25 October 2010

Across the top

Today we drove from Thurso to Durness. Across the whole of the north of Scotland.
We started off and the Thurso Meuseum, which has the very jazzy name, but is still basically a museum, it did help us work out he answer to a question which had bothered us the whole time we were there, "what the hell do all these people do?" I mean, for a town in the middle of know where, it was really quite large, and from what we could see, had no industry, like fishing of stuff that is really obvious. It turns out that in the 50's the government decided it was a suitalbe remote place to put a nuclear power plant. It produced power happliy for about 30 years, as well as being the location for general nuclear power experiment of various types. Around 10 years ago, it was decided to shut the thing down. Everyone now feels there is around 30 years worth of work to clean the thing up, well that was worth while wasn't it!
Any way, moving on, literally. Our next stop was a little museum in the middle of know where (actually it was just outside Bettyhill, but any way. I can see there being a fair bit of 'middle of nowhere'ing over the next few days, as really there are a lot of really small places here. They are marked on the map like real places, but when you get there there is a locked toilet block and not a lot else. This is kind of sucking for me, Neil just finds a tree, or some tall shrubs, as there aren't a lot of trees either). Anyway, the museum was all about the Clearances. The first sign we saw about this was driving up the east coast, it said "Historic Clearance Centre" and both Neil and I (in our respective heads) thought I wonder what they sell there and why are they allowed to sell historic stuff anyway?
On thinking about it more, and remembering the Jamie novel a little better, I remember that a heap of Highlanders were tipped off their (admittedly rented) lands back in the olden days. In fact a lot of these people came to Australia, Canada and New Zealand to, you know, settle our countries. The things were all very interesting and the people where treated very badly, but I do have to think what would have happened to them if they have stayed in their dirt huts. I think there certainly would have been a lot less tough people in Australia.
Next I found this cache that was meant to be a 400m walk to a waterfall, off the side of the main road. Unfortunately there turned out to be a very wet cliff between us and the waterfall :( we did get some great photos, and slightly wet feet.
Last stop for the day was Smoo caves, which we went to last time (it got a one line entry, not quite mostly harmless, but it's an improvement), but that was when I didn't know there was an Earth cache in there, so we had to go again this time :P Still very very impressive.

1 comment:

Fay said...

Good I'm getting another dose of "vicarious travel".