Taking the High Road: Parting of Ways
Today we reach the parting of ways as Sheila and Simeon head southwards for home after one final selfie. I am staying two more days and today my hosts offer me a range of options. The Great Glen and Loch Ness sound tantalising, as does the Nature Reserve, but the weather map shows huge patches of white over the central Highlands, so we head instead for Oban and the Sea Life sanctuary.
It is fifteen years since Margaret and Geoffrey were last here and, in many ways, it hasn’t changed. Compared to the huge, modern facilities I have seen previously in London and Baltimore, this is a small, friendly, more homely version, in a wonderful woodland setting.
My attempts to emulate sister ‘David Bailey’ Sheila are thwarted by red squirrels that refuse to come out of hiding, and a heron that stands still for so long it almost convinces me it is a statue. However, the seals and otters are on good form and happy to ‘smile for the birdie’.
We learn that 1 in 30 million lobsters is bright orange due to genetic mutation – and spend the rest of the day trying to calculate the sample size needed to determine that fact.
Having admired the local sea life in its preserved state, it might be a little tasteless to admit that we dine tonight at the local fish restaurant, hopefully in a respectful manner on sustainable stock. And having heard all about pollution of our seas (more plastic than fish these days) and the risk to the food chain, we all vow to look for the blue tick when buying fish in future – and to avoid rock salmon at all times, having been told that it is often an endangered species of shark which needs to be conserved rather than eaten.
[Tomorrow: Downtime and Scrabble.]