Memories of The Cape Wrath Fellowship
It was the summer of 1968. I was a raw, 16-year-old youth awaiting the results of my “O” levels before becoming a sixth former at a local school in Derby.
It was in July that Anthony (a schoolmate) and I embarked on a hastily arranged cycling holiday, commencing in Scotland. Our equipment was basic; I had a steel-framed Dawes Realmrider bike with 5 gears, of which only 4 worked. Anthony had a Claude Butler with 10 Campagnolo gears. We had bags strapped to our bikes at front and rear, which were bursting with what proved to be mainly non-essential items!
Somehow, we had secured a lift from Derby to Inverness (Cape Wrath)in the back of a lorry which was full of tyres. I remember the journey was endless and uncomfortable, but it didn’t cost us a penny. This was where our cycling journey started.
On the first day of cycling, we set off across Sutherland on a single track road with passing places. The scenery was incredible and I saw my first golden eagle, soaring over a forested hillside. In the middle of nowhere, I recalled we stopped to allow a car towing a caravan to pass by. The car then stopped in front of us and a beaming driver stood in the middle of the road with his arms folded – would you believe, it was our woodwork teacher from school – what were the chances of that?! It later resulted in a rather “testing” evening at his house watching a slide show!
Jim Palin is a retired social worker who never misses an opportunity to explore the great outdoors. He’s got a truly adventurous spirit and has been exploring the mountains, coasts and countryside of the UK and Europe for decades.