The Northwest Coast

The road skirting the northwest coast is unpleasant at this time of year. The incessant wind blowing in from the Northern Passage carries a bitter chill and up on the heath, sandwiched between the ocean on one side and low foothills on the other, there is little respite from it. There are few travellers to be seen on the road and only the occasional local, shepherding a small flock of goats or angry-looking sheep grazing on the wiry grasses or guiding a mule-driven cart to or from a neighbouring village. Even the villages themselves are rarely seen, tucked away down in coastal valleys or inlets away from the elements. They are nice places; nicer by far than the bleakness of the heath – cozy and welcoming and full of good honest folk. In warmer months you would find children playing amongst brilliant patches of wildflowers, or pass families travelling to market in the city, but right now nobody leaves the comfort and warmth of their village unless they must.

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