Renaissance Camp


image:  Sandwood Bay from Undiscovered


Sandwood Bay in Sutherland
in days gone by only reachable
after a twenty-mile trek across moor and mountain.
Nowadays a road ties it to so-called civilisation,
a retrograde step.

My renaissance camp would set up there
back in time, like a Tardis,
I’d wander the pristine shore
rejoicing in the sounds of the sublime
the swish of sea, the cry of guillemot
the scream of dive bombing oystercatcher.

Mermaids would whisper their stories
into my ear to re-invent for the children
who’ve accompanied me there –
sturdy trekkers that they were,
receptive to wilderness and beauty.

They’ve picked up the baton
in search of remote places
now that trekking is behind me,
renaissance of the seeds sown so long ago.

North West Scotland from Google Earth Edited by Sally Hutt

North West Scotland from Google Earth Edited by Sally Hutt 

For Poetic Bloomings Camping Challenge, day 20   “Camping is an escape, but it could be a chore as well. It’s time to re-invent the experience. Pick the one place where you wouldn’t mind setting up camp . Replace the tent for a cabana, or the woods for a Hawaiian beach front. Give it a fresh face”



All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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43 Responses to Renaissance Camp

  1. One of my favourite places – the BBC finally got round to including Sandwood Bay in the ‘Coast’ series of programmes. This is probably not a good thing – might get even more crowded. When I first walked there in 1973 we were quite alone – except for the ghosts and James McRory-Smith.


    • Yes, but Sally tells me that I got it wrong about the road, so it’s still quite a trek, which will put off the littering trippers. I’m looking forward to the Coast programme tomorrow. We were there the first time in the late 60’s, and again in the 70’s. Each time we saw no-one all day.


  2. Ash says:

    Wonderful experience 🙂


  3. You knew it in its glory days, Viv, so you were privileged. Once the road to Tofino was paved, all was lost! I love that you planted the seed for trekking in children’s hearts – a gift they will enjoy for the rest of their lives. I try to do the same with the small voyagers I spend time with.


  4. Bodhirose says:

    Feels a bit wistful as you pass the baton on to the children to carry on the camping but that’s the way it goes… Sounds like wonderful memories of a special place.


  5. What a wonderful place to set camp.. I still do hike a kayak quite a lot so a place like this would be golden, especially before the road was built…


  6. billgncs says:

    love the Tardis reference too


  7. Wonderful piece. Love how you brought us to the way it once was – as though you’d arrived in another time, when people were scarce and had the knowledge of the scout – to find one’s way, to know the truth of nature, to travel by skill and footwork. Also love that you have passed on the seeds. Well done. (bytheway I got a miniature TARDIS for my bithday..I keep it on my bedside table and imagine such travelings as these). Thank you.


  8. Loved the references to both Dr. Who and to the mermaids. Sounds like such a lovely place, and how wonderful to have passed the tradition of travel there on to the children. Scotland, a place I dream of visiting one day. Thanks so much for taking us here to the bay.


  9. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your Scotland travel..and the more read about
    the experience of so many people’s travels in poetry..
    the more i wanna go..
    as truly i’ve been never been much of anywhere but my hometown..stay..

    And i think as my grandfather is from Ireland..
    that is close to Scotland
    and the place..
    i will one day go..:)


  10. This is lovely, Viv–it brought to mind some memories of my own when as a kid we vacationed on Catalina Island off the coast of California. We were in a cove on the side of the Island that didnt’ get powerful waves and that’s where we actually rode horses in the surf that inspired my poem for dVerse. Beautiful


  11. oh I love the idea of tramping around, listening to the mermaids whispers and telling the tales – nice K


  12. rosross says:

    Thanks for the delightful journey Viv.


  13. Mary says:

    You bring back memories of my time in Northern Scotland too. Not exactly in the same area you were but… Such impressive scenery. At the time I was there I was awed by the cliffs next to the sea. I considered it then to be the most beautiful place on earth.


  14. Polly says:

    Love the whispering mermaids.


  15. restlessjo says:

    You sound a little sad and wistful, Viv. I like your renaissance. 🙂
    It’s a bit of a hike, even from here, but it does look astounding. I’ll watch the programme.


  16. Charlotte says:

    It’s sounds glorious!


  17. thehutts says:

    That brought back some lovely memories of my trips with you as a child and my subsequent trips – one to help a couple of climbing friends climb the stack – Am Buchaille. The next day we walked from Cape Wrath (to which we travelled by car, ferry and bus) along the coast past Sandwood Bay and back to the tents at Sheigra. I will add a labelled google earh map to your media gallery if you want to add it to your post!
    I must get the old family cine film to Woodhorn Museum to get more converted into DVDs!
    Thanks for cheering me up with your poem – now I must get back to work 🙂


  18. ManicDdaily says:

    You evoke the place and mood so beautifully. I am ready to set up shop there too. Thanks. k.


  19. colonialist says:

    Supremely spectacular. Pity about the road.


  20. Reminded me f last years cycle trip to Cape Wrath. Le vely


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