Saturday 26th April 2008, Day 2, 0300 approx. It was too much. The rain, the wind, the lack of food, warmth and alcohol, knowing that we would die here, and if we survived, we would have to make love to each other to provide warmth/quench our sexual appetite. We had to go back, back to the village where we grew up. This was too much. Without transport this was no mean feat, some of us may never see our loved ones or smell strawberries again.
Let me tell you an epic story about death, survival, betrayal, love and public drunkenness.
Friday 25th April 2008, Day 1, 1900 approx. We watched as my father drove away on the cold sandy road, back to our little hamlet a few miles away. Our provisions lying on cold stones overlooking the bitter, grey sea. Rain was pouring on our light jackets. No turning back here.
I was with a good friend of mine, Alex McKeating, nicknamed Fred. A rugged explorer was he, seasoned in the seasons, but I could see the look in his eye. He had never had such a challenge ahead of him. I thought nothing of it for now, thinking I was in safe hands, and we picked up our provisions. We headed for a valley few knew of, one where we would have to rely on our survival skills. The Valley Of Eternal Sand.
We walked over large smooth stones for o'er half an hour, through mounds of dead plants. It was hard with what we were carrying, not to mention not being able to see because of the cruel conditions. I carried a tent, tentpegs, a groundsheet, a sleeping bag, a crate of beer, a sturdy acoustic guitar, some fuel for fire and some apple schnapps. Fred carried a towel and a bottle of Jack.
Friday 25th April 2008, Day 1, 1930 approx.
We were greeted with the site of a dune valley, it was just marram grass and wet driftwood. Nevertheless, we were determined to pitch some form of accomodation for the night for better chances of survival. The Scottish winters aren't known for their kindness, and the gales and rains were unrelentless, battering cold droplets of water into our eyes. We lay down the groundsheet and pegged it down to stop it blowing away. It resembled a small swimming pool.
I got the tent out of its pack, and it was almost snatched from my very fingers. It was virtually impossible to pitch, we had no what idea we were doing. The weather made us dillusional. Fred was convinced he was Lionel Ritchie and I was absolutely adamant I was a second violinist in The Royal Polish Philharmonic Orchestra. I mimed out Beethoven symphonies whilst Fred sang 'Dancing On The Ceiling' very loudly.
"I give up! There's no possible way this is going to work!" I shouted. Fred sighed, he knew I was right. He came up with a huge breakthrough that saved our lives.
"If we peg the top of the groundsheet on the dune, and the bottom of it on the floor, we can have a shelter!" we bellowed over the wind. It was genius! Small sketch, the straight line resembling dune, the slash resembling groundsheet:
After doing this with relative ease, we stuck everything we had under the makeshift shelter, along with our shivering bodies. This saved us from the rain and kept everything relatively dry. We cracked open a beer.
Friday 25th April 2008, Day 1, 2100 approx.
We had finished off most alcohol, had a rave and had written MORDOR in huge letters on a dune. Currently, we were sitting on top of the tallest dune around, shouting at an oil rig some 50 miles away with boyish glee. We looked over at our shelter, it was genius. We sat here and waited for one more member of our party to arrive, a one Jamie Cameron, where we enjoyed many bonfires at his place before.
Hearing the news he had arrived at the same place where we had, we trudged/fell over the half mile walk to meet the newest member. We had told him we had a roaring fire and 2 tents on the go. He might be a little disappointed.
We met him soon after and were enlightened to find that he had brought kindling and matches, a tent and some bottles of Grolsch.
Things were looking up for us.
Part 2 coming up, when I can be arsed to write it.