Wednesday 9 March 2011

Where the Rains lie.

Of the all the places that I have camped, I have been washed out of the tent by rain more times in Scotland than in any other part of the world.

And yes, I HAVE camped in Ireland.

And Canada.

Actually, i got pretty wet in Canada too.

But of all the places I have camped in Scotland, the three weeks I spent on the Isle of Barra was the wettest.

It must have been about 1974 or 5, and I’m sure the locals remember it and tell tales to their children’s children about the year the sea dropped from the sky, I don’t think it was an Island before this date.

They probably also tell tales of the two travellers who walked up the road from the ferry landing, crossed the field to the wee burn, set up their tent and didn’t emerge for three weeks.

Actually we emerged once, but since we only had one set of clothes, we had to spend the rest of the time naked and we thought it prudent to stay inside.

Our one foray outside was to trek to the local shop and stock up on chocolate, bread, cheese and candles.

Barra is up there off the northwest coast of the bit of Scotland where it rains more than anywhere else in the world: The McSoddenwetrides Islands I believe they are called.

I think it is possibly a beautiful place if dry, and one of the best things about the island is that it has an airport that is only there at low tide – they use the beach.

We though, arrived by boat, so maybe I am wrong about it not being an island before that date - but then again it was raining already.

It was raining when we left.

In between we lay in the tent and my girlfriend read me The Lord of the Rings.

It was a long way to go to read someone a book, but it was the perfect place.

If you looked outside the tent, as we did each morning, all you could see was rain and part of the field around our tent.

We could have been anywhere, so why not Middle-earth?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Barra where the Rains lie.

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