Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Great Canal Journeys

Loch Eil and Loch Linnhe

Another series from the wonderful Timothy and Prunella. Floppy hats, lots of whisky and wine, and the following of dreams.

Two of the series were dedicated to crossing Scotland, with not a narrow boat in sight. The first episode travelled the length of the Caledonian Canal, seeking out Nessie along the way, and passing through the locks of Neptune's Staircase near Fort William before heading out to the open sea.
Very dark - Neptune's Staircase

Last night Tim and Pru started in Balamory, ahem, Tobermory on Mull, where I was disappointed to see that Archie's castle isn't actually pink. They then braved (but were defeated by) treacherous seas on the crossing to Iona, eventually having to resort to the heaving and tilting Caledonian McBrayne ferry instead, the only local vessel strong enough to withstand the waves. On Iona, stranded by the storm, they reflected on this important place of pilgrimage. Once the weather improved, and after bypassing a terrifying looking whirlpool, they crossed the Crinnan Canal by puffer ship to Loch Fyne. Fresh lobster on board, but not an oyster in sight.


We made our own pilgrimage to Iona in 1995, to see John Smith's grave. Thankfully the ferry crossing was smooth, the journey made only mysterious by mist. If nothing else, this series always serves to remind me that life is short, memories may not last, that a loving partner should be cherished forever, and that seeking out harmless pleasures on a daily basis is possibly the secret to a happy existence.

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