After a broken night sleep fighting midge bites, we decided to take it slow. Did a few chores around the van; washing up, recycling, looking up walks to do etc. I finally managed to call my mum through Skype too. Packed up sandwiches, water, peanuts and the odd Seabrooks (these and Yorkshire Tea are the must have items when married to a Yorkshire man!) and off we went to the village.
Lochranza is a small beautiful village on the sea front. Walking up to it from the road, the village opens up to the sea. A few sailing and small fishing boats dotted around make room to its ruined castle planted in the middle of the bay.
Conveniently sat and eating our packed lunch on one of the benches around the castle and looking out to the sea, Jamie showed me an article on his mobile phone. “Lesbians and rape - another coming out story” – told in the first person, it is a harsh recounting of what lesbians face in South Africa and how victims of rape are still perceived as the instigators in a country you’d expect more of, America. I handed back the phone quickly to Jamie – I couldn’t read further, it was too hard. Jamie said: “It’s weird to read something like this on Arran, in such beautiful surroundings.”
A few steps further up the village to the ferry port and an impromptu swim in crystal clear clean water, I couldn’t help, but think about his words. A train had crashed in Santiago de Compostela yesterday killing more than 40 people and injuring hundreds. It seemed almost surreal that it had crashed only a week after the one in France and another one in Canada. Syria’s refugees are at a crisis point reports read in The Guardian this morning. Last week there were fears of another Darfur in Sudan, only a couple of years after the country appeared to be rebuilding itself. This is one of the most difficult things to come to terms with when travelling, to my mind at least – death, poverty, atrocities happening all around when you are free to discover the world. Is life played on the roulette at birth? Somehow some can enjoy a year free of work and other responsibilities travelling across Europe when others have to face wars and atrocities nobody should have to.