The Gloup

So I said, ”Dear, what the hell is The Gloup?”

“It’s where we’re going to park-up tonight,” she cheerfully offered.

I thought it must be a theme park from Gwyneth Paltrow. Turns out that The Gloup has the Full Monty of attractions, a free overnight park-up, decent view, a reasonable hike to a massive geo which is a collapsed sea cave or blowhole, and Marce’s favorite, an honesty box right in the parking lot. I’m thinking of putting a warning sign on Escape Velocity that says “This van makes sudden stops for Honesty Boxes.”

On the way over to the sunny trailhead we stopped at an innocent-looking plaque that told a grossly different story. It seems that indeed the geo is no more than a mile away but the scenic rocky coastline goes on for miles. Out came the hiking boots and poles. We’ve seen at least a half dozen interesting geos, most of which are wonderful. However, to avoid another Rule #2 infraction (don’t get jaded) I quickly smiled and said, ”I’ll do it.”

Making our way along an undulating narrow path lined with sunny tall golden grass that snapped as you extricated your foot after every step, we approached the payoff. You see, that’s the thing about geos. There’s little to see at ground level.

The fencing is to keep those pesky sheep from falling in.

You really can’t see much until you creep cautiously up to the edge of the geo and peer down into the cavernous, vertigo-inducing…hole. Still, it’s a fine hole and the best of them have a water feature of some sort. It’s really kind of magical.

It turns out that Marce, when confronted with dizzying heights, is afraid she’ll take that final step out into the ether. Yours Truly, on the other hand, instantly thinks of the first few pages of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in which he imagines, in a flight of fancy, the passengers blown out of flight AI 420 over London somersaulting through the stratosphere, some even recognizing their overhead luggage tumbling nearby. Same result. I say, ”To each their own.”

And so it was.

You see, the problem is that Yours Truly has a curiosity compulsion that I knew would inexorably suck us into, if that plaque is to be believed, a long and arduous tour of this rough and rocky Scottish coastline.

A natural bridge used to connect these cliffs.

Turns out the best part of this day was the incredible Scottish coastal landscape. We trudged along with my throbbing knee becoming more insistent until a “Dangerous Conditions” sign blocked our path. The remnants of a wooden staircase still clung to the rock wall leading down to a private beach but that went with the same earthquake. Recognizing my opportunity I said, “Well, it must be time to turn back.”

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