Walking away from Anne’s I had a brand new experience.
Finally, the first day of real, honest to goodness, horizontal rain as only Scotland can offer.
I responded by demonstrating why we humans are at the top of most foodchains…
I forgot I had a waterproof cover for my rucksack. I was too busy rejoicing the fact that my legs were impervious to the elements.
“they’ve been out in minus 10,” I’d merrily tell anyone who was willing to listen.
For me, after the heat of the previous month, this was ideal walking weather.
My gaze landed on many a cow. I can exclusively reveal – bovines do not give a toss if it’s been raining, is about to rain, is going to rain next Thursday or whatever…
They stand up and lie down whenever they fancy. For years they have been mocking us…but this time I caught them in fields with some lying, some standing….but always staring….those eyes – the expectation that I might do something interesting…
Cows are bored – that’s their problem – that’s why they pretend to predict the weather….
Hello? Is anyone still there?
On my journey, one guy stopped in his coupe thing which was already jam packed with his partner and children in the back.
He could see I was drookit (scots for only slightly less wet than had I been in a swimming pool),
“How far are you goin’?” he yelled against the wind.
Was he going to tie me to the roof?
“No thanks, I’m walking my way around the edge of Scotland, highlighting the…”
And off they went.
To be fair, up until this point, I’d felt a bit of a fraud.
I felt that I’d been on some scenic ramble in the south of France. Now I felt, as I neared Macduff, I’d earned my Scottish stripes.
I fantasised about Barrs Irn Bru. Apparently made in Scotland from girders.
Unfortunately, it being a Sunday and all, Macduff was closed for business.
Banff, just one mile further along my path was my only hope.
For me, the most interesting thing about Banff was that it’s name resembles the sound that Night-Crawler, of X-Men marvel comics fame, makes when he reappears.
I can’t get used to there being no exclamation mark next to it.
Try it yourself – shout ‘Banff ’ and pretend to reappear.
You’ll be pleased to know they had some shops that were actually open.
I got the sacred sugary juice and was on my way.
On reflection, it was a long day and the good folk of Scotland weren’t nibbling at my story.
Just beyond Banff! there was a small wood with a number of perfect clearings for my tent. I opened my backpack and momentarily cursed my stupidity for not putting the waterproof cover over it.
My sleeping bag and one of my books had taken the biggest watery hits.
No matter – the rain had stopped – there was a warm breeze from the south, and I knew everything would dry.
Watch out for cows though, they’re not to be trusted.
Walk a mile in the rain