Thursday, July 7, 2016

7. the cairns and the boat ride

This series starts with “1. I'm home”. All the pictures can be clicked on for larger versions.

After dinner at the Portland Arms, Natalie announced that she was going to drive to the Gray Cairns of Camster and did anyone want to go so Purnima, Nancy, and I went with her. There was a long boardwalk over the bog! to get to the cairns but you could go in them, just please close the gate doors when you leave so the sheep don't go in. So, yes, I went in two of them, the two that were connected together. One had a very low narrow passage and I went in it first to the chamber where you can stand up. I didn't have to crawl exactly, more like a duck walk, but it was a close thing and I kept bumping my head. I can't believe I did that one cause that's kinda right out of an old recurring nightmare but it wasn't too long and I could see the light coming into the chamber from above. The other one I just had to crouch over. Nancy and I both were in there. There was a third one but it was separate and we were over the experience by then.

Sunday, day 5, was studio time til late afternoon when it was time to leave for our boat ride out of Wick. We arrived to get suited up in waterproof trousers and long hooded jackets and life jackets strapped onto our bodies.

Did I mention they were bright orange and blue? And it started raining just about as soon as we got in the boat.

The boat ride took us out into the sea and around to the rookeries where all the seabirds were nesting on the cliff walls, we also got the history and story of Wick harbor which is very interesting but you'll have to read about it elsewhere. We went into these little caves as far as the boat could go and in one sort of cove were a couple of seals and we could see their heads popping up again and again checking us out. We saw the ruin of Wick castle which was fought over by the clans.

Once returned to land, we went to the Whaligoe Steps for dinner at Karen's small restaurant there. Because it had been raining and the rocks were likely to be slick, we didn't venture down them, 365 in number, to the cove where the men would bring in their boats and catch and the women would carry it up and to market. It was said that the women would carry the baskets of fish on their backs and they would knit a sock while they walked turning the heel when they got to market and having it finished by the time they walked back home.


  1. Beautiful pictures, Ellen.
    Such an incredible journey this has been for you!
    Really, a journey of a lifetime.

  2. Just joining reading about your adventure. Looks like something I would have enjoyed! Even though my artistic talent is very limited. I hope to find time to read past posts.

  3. at least you were prepared for the weather.It could have been a bumpy ride if a squall came in.Beautiful pictures, i am envious

  4. LOVING this adventure and the stoney-ness of it! Wonderful shots! Thanks for taking us there!

  5. It's a moody but engaging landscape. It makes me feel very meditative.


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