Scotland

August 19 to 30, 2003



Noss Head Lighthouse

*Sinclair and Girnigoe Castles
*The cliffs


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Friday August 22nd

It took me ages for my cough to let me get to sleep, so I slept until 10:00, when Matt brought me a cup of tea, worried that I was going to keep on a jetlagged schedule. I got myself up slowly, had some breakfast, then I put on my Marmot jacket and Christina collected Brutus AKA Slip, the dog that lives here, and we went out on a walk to Sinclair and Girnigoe castles, which are right by the lighthouse. First Christina and Matt climbed down to one of the rocky beaches right by the castle, then we went to them.

 

castlesCastles Sinclair and Girnigoe.

 

MattMatt, looking a little piratical.

 

I had been here before with Dad on my 1997 Canada Council-sponsored trip. They have recently begun some work to keep the castle from falling down any further. That part, where the isolated chimney is, was rather ineffectually fenced off (the fence had blown down in the wind). (I forgot to say that the wind was blowing mightily all day.)

We clambered up, out and around about; the gate was unlocked so we could go actually inside the castle two levels and along farther, where it is hard to tell if it's part of the castle or not, but we found a passageway with the remains of a window arch to clamber down--almost as though there were steps down. Christina went first. I had a brief scary moment when my jacket sailed out in the wind and I lost the view of where I was putting my feet next. Waited atop the rocks while Christina continued to clamber, then Matt followed us down, but it was too steep for Brutus, who remained watching us anxiously at the top. Watched the waves and rocks, then climbed back up, Matt first, then Christina, and I had an anxious moment when I couldn't figure out how to shift my weight up and had to pause a bit to let the moment of fear settle out of my stomach, then hauled myself up with no greater harm than a banged knee. It really was very ladder-like, but I get a little spacily disoriented when I'm premenstrual. An annoying thing at times like these.

 

Christina and Brutus/SlipChristina and Brutus/Slip posing before the castle.

 

the stairwellThe stair and doorway we climbed through; steeper than it appears here, it was probably a portal for supplies coming in by sea. Those are rocks at the bottom, site of clambering.

 

On the way out of the castle I had to stick my head out into the wind at each window, and I found a stair Christina went down, reporting that we need to bring flashlights on our next trek out.

We decided that it was time to get back then and have some lunch, which we did, and then a wee nap which I claimed I didn't want or need, but I fell asleep, too. Woke up slowly, finished off the lovely meat pie for dinner, rested up, then went to a clamber out on the cliffs with Christina and Brutus. Lots of sea stacks and inlets, cormorants and gulls, and we watched seals resting in the water after a long day of fishing.

 

cliffA view from our second clamber.

 

The castles from across the pondA view of the castles from across the pond near the lighthouse.

 

Back in, inviting the lovely white cat who had shown up in for a bit of milk, wishing I'd saved a bit of the meat pie for it, watched some TV and news, then went to bed. I slept for a few hours, but woke at 3:30 and couldn't get back to sleep, and so I am typing this up. It's nearly 5:00 now, and so I should try to sleep again if I can.


03.08.21 § Les Semaines Index § 03.08.23

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