Welly well, it’s been about two weeks since me last update. And what has been accomplished? Well, I’m currently down in the isle of Skye for one, but the journey here was fantastic, in terms of scenery, and people alike. I’m typing this from my tablet right now, so this is a bit more of an arduous job… And unfortunately, due to not having access to a computer, pictures are very minimal this time around. Later on they shall come!
Orkney was wonderful, and just as I remembered it. A peaceful little bastion of civilization at the top of the world. Most of what I got up to involved reading, walking quite a bit (25km stroll on my last day there.. Probably my longest ever all-in-one walk). I hung out with my couchsurfing host peter and his family (many great thanks for having me), and saw some delicious standing stones in the “heart of neolithic Orkney.” even better, was that I got to see the more hidden tombs and ruins in the area, those that the tourist hordes rarely find unless they actually look for themselves. It’s awesome crawling into a 5000 year old tomb, and having it all to yourself in the darkness.
Orkney has a lovely calmness, one that is found in many out-of-the-way places. Having good friends around helps one appreciate those places on more than just that singular level. But after a week, it was time to head to the isle of Skye, via the west coast.
The trip west from the ferry terminal was full of many short trips, mainly from locals as the sparsely populated areas became even sparser. most vehicles that passex me by were tourists – most looking bored and not impressed at the beautifual scenery they were racing through. I even enjoyed a wonderful night on the side of a hill, overlooking a sea loch, watching the sun set on a nearby hilltop castle outside the town of Tongue.
Thanks to john, Ian, Mardo the farmer, robbie, tourist hating Paul and his wife, triumph driving ian, and crazy driving Wulf and his wife for their lifts. And also thanks to Julie and her two children Ewen and Campbell, who were the first ever people to stop for me, JUST to say they were sorry they couldn’t pick me up… And the fates even drew us together once again, to meet down the road in a parking lot, where we ended up exploring a cave together in Durness. (Smoo cave in Durness. 4 pounds for a short, but oddly worth it tour!)
From Durness, I switched my sign to ‘south.’ Oh yes, I carry 2 pieces of taped together cardboard, with each direction on one of the 4 faces. It gets people’s attention, though it may seem a bit meh to others.
Camper van man took me to my first midge ambush… Wow, that was hell. It was as if parts of my arm turned black. Those things crawl into your ears, nose, eyes… Everything. One of my rides laughed maniacally when I had previously told them the midges had left me alone, for the most part.. After that midge attack, I knew why.
Thumbing for vehicles while batting midges probably made me look a bit crazy… Oh, and wind? I’ll never get mad at you for keeping me awake ever again. You are an angel in midge country.
Heather and Derik were next up, and saved me from the hordes. A fun laid back couple who run a cat rescue in Inverness! Being the animal lover I am, I could definitely appreciate that. Unfortunately Inverness was a little out of my way (though I do suppose I could have gone there for the night, looking back on it).. They went out of their way to get me to ullapool – great people.
Once in ullapool I found a campsite to hide away in for the night. I slung my hammock and tarp against a. fence post in a decent a-frame configuration, though I reckon I’m going to get tent poles in the future so that when there are no trees once again, I won’t have an issue pitching my hammock on the ground!
And then I met the first other backpacker/hitcher of my trip, sneaking into the campsite after dark. Of course I forget his name right now, we had a good chat, had a pint, and after we snuck out early the next day, had hobo breakfast in a vacant lot as we discussed our future plans. And as traveller’s do, we went our separate ways. Good luck to you my new found friend.
Skye was now within my sights. Kara, the University instructor of english, took me half way, while old Edward took me to within sight of kyle of lochalsh (he also took me by his house and treated me with coffee and toast!). Insane driver, and got me a ride even further with his friend Kevin, an equally crazy driver. From there, yellow sunglasses man, and finally Paul and his wife got me to my destination. Broadford on the isle of Skye.
Here I met allan the boat builder and boat yard owner, who immediately delved into a conversation about politics, spirituality, philosophy, and existence right of the bat. Funny thing, we’re very much alike I have found. Sometimes you just know when you are going to really get along with someone. we pretty much have our deep talks every night after dinner now.
next I met Dora, my long-haired work companion on the current project – a yacht, which I joined in on right away.
Now, now I am living in the top of an old double decker bus, and feeling quite content. The atmosphere is great, the people extremely nice, and things feel quite right.
I’m not sure how long I’ll be staying, but I think I’m going to want to stay for a decent while. I have no time limit, no real reason to leave soon, so I think ill just do what I’ve been doing, which is going with the flow, really.
The universe provides.
Not all those who wander are lost