Sunday 6th August. Lay of the Land.

This afternoon we had the best walk on Gometra so far. We took the track over to North Harbour (where we combed for shells to use), then across the inlet over the seaweed covered rocks and up to higher ground (the sun scorched rocks where the otters feed), and on to another very distinctive, rectangular-shaped, natural harbour (just where you might put in a long boat (or so it seems to me). There we found the skull of a very large goat – huge horns curving upwards from it, which I carried as we continued (and which Faffy occasionally licked affectionately).

We carried on over an vast basalt pavement to the exposed shore with the kelp forest, then inland again following a deer/goat/sheep trail through a saddle between the hills into our so-called ‘washing-machine’ bay, (where all the wood washes up, and where there is a sequence of plunge pools in a line that creates a maelstrom when the tide is in).

From there we followed an animal trail (not the wisest thing, since all the animals are much nimbler and sure-footed than us) up the hillside to a plateau edged by cliffs, which we followed sea-ward to find a walkable or down-climbable slope off.

Just as we found one we were faced with a magnificent stag at it’s entrance. From there we descended to ‘Lost Harbour’, where we had found the leather-back turtle remains at Christmas time, and where we carried on beach combing.

From there it is a steep climb and undulating walk back up to the grazing grounds surrounding Gometra House and the cottages.

Incidentally, having called our cottage first Shepherd’s, and than learned it was really ‘Manager’s’, I now find it called ‘Faery Cottage’. So ‘The Primroses of Faery Cottage’ it is then…too twee d’ya think?

Now we are both shattered. Katy has her nose deep in a book of stories that was in a good enough condition not to burn. It’s a heartening sight, since before she was always on her tablet instead. I offered to play some music on my phone to provide some entertainment (reckless given my worries over charging with the solar panel), but she says she doesn’t mind the silence.

I’m pleased that today I’ve made some much better firewood by splitting with the perang, so I’m feeling confident that I might be able to get the heat up enough with the stove for a bath. Not sure though. So far it’s just reached tepid, even after an entire day of burning.

We’ve been trying to time the journey out to the school hostel on Monday 13th, and in doing that I’ve realised that I’ll have to stay out camping overnight and come back on Tuesday 14th, not least because I won’t (safely) be able to manage landing and getting the dinghy ashore properly on my own, especially loaded with goods to carry back and a dog. We have it sitting on the (slippery) ferry pier, which is a ways up from the water line. So that means I’ll need to use the ferry instead, which stops at 5pm.

…that realisation will have all and sundry breathing a sigh of relief!

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