• Little Rea

NC500 - Day 14 to 15

Updated: Jun 1, 2018

Clachtoll to Big Sands (99 Miles)

Leaving Clachtoll was just as hard as leaving Sango Oasis but Mummy said there was a beach at the end of the long drive and if we were lucky, we would find an oasis in the middle of the journey, called Ullapool, where we could find real food and maybe a proper shop where she could buy a dustpan and brush because we had an entire beach in Bertie, and our bed. I don't know how this could even be possible as we've yet to find this elusive beach; I think Mummy is making up stories. We drove into the mountains and I watched Clachtoll disappear behind us. I don't know why we never stopped there as the beach looked beautiful in the distance but I had to trust my Mummy when she said she was taking us to a paradise that was called Big Sands. The road to it was a little bit frightening for me and I decided I didn't like the bumps anymore. I've done ever so well so far but all I wanted was to settle in an Angus dug hole and soak up some sunshine. We drove for miles and miles, round Enard Bay, towards the Oasis Mummy talked about.

Ullapool was everything Mummy promised and I got to sniff a lot of seagull poo and dead fish on the harbour side. I tried to roll in it but Mummy was disgusted by my attempts and said Bertie wouldn't appreciate me bringing dead things back to his bed. We wandered into shops and Mummy came out with packages which included the dustpan and brush so she could sweep our bed. Apparently humans don't like sleeping in sand but I don't understand why not. Rolling in it is the best feeling in the world other than fox poo and dead birds. All the shops seemed to let me in, which pleased Mummy so much that she brought me a new hat and I sat on the cashier counter so the lady behind it could take a photograph of me for their Facebook page.

After lots of fuss and attention in places where could cross palms with silver, we found a place where the United Nations convened for their lunch and I was allowed in too. Dogs were part of the Nations in Ullapool, where boats bobbed on shallow waters and craft shops sprinkled the quintessentially Scottish fishing-town roads. The eating house was called Seaforth, which Mummy liked as she once lived in a Seaforth Avenue, and it felt like a good omen.

We ordered a roast lunch of beef, with a giant Yorkshire Pudding (why isn't it a Scottish Pudding in Scotland?) and the lovely waiter brought me a little side plate so Mummy could share her banquet with me. Beside us was a ripping fire that crackled as we ate and around me I heard languages I had never heard before. Everyone understood my eyes though and whatever language was being spoken, my tummy always spoke the right language because I spent an hour getting it rubbed and tickled as Mummy tried to finish her lunch.

With full bellies, we trundled back to Bertie and continued to the BIG Sands. Big Sands. I was getting so excited that I couldn't settle on the way and kept standing up in anticipation. When we finally reached it, I couldn't see any sand at all, just gigantic dunes. I wasn't very happy that Mummy had lied to me. Mummy wasn't happy either, with our resting place. We were stuck between huge static caravans that looked miserable and lacking in adventure. I watched her staring at them with a frown for what seemed like ages and then she told me to hop back into Bertie because we weren't putting up with misery. Adventures should be happy and happy needs to be a feeling in the gut so we drove around and around until Mummy found a little field full of other vans like Bertie. It felt like Woodstock in the 60s only with herbal teas not herbal cigarettes ... Mummy liked it.

With Bertie parked on top of a little hill, I was allowed to run through the dunes to see if I could find these big sands Mummy had told me about. There was dune after dune - a never ending dune fest that made me almost give up but Mummy kept on walking. I had to trust her because I didn't want to go back into Bertie down bumpy roads again. Then it was there, the Big Sands. I'd found my paradise, no pirates or knights, no princes or princess, just me, Robinson Poosoe, marooned on a sandy enclave where the sea lapped at the shores and little seashells washed up like the treasures spilt over from the King's ships wrecked out at sea; glittering under the sun.

We walked barefoot and pawed, hearing the sound of our toes on the water's edge, and foraged for treasures until the sun began to descend into the earth for its nightly rest.

I didn't sleep that night, although I pretended to, because Mummy said the next day would be an all Big Sands day, and that we'd take a picnic of ham, and cheese, and cold iced water, down to the sand so I could play and dig until my little body could take no more. I snuggled to Mummy's tummy as she rested, knowing that my dream would finally come true. The sun shone its warmth through Bertie's windows and we woke into the rays of a Scottish summer where the Sun God had won its battle for the day. Happy, we sang as we packed up our lunches, filled our water bottles, and busied ourselves with the excitement for the day. Down at Big Sands, we laid out our spread and ran into the sea to our ankles. We squealed in fun at the cold water splashing on our bare skin and played in rock pools, fishing out treasures that the sands had forgotten. Hours passed as the day drew time slowly over us and eventually we landed back on our warm sun heated rug for lunches made with joy that we were free once more.

As I dug, Mummy tried to read her book but digging is imperative if I am to ever find the treasures that sit at the end of the rainbows we see. I dug so hard that Mummy said I'd taken over her quiet space ... I think she was exaggerating but I know Mummy likes to tell a yarn or two.

After eating all our supplies, we walked along Big Sands until the very end, then back again, mooching away our time as we chatted about things that Mummy likes to chat about. I've learnt to wag my tail at appropriate words and when she gets all gushy with the love word, I have learnt to let her kiss my nose before running off to find a spot of sand that smells good enough to roll in. Our day passed as if it were a mere blink so we sat for the last time together on Big Sands, to watch the sun dip down to its resting place again. This time it brought with it the colours of my fur, all orange and ginger, with the glow of light pushing itself through the spectrums that hovered before us. Gently, the sea began to go to sleep too, and all the creatures that lived beneath it closed their eyes as my little paws softly pattered the edges. Finally, I came to Mummy's lap and we sat, huddled for warmth as the sun switched off its heater. With Mummy's face on the back of my head, I leant into her as the sun turned the sky from orange to red to a deep sleepy blue.

Leaving it to peacefully rest, Mummy and I returned to Bertie, full of sand and dreams of our orange paradise.

#NC500 #Scotland #RoadTrip #TravellingwithDogs


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