For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Sky At Durness


After the delights of Sheigra and Sandwood I followed the broad, bare sweep of a glacial valley for several miles to the Kyle of Durness. The mountains of Foinavon and Arkle towered majestically in the east. I wanted to catch the last ferry of the day across the shallow waters of the Kyle to the Cape Wrath peninsula - but it had been cancelled. So I carried on a further few miles and pitched on the cliff-top campsite at Durness. This site overlooks a perfect family beach - of rock stacks, rockpools, silver sand and pristine cleanliness.

I spent much of the evening gazing up at the sky. Black and thunderous clouds raced from south-east to north-west - but, miraculously, the downpour never happened. A purple mantle hung over shifting layers of black, grey, white, pink and blue. A dying sun, low on the western horizon, bathed all in gold. It shone like a laser beam of piercing light, and every object - every leaf, rock, stone, street light, tent pole and campervan - stood out in ultra-defined clarity for a few moments. Then it was gone. I crawled backwards into my inner tent, manoeuvred jerkily into my sleeping bag, and zipped it up...

3 comments:

Phoenix C. said...

Magnificent skies to sit and gaze at!

I love the way low sun picks out everything in 'ultra-defined clarity'. Those moments stay with one.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Great skies…and always fun to watch such weather turning overhead and have a snug little shelter to crawl into and stay warm and dry, no matter what.

Real comfort is really pretty basic, as any camper/backpacker knows. We need so little, but typically want so much…

Lovely post.

The Solitary Walker said...

Definitely a 'Yes' moment, Phoenix (see today's Turnstone post!)

I love being all snug in my sleeping bag when 'bad' weather's raging outside the tent, Grizzled. In fact so-called 'good' weather, hot and sunny weather, is the worst weather for camping - as in the tent it can be almost unbearably hot and sticky.