Dreaming Stones: Incipient weirdness…

It was later than anticipated when we left the rest of our Companions on the Sunday afternoon at the end of the workshop. We hadn’t eaten, needed a garage for the damnable deflating tyre and we were a long, long way from home. Even with motorways and optimal speeds every foot of the way, home would still be a solid ten hour drive south. But then, who was heading south?

It may look as if we are always gallivanting, but Stuart and I both work, taking holdays for workshops and meetings. As I work seven days a week, even weekends have to come out of the holiday entitlement and, as we live a couple of hundred miles apart, no matter where we go, there is driving time to be added which eats it away even more. While we are wandering the country, we try to spend time meeting friends or with visiting Companions of the school too, often tacking a day onto the end of a workshop so that those who have travelled long distances, and who we too seldom see, can see a little more of the area with us. With luck, we manage to squeeze a day either side of a workshop so we can meander a bit on the journey for our holiday. This time, however, we had the luxury of three whole days before I had to be back in the south and, although much of that would have to be on the road, we had, eventually, come to the realisation that we needed a plan.

Right up until a couple of days before I left on the first leg of the journey, we had no idea what we would do with the time. We had tried to get hold of old friends we wanted to visit on the east coast of Scotland… but in spite of sort of doing so, had not been able to arrange anything. We hoped to hook up with three friends from the blogosphere too, as we travelled down the western side of the country but we couldn’t make any arrangements till we knew what we were doing. And we hadn’t a clue. There is just too much we want to be able to explore in the far north… and nowhere near enough time.

We needed a plan. Stuart felt we needed to get onto one of the Scottish islands if we could. They have been calling for a while now. I also came across a site I thought we should visit on the way home… Cairn Holy… and that was about it. But it was about here that the first hints of oddness started to creep in. We had not been able to sort out a rendezvous with our friends on the east coast, even though we had been in contact… and that was weird.  We had arranged to meet Adele Marie Park during the weekend…though she had sadly been unable to make it in the end. Mary Smith had, bizarrely, suggested we meet up at Cairn Holy and that we might be joined by Barb Taub… who lives on Arran, a Scottish island we really want to visit. That, at least, we would be able to manage.

Meanwhile, I had been looking at just which islands we might, with practicality in mind, be able to get to, vaguely remembering that Skye now has a bridge between it and the mainland. That would work. We had both long wanted to visit the island. I looked up what archaeological sites there might be on the island but my normally trusty sources came back with only three, and none of them seemed particularly interesting. Even so, we thought, we could see a little of Skye and get down to meet Mary and Barb at Cairn Holy.

I was going to be happy enough just driving through the Highlands, but I extended my search for ancient sites close to Skye, hoping to get some ideas for the journey in between. One name jumped off the map… Callanish. But… it was on another island, beyond Skye, in the Outer Hebrides. We would need a car ferry as it is a long way from the little port. It really didn’t look feasible, not with the time we had… but it hung in the air like Christmas, tantalising and magical… a place we have both dreamed of visiting for decades and never thought we would see.

Well, at least we would get to see the beauty of Skye. We could call it a recce… for a nebulous ‘one day’. So, after the workshop, on Sunday afternoon, instead of sensibly heading south to begin the long journey home, we turned the car towards Inverness and headed north instead.

Now, I live in the rural ‘soft south’, forty miles from London. Stuart lives in a city… we are never far from anything we need and pretty much everything is open all the time. Scotland, on the other hand, closes on Sunday and is comprised, at least where we were, of miles and miles of wonderfully empty roads snaking through incredible beauty. Not only did we need a garage for the deflating tyre, we needed food… and, we thought, a garage might have sandwiches at least. We saw not a one… passing through Inverness and over the Firth, we knew that the roads would become even more isolated. We turned off the A9 at Dingwall, hoping…

Dingwall too was closed… it was getting on, to be fair. But we found a Wimpy. I thought they had all gone decades ago… I haven’t seen one for years… but, unless we had fallen through a temporal wormhole, there is a Wimpy in Dingwall. And it was open. We retired to the car to break our fast, eagerly watched by a seagull who had spotted bounty through the glass roof of the car and who insisted, very vocally, on being invited to dine.

Had there been time, Dingwall would have been a good place to explore, with a vitrified fort on a nearby hill and a good bit of archaeology to delve into, but time was the one thing we did not have. Trusting to luck with the tyre, we set off once again to cross the hills and the country, heading towards Skye, watched by a great bird of prey that was circling the tower of the MacDonald Monument on the hill…

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in adventure, albion, Ancient sites, archaeology, Don and Wen, france and vincent, Landscape, Photography, road trip, Sacred sites, travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Dreaming Stones: Incipient weirdness…

  1. blosslyn says:

    Callanish early in the morning is so magical, later in the day its a nightmare when the coaches roll up…..but early, it still hold its magic. Hope you make it one day, you would love it 🙂 Lynne

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jenanita01 says:

    Skye sounds such a magical place. I hope you manage to get there, dodgy tyre and all!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooooh, we’re getting closer! Fabulous pictures. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    I am really enjoying watch your dream unfold 💜

    Like

  5. colonialist says:

    I do think Scotland is the loveliest place on earth, if it weren’t for the climate . . .

    Like

  6. trentpmcd says:

    Some day I need to visit the ancestral homeland 😉 I will try to find the Skye post, if up….

    Like

  7. Sometimes the best things in the world are the things that we do not really plan. Even when little barriers appear, we find ways to get through them, and those are the adventures we remember the rest of our lives. Perhaps you are being readied in some way for an even greater adventure somewhere in the nearby future. No one should ever pass up an adventure if they can physically and monetarily afford it, and sometimes even if not, we can find ways. One can always hope . . .

    Like

  8. noelleg44 says:

    Catching up with your trip – what beautiful scenery. And Wimpy’s to boot – I remember eating one of their hamburgers many, many years ago in England, when my brother was working for Lloyd’s of London. I will need recommendations for next year since we will do a car trip on our own!

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I normally wouldn’t recommend fast food joints, but we weere SO glad to find this one… and it did bring back memories, I have to say, of days when burgers were new here and sort of fashionable 😉

      Like

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