Day Six: ‘From the Other Side of The Water’

Today I woke rather late – around half past nine or so. This meant I was waking up when everyone else was getting ready to go. I don’t have a problem with this. In fact, I quite like that everyone is rushing around and I’m left to slowly get ready while they all pack everything up for the day.

Again we all trundled off to Ardnave Point, only this time, we went anti-clockwise. Yesterday we went clockwise.

I have to say, although there were not as many ‘bitey flies’, there were more regular flies. I’m pretty sure these flies were worse when it came to swarming you because they just had more in number. They put me right off my lunch and that is hard to do. In the end I figured if you stood away from the dunes slightly and more exposed to the wind, they couldn’t fly into the wind fast enough, so you were pretty much left alone. Of course, this was the same for the other people I was there with. None of them could be bothered or didn’t want to stand up with me, they wanted to take their chances with the flies.

It was so bad, it made me feel like I was in Ethiopia or somewhere. The heat (heat? What heat? We’re in Scotland. I don’t think they’ve ever heard of ‘sun’ before) was beating down on my already sunburnt shoulders and threatening to burn the skin on my collarbone. On top of that, the millions of flies that were constantly batted away. Eventually, everyone else but me gave up on swatting the flies away. I was determined not to let them win.

It was a small victory for myself, with only a few wounds. Three bites to be exact. Little buggers.

So my little brother Alex had something to do, I set the kite flying and handed it over to him. It does less bombing now, but it still doesn’t want to go as far up as I think it should. Maybe my expectations are too high (yes, I know I was awful, but the joke had to be made).

Instead of sticking around, I took off to a part of the beach that was untouched by humans – at least, recently untouched. There were no footprints, no signs of anyone having walked around there before. It’s like a world of your own, if you look away from the other people there with you. With me, I took the rock pool fishing net. No, as you may be thinking, I did not take the net to go rock pooling with. Logical though your thoughts may be, they are still wrong. I took the net to use the end that was all stick and no net. This was because I wanted to create: sand art.

I know, it sounds really cool and mystical and interesting. I can assure you, it is not. It is one of the most annoying things in the world. You have to have patience to start with and then (the crucial bit) maintain the same level of patience for about seventeen hours while you make various lines in the sand.

Eventually, as I am not an artist, I gave up. It looked like something a two year old would produce with a grey wax crayon and some funny coloured paper.

I don’t think it helped when a herd of cows meandered past and threatened to either charge at us or walk all over the vast expanse of sand I had just been attempting to draw on. A part of me hoped they would to destroy the evidence of how awful it was.

Unfortunately, this was not to be.

I think I gave up from the moment I started, not really because I was bothered about the cows stepping on it and ruining it, or that I don’t have much patience (I do, just not for some things). It was that I knew it wouldn’t last. I know nothing lasts forever, but some things are around for longer. I knew by the next day, nobody would be able to tell I had been there and that I had made anything from the sand. Nobody would ever know but the five people who were there and saw it. When you see the sudden mortality of it, you kind of wonder what the point is,  putting in all that effort.

(See. I’m not just intelligent, beautiful and side-splittingly hilarious. I’m also the next Aristotle or Pluto… You’re not convinced, are you?)

After the disaster that was the sand ‘art’, I walked around the end of the headland to see out onto the open water.

Now, you might think to yourself, “What’s the point in that? All that walking will  just tire her out.” Or you may think, “I bet the view was beautiful.” Or even, “Why is she trying to guess what I’m thinking? Is she a supposed physic mind reader person now? Some sort of prophetess?” The answer to those theories and thoughts are: yes, I was very exhausted, the view was quite beautiful and yes, I am a prophetess in my spare time, it’s five quid a reading pal. Get in line.

Anyway, the walk there was more tiring than you’d think. The terrain was not the most helpful I’ve come across, I will admit. Let me explain so you have a vague idea of exactly how hard it was to walk across the beach.

You know how it is when you usually walk across the beach, it’s harder work than walking on tarmac, takes more effort and therefore makes you tired quicker, yes? Of course, because you’re an intelligent reader, which is why you’re reading this,  you know how thick, fresh snow is to walk on, right? You know how they both require lots of effort and it takes a lot out of you just to do a short journey in either of those conditions by foot?

Combine the two.

We were walking on sand, which you sank in to about half way up your calf. That was when you were lucky. You don’t realise at first how much effort it takes and how surprisingly quickly you run  out of energy. After about twenty paces you wanted a lie down, but knew you couldn’t because you’d probably sink face first and not be able to breathe. Since I’ve spent the first fourteen years of my life breathing and it’s done me the world of good health wise, I’d rather keep it up for a long while yet.

It took us a while to go a short distance, but eventually we got there. We got to the end of the headland. Exhausted, knowing we had to cover the same distance in a shorter amount of time, in order to be able to get back to the car and not be stranded when the tide came in and formed a rather large river, but with less energy.

The feeling of being there was great, it was like complete isolation, by the  way. Peaceful.

Basically, we went home sunburnt as the weather was rather nice (I know. Strange, huh? Nice weather in Scotland. As I’ve said, I’m sure the Scottish have never heard of this ‘sun before) and then went on to Croft kitchen where I had a steak and onion baguette and a raspberry surprise (still called raspberry even though it contains strawberries…).

The End

4 comments about this story Feed