Man! What a crazy five days!So I caught the bus from Inverness to Portree on the Isle of Skye. The views on the way there were breathtaking. We got to drive past Loch Ness! It’s much bigger than I thought.
When I got off the bus Friday night, everyone scattered immediately and went home or to their families, but there was one other guy standing at the station with a backpack looking around like me. His name is Charles and he’s from France. We both decided to walk out of town and camp together. He bought me a couple beers from a local convenient store and taught me how to make a camp stove out of a beer can. He was very friendly and helpful.
The next day, we walked back to town and it started raining. We wanted to go walk along the cliffs, but we couldn’t find the right path with all the wind and rain, so we just walked up the road as far as we could. I couldn’t believe it. I was hiking through the wild in Skye.
It was the hardest walk of my life, getting up the first mountain in the pouring rain with a heavy backpack weighing me down. But Charles kept me positive and motivated me to keep going. Here’s a video I took at the top:
As you can tell, I was very excited.
The wind and rain kept picking up and it got so cold, it was dangerous to try to camp out here, so we went back to town. On the sidewalk, there were two girls with backpacks on from Germany. They were traveling around Scotland for holiday and told us all the hostels were full because all the other backpackers on the island were seeking refuge as well. So we ended up having to get a room in the Portree Hotel, which was nice, but expensive.
The girls we met were named Andrea and Elanie (I know I probably spelled that wrong) and they were incredibly nice and wanted to talk alot that night and at breakfast the next morning where I tried haggis for the first time.
The next day, Charles and I wanted to go to the Quiraing, since the pictures that made me want to go to Skye in the first place were of the bizarre rock formations of the Quiraing, so we hitchhiked north. I’d never hitchhiked before so I was kind of nervous, but everyone told me it was normal here and that people do it all the time. Sure enough, the second car we saw stopped and offered a ride. It was a couple from Edinburgh named Silver and Paulina. They were extremely kind and said they were going to the Old Man of Storr, which is another beautiful rock formation. We decided to join them on their trek.
As you can see, the rain hadn’t stopped yet so the rain, wind and Gautama (my bag) made this my hardest challenge I’ve ever experienced, but the view made it more than worth it.
On the way to the bottom, Silver and Paulina gave us their contact info and told us that we could stay in their extra bedroom if we’re ever in Edinburgh. How cool!
So it was hitchhike time again and two German woman drove Charles and I to a hostel in Flodigarry, a town in the northern tip of Skye. This was the beautiful road we got to walk down to get to it:
The hostel was wonderful and the view was unreal. The house was right up the hill from the beach and down the hill from a seaside cliff. We explored both.
At the beach, Charles taught me how to skip rocks like a pro. Here’s another exciting video:
We were sitting on the porch in front of the hostel and saw a rainbow!
The next morning, Charles and I parted ways. He wanted to see the cliff trail and I wanted to see the Quiraing. So I got to spend some time walking alone in the countryside. It was beautiful and there were alot of sheep.
I finally got to the Quiraing and I had to stop myself from passing out from excitement. Just look at how beautiful this! I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
At the end of my walk, I was putting my pant legs back on, when out of nowhere, Charles came walking up from the opposite direction (from the cliffs). Perfect timing. We walked down from the mountains to try to catch a ride in the small village below. The view stayed amazing.
The people that helped us were a French couple named Fabien and Lucy. They stopped at the Old Man of Storr and a car full of Chinese people gave us a lift the rest of the way to Portree. Charles really wanted to drink at the local pub and offered to pay for all my drinks for the night. I did not refuse and we ended up being the most popular table in the bar. Fabien and Lucy came in and joined us and we ended up having long, great conversations about our lives and what we were doing. It was a fun, laugh-filled, perfect evening.
Here’s Fabien and Lucy:
But we lost track of time and the bar closed. Charles and I had nowhere to sleep so we stumbled through Portree looking for a path out of town at 2:00 am using nothing but a headlamp to find our way. It was pretty nuts, but I remember laughing the whole time.
We eventually found a path that led to a small patch of grass by the water so we sloppily set up camp and passed out. The next morning, I looked out of my tent to realize that we were still in town, just in a small park. We were actually sleeping on top of a monument and people were out jogging and walking their dogs. Wow. We had a laugh about that one. But we did get a lovely morning view of the Portree Harbor while we ate breakfast.
That was this morning and Charles had to get on the 11:00 am bus out of town. It was time to say good bye. We were honestly kind of sad. Although we’ve only known each other five days, we felt like very close friends. We spent our days talking non-stop in broken English about our lives, our problems, the future, girls, philosophy, gave life advice, I taught him English, he taught me French, we sang Johnny Cash, The Beatles, and Flight of the Conchords, we learned alot from each other.
If there’s one main thing I can take from these past five days, it’s that you have to throw out your expectations and plans because life doesn’t work like that. You’ll end up disappointing yourself every time. Not once did anything go according to our plan, and instead of being upset about it, we stayed positive, went with the flow, and had the time of our lives. I expected to be alone when I got out here, but I haven’t been alone yet. I cannot wait to see what other surprises are in store for my journey.
[posted from the Portree Library by the high school]