Over the tears of the fallen Part five.
A cast of Hundreds.
The locals walked in small groups, huddled, chatting together, when it was possible to hear the others speaking with a hood covering your head and the wind howling at the edges of it you may well have heard the words, “dead”, “drowned”, “holed”, “capsized”, that is if you could hear anything at all over the howling of the wind and crash of the waves on the shore. While these groups milled around, their small battery operated torches vainly trying to pierce the night, I headed towards the quay at the shipyard.
I was still young at that time and clambering over even slippery seaweed covered rocks in near blackness was still within my abilities even if dangerous to myself and even the most dexterous and able of people.
The tide was out and there was a fair drop to it in southern Argyll, where unless is it was a neap tide twenty to twenty-six feet was the average tidal span, and with long, boulder strewn, shingle shores in the area that we walked in daylight; it would have been easy to see a body but at night with no moon or stars visible it was almost impossible.
Any large stone could have been a curled body, any rock actually a head. I switched off my flashlight and continued towards the old shipyard quay in the darkness. I had walked this stretch of shore almost every day of my life and knew it well though I also knew there was a good chance that I was risking a twisted ankle or even a broken leg. See it in sunshine as the tide travels through the loch, watching playful seals, dolphins and once in a while whales reconnoitring the confines of the loch, predating upon the abundant sea life you could imagine this a paradise but it was not; it was dangerous and difficult, awkward and always Hazardous.
There was much that was beautiful about Kintyre, especially in the summer, warmth, beautiful silver beaches, golf, good fishing and so many historical sites to see that the mind boggles at their strangeness and diversity but in the winter, all that is gold or silver fades what was, in sunshine, beautiful, becomes in winters gloom stark and sere.
I love this place but recognise why some stay and others are desperate to leave.
The harsh and forbidding Atlantic Ocean borders the peninsula, the tides are often horrendous, the weather unpredictable and the storms monstrous.
Again I digress but perhaps you needed that information to know the people of this small peninsula, the lives that they led and even the thoughts in their head.