I’m driving back towards Ardgour, along the quiet road, when the sun finally decides to make an appearance. Hello sun. Nice of you to show up. Where have you been all day?
Over a bridge and round a bend and – oh no – cattle! Three cows are walking down the middle of the road and they have a couple of tiny calves with them. Thank goodness I’m safely inside my camper van.
I stop my vehicle and take some photos through the windscreen.
The cows calmly walk around my van, and continue meandering down the road. Where have they come from? Where do they belong? There is no farm in sight. The road is narrow and, in this section, hemmed in by a stone wall on one side and a rocky cliff on the other.
I’m so glad I didn’t meet the cows earlier when I was on foot.
A mile or so further on, and I find a layby wide enough to park my Beast and set up camp for the night. It’s close to the water of Loch Linnhe, and not too close to the road. Time for a cup of tea, and then something to eat.
What a wonderful place to camp. The sun is playing games, in and out of the clouds, but the view across the water is spectacular. Ben Nevis looks regal in the evening light.
I take numerous photos. Every minute or so the light changes, and the view looks different. I’m so glad I decided to walk along this road – (sorry, road, for moaning about you all day)- because it led me to this beautiful spot.
At times like this, I used to wish my husband was with me to share the wonderful moment. But not any more. Last year I discovered he’d had some sexual adventures 20 years ago, and I’ve been struggling to come to terms with this new knowledge. In fact, I asked for a separation and we’ve been living apart for ten months. It’s been a very difficult time for me. I’ve been unable to sleep, unable to eat properly, and the slightest task has taken a marathon effort.
(This is a walking blog, not a personal diary, and I only mention all this now because I know many of my walking friends, and the nice people who follow this blog, have suspected something was wrong. It’s why these walks have taken so long to write up, and why I’ve often mentioned feeling sad, or talked about finding things a struggle.)
In all the misery of this past year, I’ve taken comfort in the amazing landscapes of Scotland. They’re so vast and so ancient, they make my life and all my troubles seem really tiny and insignificant.
The sun sinks lower and the light begins to dim. And, with the fading light, out come the midges. Pesky things! I shut myself inside the Beast and prepare to settle down for the night. I’ve learnt that June nights are never really dark in Scotland, and this one is particularly bright, because the moon is rising. Nearly a full moon.
I risk midge bites, and hop out of the Beast to take one last photograph.