On Tour NC 500 – Day 14

On Tour Travelogue Day 14

Wednesday 13 June

Hello from very windy Culloden where the “lazy day” wasn’t so lazy.

This morning after taking the dawgs for a walk in the Culloden Woods we agreed – well I agreed with Liz – that having been away for a fortnight we should perhaps give Doris a good sort out – kind of clean her up for “Captains Inspection” so to speak”

Where of course Liz took on the role of both supervisor and Captain.

Which left only one member of the Doris crew left to be “mess cooks” – another quick reference for those ex-RN types.

So let’s say it took a good three hours and I’m happy to report that we passed the inspection which means I have been able to start writing this a little earlier than usual and seeing as how I’ve been given a Make and Mend as a reward I thought I’d do something a little different and mention some of the people we have met.

Firstly the Scots people themselves have all without exception been polite and friendly belying the English suspicion that they are all over aggressive miserable barstewards.

I wonder what it is about being on holiday that makes complete strangers talk and reveal some of the most intimate details of their life to other total strangers?

We met a couple in Dunnet Bay who had been there living in their caravan for six weeks. Apparently they had fallen out with their family and decided to sell up where they lived in the north of England and move to Thurso where they were waiting for a house purchase to be completed.

If you have to move away then I suppose the furthest town north on the mainland is the place to go.

I should mention that all of these conversations were initiated by Liz who unlike me is only too happy to talk to anyone and everyone about everything.

I’d just travel around and – well that’s it – just travel around.

We met a man who was camping with his wife at Durness who came from a village in the Lake District and came to Scotland four or five times a year either on his motorbike or in a motorhome. 

This time they came by bike. 

They were looking to move to the West Coast around Ullapool because even though they had been brought up in the Lake District it had now become – in his words – to tacky and commercial.

We met another lovely elderly couple who originally came from the Wirrell near Liverpool and now live on the East Coast just south of Wick. They had a small camper van and had come away for a few days to relax from having to look after their terminally ill – bloody cancer – son who is only in his early forties and who has a young son himself.

Liz struck up a conversation with a couple from Sidmouth and yes as seems the modern way they inevitably are now following each other on Facebook.

At Culloden we met a lady from Germany who was on an organised coach tour but who said she didn’t want to visit a Battlefield site because there had been too much killing in the world because of wars. She then told us her father had been on the Russian Front and had died very early having never recovered from the psychological trauma of what he had seen and suffered.

We sometimes forget in remembering our own that the other side in war are also young men and women with families.

We have collected the life stories of the wardens who run the sites and how they ended up doing the job.

I met an elderly gentlemen who at the age of 12 in 1943 came back to Britain with his mother and brother from Durban on HMS Warspite. He then joined the army in 1948 served 26 years as weapons engineering officer before retiring and moving to work with the Royal Navy at the research and development headquarters in Bath. 

He was on his way home having just attended the 100th birthday of an aunt.

I have also lost count of the number of people who want to stop and talk about our dogs and theirs.

It seems that if you want to be seen as approachable you need to get a dog and preferably one that looks cute into the bargain.

Cyclists, bikers, walkers have passed our way and exchanged pleasantries making it worth the journey.

On thing I have noticed though and that is the population of Scotland  north of Inverness is overwhelmingly very very white.

That isn’t a criticism but simply a fact that I observed.

Well that’s it for today a small (largish) G and T has my name on it and I have to batten down the hatches because apparently someone called Hector is about to knock the country about a bit…so