Traveling somewhere new is inspired by many things, oftentimes these things are nature dependent and fleeting at best. For Japan we chose spring in part for the weather but also for the chance of seeing the cherry blossoms. In Norway we hiked the Preikestolen despite the overcast skies and many a boat tour was taken in the rain. We are holding off on Iceland for a few years but you can bet I’ll be hoping for a glimpse of the northern lights. Point is hoping for natural phenomenon while traveling is a fools errand.
Our fools errand for the highlands was to see some Highland Coo – the endearing Scottish term for cow. Surely a domestic animal will be more reliable than a force of nature.
Apparently not. The Scots clearly have far more regular cows than the infinitely cuter variety, who would have thought. By the time we were leaving Inverness after many, many tiny road detours at seemingly every field we were beginning to think the Highland Coo was a myth. Enter google – the great myth buster – where we found a random blog post about a tiny town called Duirinish just before the bridge to Skye that allows their Coos to free range through the town. So we set off on this crazy steep one-lane road “with pull-offs” meaning slightly death defying pits of gravel slightly off the road which allows oncoming traffic to squeeze by you.
We arrive to the town which consists of about 20 houses with two roads, they have a little stream that runs through the middle with hilly fields all around them. And zero coos. We park for a minute readying ourselves to pout when off in the distance my eagle eyes spot a single elusive bovine up on a ridge. We zip over to get as close as possible and hop out of the car only to realize that the entire herd was gathered right below a gate right in front of our eyes.
Oh the joys of success!
There was one coo closest to the fence down the hill which Adam and I took turns walking to as Zeke had decided that he preferred his coos from a distance. This was about the time that we came to our second realization about natural sights…they don’t always cooperate. Particularly when this sight is an animal with, perhaps, slightly less brain power blessings than others (not that I hold that against you, coos).
We learned a lot about Coos that day. Namely that singing, humming, sneezing, clicking your tongue will do nothing to entice these animals to turn your way. The one thing that did finally work: a shit ton of patience. Like coo-pies worth of patience.
But man did it pay off. Thank you Highland Coo, who I’ve named Bessie. I heart you.