger, having lost mine on my travels!
Utterly elated at reaching my goal, I sit under the door lintel on the steps of the little cottage at Harris, out the vicious wind, to eat my packed lunch.
I've found a very unexpected paradise.
The last few miles I walk like a Chinese woman with bound feet. Each time my weary legs stumble on the rocky trail, fountains of pain cascade through my feet. My right knee thinks I've belted it with a 20-pound lumphammer, and my hips are harmonising quietly with the choir of complaint. I wish fervently for something to distract me from the pain... and the rain starts again. Icy water down the backs of my legs; the Cosmic Joker is always listening.
It may be a bit soon to risk alcohol - but I deserve a Black Cuillin beer!
And the Joker throws in an expert massage just to round off an amazing day, courtesy of Trish, the stand-in chef, who has a massage practice on the mainland.
Into another kind of paradise...

1 comment:

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I began blogging during training for a trek in the Himalayas... several lifetimes ago. Currently working on my novel - in the tiny spaces left by a 50 hour plus working week...