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  • Writer's pictureAsha

Badachro - the place where I faced my biggest fears!!!

When we got our cockpit enclosure we planned to sail with it erected only downwind while flying the jib. We quickly figured out that we can sail sheltered in this wonderful contraption with the wind on the beam, nose, or wherever it chooses to blow from while carrying the main and the jib. This discovery transformed our sailing life during inclement weather. For this very reason, leaving Loch a'Chadh-fi in the early morning hours on the 10th of September in the pouring rain didn't fill us with dread. Quite the opposite filled me with gratitude at not having to be dressed in full foul weather gear and standing in the rain for the ten-hour trip.

I was hoping our next destination would have a shop as we were on day 11 of no shopping. Our stocks of fresh fruit and vegetables were nonexistent and worse of all, we had nearly run out of booze! Eight hours later we arrived in Loch Gairloch and dropped the hook near a picturesque village called Badachro. I could say that Badachro, unfortunately, doesn't have a shop but there are other forces at play here - we have an unspoken and unwritten record-setting challenge of how long can we survive without going to a shop, so without complaint, we settled into this lovely spot. Well, I guess a bit of shop cheating went on as Badachro has a lovely pub and a fantastic pizza place in a converted horsebox equipped with a wood-burning pizza oven which we visited. Such a treat!

Mark was working on a video so I made myself busy with baking bread, knitting, washing off the mud picked up with the chain and anchor in the previous anchorage, writing and strumming my guitar. I can proudly say that I have a certain level of skill with all of the above-mentioned except the guitar, but practice makes progress...

When Episode 11 of Adventure Now Season II was finally released, we celebrated with pizza and a pint on the terrace of the Badachro Inn on a rainy evening. The next day we were free to explore the beautiful area of this coastal village. Following the advice of some locals, we strolled through the village, turned left, and then found a gate leading to the slopes overlooking the harbor. A nicely done placard with 3D writing kindly informed us that we were most welcome to the torr. By the way, I didn't know what a torr was so looked it up and found that this word has a few meanings. The most likely one in this case, is the Scottish-Gaelic translation which means a hill or mountain. The message also mentioned the presence of highland cattle on these lands, which put me off walking any further. I kept reading and found out that cows with calves can be aggressive. The sing went on to say that whilst the owners of the land do not charge for passing through, the cows just might. That made my stomach drop so far down that even the final sentence promising fantastic views from the top and a friendly well-wishing to enjoy one's wonders couldn't outbalance the prospect of meeting highland cattle. I felt like the last two sentences were there to mock me! The guardian demon in my head was sniggering "Oh yeah, go on, the cattle might kill you but also might not, you'll be grand!"

Mark read the message too but entered the premises without hesitation. Hoping that September is not the season for calves, and maybe the animals are nowhere near our path, I followed. I am not going to say like a fool, just followed.

There was a broad path leading through the land, with hills on the starboard and a stream below in a valley on the port. I trotted along looking anxiously around for any signs of cattle and finally, we found them - up on the hill they were grazing, undisturbed by our presence. Well, they weren't disturbed, but I was. Mark advised that we should be loud and clear and make our presence known so they don't feel like we sneaked upon them. I didn't know what to say to that. I just wanted to float by as quickly as possible, unnoticed, silent like a ghost, but I didn't know where else they might be. Having spotted the cattle I decided to retreat towards the gate but then felt I cannot just stand there like a loony and wait for Mark, I'll go with him. Surely he knows how to deal with these big, hairy cows with horns as long as my arms, or maybe longer... I went back.

The walk continued whilst the cattle grazed calmly at a safe distance and Mark reassured me should we need to escape we can go down the slope towards the stream. I looked down to assess the "escape route" and there she was! A big, hairy ginger beast with massive horns. I am totally excused for calling it ginger as one ginger can call another ginger, ginger. I didn't know whether it was a cow or a bull but found that out later, but let me get to that. Upon locating this obstruction in my escape route I urged Mark with a screeching voice that we should go, and now would be the time. Mark kindly suggested that I should chill out and then said "Don't worry, it's not going to come near us". This statement afforded me some comfort until said ginger beast boldly walked right up to us. When I say right up to us, I mean close enough to hear and feel the breath from its nose. It looked us up and down, or at least I thought it did, although we couldn't see its eyes through its ginger fringe. I decided that the best place for me was to stand behind Mark. Despite the excessive eating that occurred during our time in the more northern latitudes I still don't think he made much of a safety barrier between me and ging. Whilst I remained scared and silent, Mark offered some words that he deemed to be of a calming nature to this huge bulk standing right in front of us, and to my great relief, the creature decided not to trample me to the ground and tear me to shreds with these horns, and nonchalantly carried on down the path. It paused for a second and scratched its belly with her back hoof revealing her udder and that's how I learned it was a cow. I survived, and despite the fact that our path led further into the cattle-infested land I felt somehow better. On the way back, we saw the cattle in the distance but we made it safely to the gate and I lived to tell the tale.

We wanted to celebrate in the Badachro Inn but unfortunately, it was closed along with the pizza place so we launched the dinghy despite a very low tide and returned to Altor. What an adventure! It must be up there with the storm on the Irish Sea although Mark strongly disagrees with me on this point.

The following day we left Badachro, highland cattle, and Loch Gairloch and headed for Rona.

Would you not run for the hills or the torr....

Maybe just a big furball....

On the way out from Badachro in Gairloch to Rona.

Another boat graveyard on the beach in Badachro.

Another boat graveyard on the beach in Badachro.

Badachro Inn is a very pub and has an awesome pizza place beside.

No idea if this mushroom is edible, I didn't try.

On a walk near Badachro, Loch Gairloch.

On a walk near Badachro, Loch Gairloch.

On a walk near Badachro, Loch Gairloch.

The view as promised was really worth it! Badachro, Loch Gairloch.

The cows didn't charge and the view as promised was really worth it! Badachro, Loch Gairloch.

View from the torr over Badachro and Gairloch.

View from the torr over Badachro and Gairloch.

View from the torr over Badachro and Gairloch.

Here is the promise and the warning...

River near Badachro.

View from Badachro Inn.

New Badachro Inn.

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