Saturday, April 30, 2011

An early supper with the Twelve Apostles

Upon leaving Loch Ranza, a pesky head wind got up and as we were by now getting hungry (it was past midday)...

...we were delighted to come across the Catacol Bay Hotel. It enjoys a magnificent situation under Meall nan Damh (570m) but it looked a bit run down. However we were cold and hungry... we landed on the awkward stony beach and made our way up to the hotel.

The welcome was warm, despite our dry suits, and the Guinness was excellent. We opted for breaded haddock and chips, which was served quickly, with a crisp, freshly prepared salad. All in all, we enjoyed our visit.

By the time we left, the wind had eased and we passed the Twelve Apostles of Catacol. They were built for crofter families cleared from the interior by a landlord who wanted to turn their crofting land over for a deer shooting estate. The plan was that they would turn into seafarers and fish the seas for a living. Each cottage has a differently shaped dormer window. If one of the wives needed to contact her husband if he was out fishing at night she would place a candle in the window. The appropriate fisherman would get the message, depending if he remembered what shape his window was. Anyway, David and I knew this scheme had been doomed. An exposed shore and only a rudimentary jetty meant no easy landing in a storm.

Crossing Catacol Bay, we looked back at the Twelve Apostles and thought of those who had been cleared from the land for others' sport.