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My wife Deborah and I watched TV explorer Bruce Parry’s incredible documentary Tawai and were so moved by it that we wrote him a heartfelt letter inviting him to come and see us here on Mull, so he did.
Documentary-maker Bruce, who will be known to many for his Tribe TV programme, brought a good friend of his Jane Robertson – a primitive skills teacher – who has spent a month in the wild three times, eating only what she can find and wearing only clothes made by herself from animal skins.
I was in for a real treat spending some wild time with the two of them.
I took them to one of my favourite places on earth – and the only place in the UK marked on the OS maps as The Wilderness.
It is a four hour trek to get into The Wilderness here on Mull, and the route I took traverses a very narrow ledge with a hundred foot fall if your not careful. There are only a few ways into it – and all are treacherous.
I found fresh water limpets in the river running down the north edge of this remote and wild area. They are tiny and can be hard to find. Most folk are not even aware they exist.
We also found what we all believed to be fox scat. Not just one pile, but several, along the goat and deer tracks in the wilderness. There are supposed to be no foxes on Mull, so what’s making these very long furry tapered scats up to 12 inches long?
A golden eagle soared low over our heads, thrilling my guests, shadowed by three hoodies and then two ravens. Kestrels were plentiful, which is nice to see after the serious decline in this species throughout much of the UK.
I heard my first skylark of the year singing and when we arrived at the cave we were to spend the night in, an otter popped up to greet us. While exploring other caves out there, we found a lovely fresh water pool in one, large and dripping with liverworts and water. A well worn otter track led right into the cave and down into this pool, they must get attracted to it to wash the salt from their coats after a days fishing, which is not good for their waterproofing. That would be a sight to see.
Before the sunset, we went looking for agate pebbles that can be found there, and delved into some rock pools. We sat and watched in awe as a huge swell crashed in over the reef with great northern divers and shags fishing beyond. It is always so beautiful to immerse myself in the wild like this, and to be with two others that feel just the same way and who shared so many views on life, was a breath of fresh air.
Chatting with Bruce and Jane around the camp fire that evening was fascinating. Sharing our plentiful adventures around the world, we would have needed many more camp fires to share all, but just a glimpse into the exciting lives they have led was inspiring to say the least.
One belief we all shared was that this system is well and truly broken. It works only for the few. The majority are left starving, suffering, struggling and dying. We very desperately need a change before it is too late for most of us and most species we share this wonderful planet with.
Bruce dreams of an egalitarian community like a few of the most beautiful and happiest tribes he visited. Dreams do come true for those brave enough to dream them. Big love to all.