Horrible rainy morning and we are planning now to head for Kip Marina as it doesn't look as if things are going to improve very much so we are going to head for home tomorrow.
Walked along the shore of Loch Goil which is a branch of Loch Long, chatted to some French tourists who were messing about on the shore. Took some video clips with the GoPro which I hope will turn out Ok.
Headed back to the boat and as we were about to launch the dinghy I spotted a small tower close by in the trees and also a sign further up the shore in the opposite direction from our previous wanderings. We decided to investigate and the sign proved to be for the International Institute of Peace Studies which is apparently run here by a Dr Thomas Clough Daffern. Also worth noting that just near the entrance I saw some giant hogweed which I have not seen since a family holiday to Scotland when I was a child, amazing the things you can remember!
Really strange place, a sort of small castle and a guy called Mark from Liverpool met us at the door. Strangely we were invited in to see the place which was one of the weirdest places I have been to, totally unexpected. The place was just stacked with books and papers, a shocking fire hazard, and all kinds of religious symbols and writings. The upper part of the "Castle of The Muses" as it is called contained a chapel where there are prayer meetings and the whole setup was fascinating but crazy in equal measure.
We had a cup of coffee with Mark and I shot some video clips, apparently the Dr taught at Oxford and is currently in Istanbul at some sort of conference. Eccentric just doesn't seem to quite capture the whole setup but I've certainly never been anywhere like it. Mark said that people go there and work for their keep for a while and then just move on, a very "alternative" lifestyle for sure.
Anyway, after an interesting little while we headed back to the boat, hauled up the anchor, and off we went towards Kip Marina. En route we saw seals and porpoises which I liked and it duly poured with rain which I liked far less and it was again freezing cold.
Finally arrived back at Kip having motored all the way as there was no wind at all. Had a nice hot shower, my first since leaving home, and felt better for it. We had the last of the chicken meals that I had brought with me tonight which was nice. After dinner Glen and I struggled to get some video onto his iPad and finally only managed it by sending it to him as an email message. All the farting about meant we didn't get to bed until about 01:00 which didn't matter because we hadn't got to get up in the morning.
All in all a fascinating day. I will look into the details of the "Castle of The Muses" when I get home but in all honesty I reckon people would get quite a shock if they booked in without knowing beforehand what the place is actually like!
Business card of Dr Thomas Clough Daffern
Notes about volunteering for work written by Mark.