The neverending road

On the next day of our holiday we all inexplicably got up rather early. Possibly Lyra’s extensive demonstration of bed jumping helped, but who can say. It was warm but not boiling and the consensus was to take the walk around the fish farm. Each of us remembered it from previous holidays, but it became clear that Lachlan and I had blotted out several uphill sections. Indeed, for a walk that starts and ends at sea level it is strangely at least 65% UPHILL (that was an accidental caps lock moment, however, reviewing it, it was apposite so shall remain). The walk starts as an uphill trek through bracken and heather and beautiful mounds of moss. It is one of those stretches where you constantly think you have reached the top only to find another incline lurking behind the previous one. Lyra took this stretch on the lead as there were sheep lurking in the undergrowth. However, we eventually hit the forestry track and it was a vertiginous downward plunge on loose chippings until we hit the old road which had reasurring tufts of grass growing through the surface and a greater sense of permanence.

All the way down the views out over the sound were spectacular and much time was spent identifying the scattered hamlets and mountains in the distance. I also came across a number of wild flowers I had not especially noticed before and these were much photographed for later identification. I have nailed them down to eyebright, grass of parnassus and sneezewort (which is a type of achillea so I was on the right track with that one). Once down to see level we had a long meandering coastal path through the fields bordering the shoreline. These were a heady mix of grasses and rushes, dotted with the bright blue of devils bit and fluffy clouds of tomentil. Lyra ran to and fro like a crazy thing, pouncing on mice in the grass, and clattering over the sea rocks.

The path then turned up again, climbing through lichen covered birch woods. The path would wind upwards for a bit then plummet down over small waterfalls (a couple of which I took on my rear as the footing looked distinctly unstable). The undergrowth was a mix of ferns and moss with jewel like clumps of an almost strawberry pink bell heather. I could see the heart shaped leaves of violet coming through and made a note to try to make the route again in spring. We finally emerged from behind the rather grandiosely titled ferry terminal and strolled home on the ferry road. At the high point of the road, looking out we saw three or four seals bobbing in the water and a smaller shadow we confidently decided must be an otter.

All in all it was about a 10 mile round trip and it was felt this fully justified chips with dinner (which Lachlan made – triple fried – they were a triumph).

(PS have now added the photos to the previous post as we are back in the world of wifi)

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