Monday, January 01, 2007

Walking Into A New Life. (Sheigra To Sandwood Bay).

The next morning dawned overcast. I wanted to get off to an early start, ,even though it was only five miles to Sandwood Bay ‑ my target for this walk. My need for an early start was a result of an ambition to walk along a deserted beach, in this case the golden sands of Sandwood Bay. I don't know why or when this ambition was born, but to achieve it would be the icing on the cake. So I set off at 8.30 only taking with me the things I required for the day, leaving the rest of my possessions in the tent. I won't do that again, not that it was a problem, but I can see how it could have been. For instance, had it not been my last day it would have been blissful to spend the night camped at Sandwood Bay, but you can't do that if the tent is at Shiegra.
From Shiegra I had to retrace some of my steps of the previous day. As I passed through Balchrick I couldn't help but marvel at the tiny post office a tin hut on the end of a house.
Between Balchrick and Blairmore I left the public highway for a rough track heading north. After walking for a mile down this track my hopes of finding the beach at Sandwood Bay deserted were seriously dashed. Along the rough track came a car, in it was a man and woman. The car bounced and swayed along at a crawl, a crawl that happened to be three times faster than I could walk! All I could do was quicken my pace and watch in dismay as they disappeared down the track. But as long as you don't give up there's always a chance. I knew they'd have to leave their car at some point. According to the map the track came to an end at Loch a' Mhuilinn.

Fortunately they had to abandon their car before the‑tracks end, but even so they were still quite away in front. They were now travelling on foot which meant it was now that I had the advantage. While they picked their way slowly over the rough ground, I took rocks, boulders, and mud in my stride. It wasn't long before I'd closed the gap between us and was extending it again. This time in my favour.

There was now just one more hill to climb, as I crested the rise the whole of Sandwood Bay stretched out before me. It looked very beautiful, as I was sure it would from the things I'd read about it.

I suddenly felt excited, like a young boy at the start of school holidays. I longed to run down to the beach shouting 'I've made it I've made it!' On the other hand I wanted to stroll through the sand‑dunes and revel in my moment of glory. Walking on to the beach was like walking onto a stage, I expected a round of applause, I didn't get one, but it made no difference, the thrill was just the same.

I hope you enjoyed that little walk as much as I did and now you also know how I met my wife. We did keep in touch when we all got home, her to Coventry and me to Derbyshire and just over a year later we got married and moved to Scotland for five years. We have been back to Sandwood bay many times since but were stopped from doing so in the last year because for some reason someone has taken it upon themselves to ban dogs and as we can't leave them anywhere for the day its stopped us from going not only there but it is not often we visit that part of Scotland now as there are limitations on the beach at Oldshoremore too, or at least there was the last time we were there. You just don't need the hassle when you're on holiday so we take our money and spend it at Poolewe instead.

One more thing, if you ever visit Sandwood Bay, never take anything from it because apparently the place is haunted, the ghost being seen several times by different people and it's said that if you take home a pebble from the beach it will bring you nothing but bad luck!


Labels: ,


Blogger HORIZON said...

Fascinating read Bob and nice to hear about how you and Vicki met. You were very far north! I would love to visit Sandwood Bay now but will remember your words of warning. :)

12:45 PM  
Blogger schaumi said...

very lovely story and fun to read how you met vicki, bob.
i love hiking and camping and quiet beaches. we enjoy doing these things as a family very much.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

An interesting read Bob and such beautiful pictures. How wonderful that you met your wife there :)


11:29 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

What a lovely story thank you for sharing. " Tis' a far croonin that is calling me awa" etc.
What a shame you can no longer visit there due to anti dog rule. I cannot see what threat dogs could be as anyone who cares anough for their dogs to take them on holidays is not likely to be irresponsible. At least that is my experience of dog lovers.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

Gday Bob
Such a lovely story and to hear how you met Vicki And beautifull Photos,I feel i have walked every step with you.Take care Ill be comming back more regular again nearly all the family gone home now. .

7:07 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home