|After lunch, we walked out to this wonderful promontory (25-second clip)|
Monday, 6 May: from lunch to dinner
Lunch was at the branch in Staffin, Skye, of Columba 1400, a community and charitable organization created to give opportunity and enrichment to the young people of this relatively isolated area. The meal was by no means institutional food: a superb tomato soup, salad, fine sandwiches, and a dessert plate that got passed around, loaded with pastries and the best shortbread I have ever had.
After lunch, there was an optional walk, which we chose to join. It took us down to the shore and then up along the edge of a cliff to the promontory shown in the video at the top of the page. There was one part of the trail that was so narrow, above a precipitous long drop, that even I got nervous. I can only imagine what Mark, with his tendency to vertigo, felt while picking his way along the path.
The two pictures to the right really belong on the previous page, since I took them before lunch, but they fit better here. The upper one is of a plant that I did not ask Pol about: he was my source of botanical information. The lower picture is of reindeer moss, I’m pretty sure.
It was raining on this walk, and I used only my cell phone. Less versatile than my Canon SLR, but relatively rain-resistant. More description below the pictures.
People tended to take lots of pictures of sheep. I don’t believe that I have all that many such shots in my files here, but the first picture in the block to the upper left shows a bunch of the adorable creatures.
For some reason, Mark and I both tend to notice nonconformist stones, especially pink ones. I think he brought one back home with him, but the rock in the second picture was a bit large for that, as you see by comparison with my foot there. I guess the other pictures in the block don’t need much comment, except maybe for the shot at the bottom left, which gives you some hint of the amount of rain that was falling around us.
At the champagne reception before the dinner this evening. Almost everyone
is in view, though many have their back
to the camera. From the left, Ed and Mary chat with Cari; back there against the left-hand window, only Linnea is
identifiable, at least in the big version of the picture; at the next window, Mark is talking with Harriet and Manda;
and finally, at the right, Martha is enjoying a chat with Wendy and Donna.
Dinner was a formal affair, preceded by a champagne reception in the parlor of our hotel, the Kinloch Lodge. In point of fact, our optional afternoon walk had taken long enough that Mark and I did not have time to clean up much before the meal. We just ran back to our digs and changed into our best togs (no kilt now: that wouldn’t show up till we got to the train), and ran over from our smaller building to the main site. As it happened, we were among the first to get there, maybe we could have taken more time after all.
There was indeed champagne on offer — we gladly accepted the offer — and little hors d’œuvres that heralded the excellence of the dinner to come.
The meal itself had an appetizer of scallops with crab mousse, next course was monkfish and hake, and then a main course of venison, though because of past experience, Mark had fish instead. Dessert was a passion fruit parfait, with a scoop of banana ice cream that was the most intensely flavored and delicious imaginable. The meal as a whole was marvelous.
Last, I close with four pictures taken at dinner. The lighting was not great, but there they are. Two pictures along the top row of our table, it’s Mark, Harriet, Pol, Bill, Cari, Linnea, and Jamen. For the other two pictures, I could fit the cast of characters into the captions.
And from there, off to our room to rest ourselves for another fine day of walking.