I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

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.