A Coastal Ghost Town

Posted on June 6, 2012

It’s been an eventful few days, following a mostly uneventful few weeks, punctuating the newly adopted graduate life.

My fiance and I had been talking about giving wild camping a go for quite a while. Having myself never actually wild camped before (my tent-living experiences being limited to my parents’ back garden and, much later, a muddy field full of drunk loud people), the prospect of sleeping under a starry night sky (his experience) was romantic sounding enough to sell me.

I will post more about the camping later on, but first – we packed up the stuff, perhaps overpacked which I usually tend to do, and began the journey with a couple of his mates on a drive to Polphail, a long-abandoned town in a western Scottish peninsula. It was a sunny day and there was a very pretty view of the sea and the various isles in the distance, in stark contrast to this place.

Wandering around the ruins (being careful where to step with rubble, manholes and unstable roofing everywhere) was quite a gloomy experience. Houses and public buildings which were never even used or lived in, left for decades to do nothing but fall apart and decay. A relic of the past, maybe, but one which never really existed in the first place.

Graffiti indicated a recent presence, perhaps attempting to reclaim the place as a make-shift outdoor art gallery, but even then an air of pessimism ran through the overall “theme”.

We had never seen anything quite like it, and the slabs of grey, choked with overgrowing foliage, certainly had about it a touch of melancholy. Soon it was time to get out of there and commence the camping trip, as the call of nature grew more by the minute. But that in itself was to be a challenge…

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