NC500 - Day 20 to 22
Updated: Jun 1, 2018
Silversands to the Isle of Mull (107 Miles)
I said goodbye to Silversands by digging as many holes as possible to ensure any future pirates that landed there would be boobytrapped on their arrival. Once I had dug enough, we packed up Bertie and drove our way down to Oban Port.
It was a long drive and Mummy took me to Pets at Home at the end of the trip as a treat. We loaded up on food supplies and to celebrate the buying of a new bed for my time in Bertie, I weed up the bags for life. I didn't just wee, I cocked my leg and scented. Mummy was so embarrassed but I was proud, even though I was put into my bed in disgrace. I know my sister would be proud of me as she cocks her leg to scent too and we are cool girl Poos.
The ferry to Mull was a big car eating machine that Bertie was loaded onto and when we reached the top deck, we were up in the skies; full of heavy rain and mists that blanketed our skin. I wondered if it was how heaven felt because we were as damp as the highest mountains, with steam coming from our mouths as we breathed.
We watched those mountains rise from the sea and saw little porpoises swimming in the deep waters like mermaids taking the boat across to the magical island. Relics stood proud from the ground, ruins from days gone past of battles between kings and clans, as the sea chugged and splashed behind us. We were entering a different land, where history seeped down from the clouds and washed over us with its mist.
When we landed, the sun began to seep through the clouds and as we drove, the land turned from grey to green. Bertie rambled over bumpy lanes through mountains and over mystical rivers until we reached a remote farm, full of wayward sheep, situated on the edge of a beachy paradise. It was going to be our home for three nights and before we did anything, we ran down to the sand and danced like children through the sea puddles and over rocks until we spent all our energy and dived back into Bertie for a long long sleep because there was something special happening the next day.
We woke excited because coming to meet us, from distant lands, was little Cleo and her Mummy. My Mummy loves Cleo and was so excited to finally meet the little bundle of happy fluff that Mummy said was as cute as me. An even bigger surprise was a long walk over mountains and beaches to find a special beach that no one knew about. When we walked over the final mountain top, we were in the Scottish Caribbean, where sands shone white sparkles under the sun and the sea lapped its Caribbean blue on the shores.
Cleo and I darted off our leads and bounded into the granulated sugary sand, kicking up our heels and scarpering with the wind behind us. We chased seaweed sticks together and threw our little bodies at each other in the joy of play, as our mummies caught up like old friends who'd never been apart. For hours, we dug up the beach looking for treasures and when the Sun hid itself permanently behind the heavy rain filled clouds, we slowly found our way back to civilisation where food was served and merriment had as our mummies ate and we warmed our tired bodies by the glowing flames of a little pub fire. We were so tired we didn't even ask for anything from the table.
With bellies full, we all headed home for a nap before I was taken to a secret location in the dark and given a warm soapy shower to rid me of a month's worth of sand. I haven't worked out how this was possible as sand comes from beaches and I hadn't made it to one yet. I didn't mind though because it meant I could curl up in a warm towel in front of the roaring flames, and cosy up while Mummy dried off and chatted to Nana. I was carried home because I was so tired but the next day, despite not wanting to get out of bed, Mummy packed my bag and said we had a mission to complete ... to find the treasure in Fingal Caves. Mummy said it was going to take a lot of courage, like Chris Bonington, but first, we had to grow sea legs to get there. Gulping, I glanced at my little paws. Sea legs. What did that mean to a little Poo like me ... I got onto the boat all nervous because I kept thinking my paws were going to morph into mermaids tails, or worse, crabs legs. I kept looking up at Mummy but she didn't seem to be worried. Maybe she didn't have to grow sea legs, maybe it was just us dogs. I was the only dog on the boat so I couldn't even ask a fellow hound.
Scared, I curled up on Mummy's lap and shivered. If I grew sea legs I wouldn't be able to walk ever again. When the boat pulled away, I looked down at my paws and waited. Nothing happened, so I unravelled myself from Mummy's lap and began to stare out to sea, wondering if my legs would come when we were in the middle of the ocean. I decided I'd stop thinking about it and enjoy the breeze on my moustache so I put my face to the sun and sniffed the salty air as it whipped up my nose and tickled me inside. The boat bobbed and rocked on top of the water with waves splashing up its sides and spraying over my face. I leant into the surf and smiled at Mummy who held me so tightly that her arms began to ache. Eventually, we pulled up near a giant rock and Mummy said the caves were inside. I didn't know how we would get there because there was no door to the island, but then I watched other humans walking on the side of the island ... on the side!
Mummy and I sat and watched them, working out if we could do it together. My sea legs hadn't grown so I knew my paws still worked. Mummy wasn't so sure though. She knew that if we miss-pawed or footed, we would fall into the roaring sea that would eat us. Neither of us knew if there were mermaids there to save us but we needed to see if the treasure was hidden in the caves, so we grabbed the wiry flopping hand rail and began to slowly sure-foot our way along the side of the island rock. The pirates had certainly made sure that their treasure was well protected because we literally walked along the island edge, on stones just a foot-fall wide ... stones sent to kill us, I'm sure. Together, we worked as a team, with Mummy instructing me as impatient people wanted to pass; I jumped up on rocks to let them, and walked slow on the skinny bits. We hugged the rocks at times but together, we made it to the caves. When we did, Mummy called me her warrior and gave me the best chin rub.
I sniffed and sniffed but the treasure wasn't in the cave. I don't think it was ever there and the pirates were fooling us all, trying to knock us off one by one so we would never find where they had buried it. After our treacherous rock hugging walk back, we sat down on the edge of the world and watched the sea nip at our toes as we drank from our water bottles and quenched our hardy thirsts under the soaring sun. If the sea couldn't get us, the wind tried instead, so we held onto each other, two brave intrepid explorers.
Our boat came back to get us, and as we jumped aboard, we heard a cheer rise from our crew mates. We didn't know who it was for until a lady bent down and ruffled my curly Poo locks and said they had all watched me as I'd lead the way for Mummy, along the side of the cliff edge. This gave me tummy tickle rights for all the journey back to the port as we snuck up into the cabin with the privileged class, and the deck mates outside donned the yellow oil skins to keep them dry.
Over raging swelling seas, angry that none of us had been sacrificed to its tempest, we bounced so high that we flew from our seats. I clung between Mummy and a lovely Canadian lady who let me use her leg as my cushion. Between them, they kept me warm and safe until we landed on Iona, a pretty little island where I could run on the small beach before exploring the spiritual grounds of monks and nuns. I wasn't allowed into the Abbey itself and when Mummy popped in for thirty seconds to take a photo, I screamed the place down so loudly that someone asked if I was the wind whipping up a storm. Mummy came back straight away and took me down to the beach again to wait for the big boat so we could go home and have a nap before I was allowed to see my new friend, Cleo, again.
The big boat arrived and Captain Callum who was driving it, left his handy mate in charge so he could come and find me. He'd heard there was a little celebrity Poo on board all the way from London so he took me up to his deck and let me drive the ferry across the water as he gave me instructions and taught me how to be a Captain's Mate. I liked Callum and let him tickle my tummy as a thank you.
After a quick nap, Cleo and I discovered another beach together. It was even longer than Silversands, and we walked from beginning to end, with the sea mist dampening our fur as the sun began to dip in the sky above. We played with our own reflections and tried to lick jelly fish (which made our mummies shout from afar). It was our last walk together so we splashed and dug and chased and pranced as much as we could until the sun disappeared and we knew it was time to leave the misty magic of a secret Mull beach that no other soul had ever discovered.
Instead of heading to Bertie though, we went to see Cleo's Nana again, to warm our paws on her glowing fire, and to give her some kisses before we had to leave Magical Mull for good the next day. Nana made sure we had full bellies and after some cheesecake and ice cream, a doze and a Nana cuddle, Mummy and I said goodbye to our new family.
We were sad to climb into Bertie that night as we had seen beaches we didn't even know were on the map, climbed rock faces we never knew we could do, felt the spiritual power of abbots and nuns, and most of all, been welcomed into a beautiful family who's hospitality made us feel humbled to share. I was sad to be leaving my new little friend who still ran with the joy of a puppy and has the most adorable face that needs to be covered in kisses, but I've made Mummy promise that we will go back again because I liked being part of a big family where my tummy gets rubbed and I'm allowed sneaky biscuit corners when Mummy isn't looking.