Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Monday, 9 August 2010

Callanish, Lewis Saturday 7th August

So I'd reached Callanish at around 8.00pm, first going to Callanish III with two concentric stone circles and then over to Callanish II.

Phoned my dear parents whilst at Callanish II and a strange character wanted to say hello.
I think his conversation with my mother made more sense than my usual utterings!

Over to Callanish I, meeting three people there for a natter. A young couple were from Stratford Upon Avon, not a million miles from the town from I hail, Warwick. Now Laura is a girl with a passion, and her boyfriend hopes it for him but I hate to tell him that it's ancient artifacts for which Callanish has got to be one of the best. She'd studied archaeology at the University [!] of Worcester and was extremely knowledgeable and interesting.

The hoped for good unset didn't materialise and the cloud closed up. Camped nearby and had a comfy night.

Sunday 8th August 2010

Up early and after a good wash in the visitor's centre facilities and a breakfast of chocolate chip loaf, went back to Callanish I.

All alone at such a monument, took dozens of photos as each standing stone and their alignments to each other were so unique.

Right, enough of that.

Next stop was over a narrow plank to have a look at the fish in their nets on a fish farm.

Then met a fabulous, brilliant, wonderful couple, Chris and Tina, who, although originally from Leeds, now lived on the island and published a music magazine.

If you want a back issue of practically any rock music magazine then these are the poeople to get in touch with.

So what did we talk about? Humphrey and Daisy? [their two dogs!] Well no. Actually rock music gigs, ELP back on the road, Focus, Yes, Zappa, Floyd, Muse, Sabbath, Deep Purple, Tull, and practically every other rock band from the time of better rock music.

Poor Tina hardly got a word in edge ways but when she did what a surprise. Her musical taste was for barry Manilow and Barbara Striesand.

They caught up with me a few miles later, dogless now in their green car and gave me an MP3 player with a couple of my favourite albums on it; Aqualung and Led Zepplin. If you've been reading my blog you may recall my own MP3 player being stolen by a young lady in the library at Fort William. This wonderful couple had been home and made this one for me and such thoughtfulness was greatly appreciated. In fact I don't think that in the history of time, and on Lewis that goes back 3,500 million years, that anyone has ever cycled the main road back to over the flow country to Stornaway belting out Tull and Zep at the top of their voice because of the gale blowing.

Before this vocal treat for the few local sheep, I'd visited yet another RSPB reserve, this time Loch na Muilne. The nearby Black House was disappointedly closed and birds were very few and far between. The reserve is well known as the breeding place for red-necked phalaropes but none were to be seen. Only a couple each of raven and hooded crows, a snipe and a couple of mallard. Still walked around the lochs enjoying the plants and the occasional moss carder bumblebee.

So reached Stornaway despite the southerly gale practically in my face and camped in a wood beside a football pitch unobserved. Boy did it pelt down in the night! What rain in Scotland? I seem to remember that someone some while back got in touch with me to question my statement - Scotland, Land of Heavy Rain [and gales].

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