One of the least mentioned but long-lasting benefits of ocean cruising is that you make friends from all over the world. When our friends Seathan and Audrie on the yacht Rehua, currently in the Seychelles, saw where we are Audrie introduced us via email to Seathan’s mother Etive who lives outside Oban. Etive invited us to visit, and even offered up her driveway as a parkup. We relished the idea of local knowledge to helps us formulate a travel plan.
Etive met us at the bottom of her lane and guided us to a perfect level spot beside her house, with the kind of long-distance view we’ve grown to love about Scotland.
We spent a couple of delightful hours enjoying the company and the garden views and good conversation before Jack and I retreated to the van for a good night’s sleep. Wind and rain rolled in overnight and by morning we stayed home as it poured, lingering over our morning coffee and catching up on writing.
Finally, we dashed between the raindrops to the conservatory and found Etive trying to summon a tennis tournament on the uncooperative TV. I was happy to discover a fellow tennis fan and we had more to talk about for awhile until another brief break in the rain urged us back to the van for the afternoon.
Seathan’s brother Nial arrived later and we were treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner complete with bubbly and more fine conversation.
We peppered them with questions about where to go and when to go there, which direction of travel is optimal, and what to skip. They offered up suggestions we hadn’t yet considered, and we noted the relative level of enthusiasm for places we thought we’d like to see.
We were disappointed to learn neither has been to Shetland, a place that has called to me since I was a child. I don’t know why, especially since I love trees and Shetland doesn’t have any. We want to visit the Hebrides, too, and the Highlands and Edinburgh. There’re so many places to go in this small country, and talking to Etive and Nial hasn’t helped us formulate an itinerary at all. The list just keeps getting longer. So much for local knowledge.