Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Saturday 16 March

Today, I am playing the keyboard at the cultural centre Taigh Chearsabhaigh in Lochmaddy, but as the bus is not leaving until 11.40, I have time to walk around the bay by the Balranald RSPB Bird Reserve, next to Hougharry. After breakfast, at 9 am, I walk into the reserve, as far as the coastline permits, then return along the north shore, which faces Hougharry. Keeps me going for two hours. Several people are looking for rare birds; apparently, a harlequin duck has been sighted in the area. Attracts twitchers from all over the UK. My bus, a postbus, duly appears at 11.40, and after changing at Clachan, I arrive into Lochmaddy at around 12.30pm. I claim my bowl of soup, after which another local musician alternates with me by playing the guitar. My main contact had decided to cycle into Lochmaddy, 18 miles into a headwind, and was consequently late. The guitar player left at 1.30, and I kept the show on the road for 20 minutes until the singer turned up. At 2.30, the cafe closed and we ambled off for a walk around Lochmaddy. She left her groceries and bicycle in shed in the village while we retraced my steps to the hut of shadows. Upon return, we were on time for the 4.20pm bus to the West Side via Sollas. I went on to Hougharry, giving my host some time to prepare for my return a little later. This evening, I did not hit the road until about 1.30 am, and it was tipping it down and blowing a hoolie. Was well and truly soaked - to one side - on return to Hougharry. Bins and fences had been blown into the road.

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