NEW : See my campaign to establish a National Coastal Path here
This week I was accompanied by my son Jamie who was press-ganged into providing psychological support as I made my way south from laxford Bridge. Jamie is nearly 15, and I thought wouldnt it be great to have a bit of a father and son bonding session?. Together we could work as a team through the travails that would befall us. So, off we jaunted. We tied up our bikes at Scourie and I drove back to the start of the walk at Laxford Bridge. Immediately the heavens opened and we started looking for Jamie’s wet weather gear in his bag. Unfortunately, all that was packed was a flimsy plastic anorak that resembled a burst balloon when it got wet. Also, I couldnt find his over- trousers despite having been reassured that his mum had packed them for him. So he had to wear mine. Do you remember when you were a bairn and you would come cycling home from a pal’s house and it would start to pour and the front of your jeans would be so wet they would stick to your legs? Well that was me that was. (Later we found his over trousers, cleverly disguised as a toilet bag. I half expected a label to be attached saying “Ceci n’est ce pas un pipe”. Just to throw me off the scent.
We plodded on and I tried to keep Jamie’s spirits up. He tried vainly to appear interested, but really 15 year old boys just want to be hanging out with their mates – not wandering along country roads in the rain for no valid reason. After my persistant attempts to get him to marvel at the wonders of fauna and flora that sourrounded us he eventually piped up wit the immortal “If I have to meet nature face to face again, I’m going to pan it’s face with a big city brick”.
After a couple of hours plodding, we arrived wet and miserable at the fish restaurant at Tarbet. After stopping for a short break I decided to see if we could follow the “path” over the hills to Scourie. This is despite me not having my GPS or a map. Needless to say that was a bad idea, and we turned back; but not after getting our feet thoroughly soaked after squelching through bogs. After a long 16 miles walk, we picked our bikes up and I realised that I had a puncture, which made the going back to Laxford Bridge more difficult than it should have been.
However difficult it was that day, I really did appreciate Jamie’s company and it would have been a hell of a more difficult walk without him there with me. He is a star.