Our guides promised us a surprise for this morning. Unfortunately, they already gave it away with their hints, I believe. Since we do want to set sail right afterward, we have another day with an early breakfast on board The Flying Dutchman.
It is another day of beautiful weather. So far I have been fortunate as the rain always came when I were on board or was so little it was easy to ignore. Considering the group that took this journey a week before even had to skip a day of cycling because it was raining so much…Sure while we are sailing it is a bit chilly, but I now have learned not to dress according to the temperature on board or I will melt on shore.
Learning about bagpipes
At 9a.m. our surprise arrives, and as we all guessed it is a bagpipe player, Sammy, whom we are going to listen to. Sammy is playing to us on two different bagpipes, the one used among others by the army – which is unsurprisingly loud so I am not surprised the enemy would try to escape its sound in the Scottish valleys. That music combined with the echo of the mountains… But he also has an Uilleann pipe or elbow pipe, which’s sound is more appropriate indoors. The mechanism of the Uilleann pipes differs from the ordinary bagpipe in the sack being filled by a kind of pump that the player handles with his right elbow. I did not know before that bagpipes date back to ancient Egypt and actually are wider spread than what I believed. Apparently, bagpipes are not only common in Scotland and Ireland only, but spread over countries from India to Sweden. I am enjoying the introduction into bagpipes far more than I would have expected. Soon, however, it is time for Samy to leave and for us to set sail toward the Isle of Mull.
Since today is a pure sailing day, I will not have a chance to do any cycling but will instead learn a little about sailing. Unfortunately, it is somewhat chilly outside. After an hour on deck, I am feeling like an ice-cube. A rather large one too. So I am retreating into my bunk bed to get warm again and well catch up on some sleep.
Daniel adapts our lunch to the weather. Today he serves us an excellent hot soup with some fresh baguette.
For most of the time though we all stay inside to keep warm, with some breaks to get some air. I do have my chance at some sailing, but it is far less than what I was hoping for.
Our changed schedule from the first days of this tour leaves us with two rides that we haven’t yet accomplished. So if the pier has been fixed by now, we could do these for our last two days of cycling. I am sure the guides will tell us in time…