Monday, September 2, 2013

Scotland, Day Three: Road Sheep, Rocks and Beaches

Morning in the breakfast nook.
Below, breakfast for the sheepies.  Same as supper, same as lunch.
Mmmmm.  Grass.

We head out for an adventure, and see some road sheep.

These road sheep need some help with their equipment.

These road sheep are taking over the town of Bunessan.

You'd need a fast ship to get away from them.

We find a stone thrift shop - yay! A thrift shop!!! -  and drop in.
Aaron is still looking for a kilt, as we were unable to find one in Edinburgh
since, as you may remember, the Salvation Army was closed due to lack of volunteers.

These are some nice wool pants, but not quite the thing.
Oh, look!  It's a real Scottish kilt just waiting for us!

We eat at the Bakehouse, and have a fabulous lunch of broccoli soup and
mushroom tarts.  Also a couple of games of UNO.
I can't remember who won.

Then we go searching for one of the Mull Walks that we've read about and have directions for.
They say:  Turn off the Craignure to Fionnphort road just before Bunessan, signposted to Scoor. 
Keep going along a gravel road at the end of which there is a parking space.

No problem, we think.
A hour later, we think differently.

This sheep refuses to give us any advice.
Finally we happen to come upon three bovine buddies
and they help us.  The directions should have said, turn at the place 
where three cows drink from a magic bathtub.

The directions also failed to mention that the gravel road goes on for miles and miles,
and the actual gravel isn't the American version, which is made up of small 
pebbles, but instead is a nasty mix of small razor sharp mountains in the guise of stones,
tire-shredding and bone-rattling.

Finally, in the distance we see the ancient church and cemetery that we were promised.
This was purported to be an "easy" walk, and so it is, in spite of the perilous
anxiety-ridden drive that goes before it.  They also said it goes down to the water,
which appears to be in the distance, a kind of boggy inlet.

Here is the ancient place of worship.  A bit worse for wear, but the more awesome for it.
A place of stone, earth and sky.  What more could a supplicant want?

This is perhaps the strangest "headstone" I've ever seen.
It says, "Hic Iacota Mariota Filia...Here lies Mariota daughter of..."
with an eight-sided flower on the left side.
And it's not stone, but a wooden plank.
Whose daughter is she?
Why the wooden plank?

Well, we move on.  Above, Aaron gets arch support.
Below, he documents the wonder of it all.

Some headstones are protected by iron fences, some are slabs as thin as paper.
And some have arcane imagery on them that seem to hearken back to the Celtic past.

This one reminds me of Chinese Shang era 12th century BCE bronze vessel imagery.

(Photo from Christie's online website)

And here is a strange one that seems to be reaching out from the past.

And here is one with beautiful abstract patterns.
I would like one like this someday.

After the cemetery, we turn our attention to the sheep again...

...and continue our "easy" walk, which actually is easy, and I am informed by Aaron that it appears to go up the hill, away from the water
that I thought we would visit!
And so we go up, up, up, over a rise, and there lies a scene of shimmering beauty!
The ocean!
In all its glory!

 A small sheep appears to be ignoring its mother who is calling loudly from the field beyond
something that sounds like
Or perhaps she's saying "BRAAAAATTTT!"

The baby sheep reminds me in attitude and pose of the baby seal I saw earlier in the summer
on the other side of the ocean, in Montauk,
also apart from its mother who was nowhere in sight (fortunately).

The baby moves a few feet, and stays there for the next hour.

I think he/she will be fine.  I won't call 911 this time.

Aaron is drawn magnetically to the sea.


But now what's happened to Aaron?

Look! He's on the rocks,
and chunks is guilty!
Just like on the sign we photographed on our former trip to Scotland, oh, those long
years ago, in May of 2001.  Such innocents we were then - only guilty chunks
to be concerned about.

Andrew dug up this picture and posted it to remind us of old times.
Too bad he couldn't be here, too!
And all the rest of you slackers!
Next time.

Aaron rises to climb again.

One wrong step, and it's all over.
Or so I worry from down below.
I feel like that mother sheep.

But all is well, and we meditate on the magic sea.  He's on the high road...

...and I'm on the low road.
Reminds me of a song.


We leave the beauty of the beach, sadly...

...and we leave the sheep...

This sheep has such a pleasant voice, I thought I'd share it. follow the singular road back to our house in the mist.
Which we find easily, this time.