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‘Reading Haldane has transformed the way I understand the Highlands. He taught me how to follow on foot the routes of the drove roads, and to look for the patches of open ground that would have been the “stances” of the drovers: the resting-places, close to water and on level ground, where the men could sleep and the livestock could graze. And he introduced me to the drovers themselves: these hard men, the long-distance lorry-drivers of their day, accustomed to the boredoms and rigours of their journeys, and equipped with internalized sat-navs of astonishing accuracy. They navigated not from maps but from memories, stories and gossip . . .’
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