Exactly when the first one arrived I don’t recall. It might have been as the ferry set off from Oban, or perhaps it was as we put in to Castlebay on Barra under a perfect cloudless Hebridean sky. I’m sure by the time we met Donald the boatman the next morning I was already in the grip of the affliction and grinning relentlessly, and as we shuttled loads up to the campsite on Pabbay I knew I was done for. From then on, the whole week was a shambles of laughter and fun.
Rob and Helena 'balooning around' (his quote) on the juggy Sea An-enema in The Bay, Pabbay.
Topping out on Corncrakes for Breakfast on that first sunny evening as the seals sang across the waves and the lactic acid in my arms started to dissipate: that was a definite moment I recall it happening; climbing with Rob on the Banded Wall too. Then there was the day Alex, Rich and I were swallowed by the Grey Wall Recess twice and still came out laughing.
George having Corncrakes for Breakfast
Then on to Mingulay and it just got worse. A giant basking shark seen from the top of one of the most impressive cliffs in the country: Dun Mingulay. Outrageously big holds on an outrageously big cliff: Sula; a route I’d dreamed of for a long time. Even when ranks of nesting guillemots scuppered some of our plans, escaping up a VDiff above rough green seas and leaping white horses fed the fever.
Iain treading carefully on Road to Ixtlan, Mingulay
Until next time...