Monday, June 04, 2007
Camping on the Isle of torrential rain and gale force winds
C* and I and The Boy and his best mate and Woody attempted to go camping Saturday night on the Isle of Skye, a monstrous and magically beautiful island that sits off the northwest coast of Scotland where Gaelic is still spoken and sheep get a lot more than sheared by their shepherds.
What a fucking nightmare.
The previous Thursday and Friday had been sunny and warm, perfect for sitting on the back porch of C*'s friend Thursday night after a great Scottish meal that included this delectible little cheese made in these parts and a stew of fish and prawn and a dessert made from raspberries and homemade whipped cream dotted with oatmeal flakes. A bottle of homemade wine here, some undistilled whiskey there and a few thousand cigarettes over there, and we were having a mighty fine time. That's when the thought hit us. Great weather! An impending weekend! The Boy! His friend! An offer of a loan on some camping gear! The Isle of Skye!
The drive out there was fabulous. Clear skies, warm. Not a drop of sky water in sight. Once over the bridge, we stopped at the "beach" on the Skye side and let the boys out with their nets to see what they could find while we made lunch and fed and watered Woody. It was warm. Clear. Gorgeous. That's how I remember it, anyway.
But after looking at the few photos I snapped, anyone could have seen the downpour coming from a mile away. Perhaps I'm an optimist after all?
On Skye, there were huge mountains, old castles and quaint towns between us and the area we had picked for camping on the western side of the island. By the time we got there, however, it was pouring down rain. The sky opened up. The clouds were angry. There wasn't a sun in sight. Onward, we trudged. To a campside back toward the east. Still raining. Onward. To a campsite even further east, back toward the bridge. Rain. We decided to give it a go.
In the downpour, C* and I got the big tent out and attempted to erect it. Once it was halfway up, though, it acted as a net to catch the horrible wind. It took all my strength to keep it from flying away while C* worked on getting it pegged down. No luck. In our haste, we had done something wrong, and the tent, on one side, wasn't sitting properly on the ground. Soaking wet and cold, I gave up.
"Let's go home."
That turned out to be the best suggestion anyone had made all day. After all, the weather was crappy, the kids were acting like major brats (I'm hungry, etc., etc., nonstop) and I wanted to get rid of The Boy's friend because he's a fucking asshole who I'm sure will grow up to be a thuggish construction worker/thief/vandal who drinks way, way too much. I'm quite sure I shouldn't be an elementary school teacher after this weekend.
On the way back off the island, we stopped so I could nab a photo of this castle:
The rain continued for two days. The end.