On My Own

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After Charles left, I wandered the streets of Portree taking it all in, writing in my journal while looking over the harbor.

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I then spent the majority of the afternoon in the library making my last post.  But after that, it was time to move on.  I decided to seek out someone I met online a while back.

Two years ago, when I first thought of this crazy idea, I was researching Skye and stumbled upon a blog run by a man and a woman called Skye Calling.  There’s the link to it right there.  They post about what it’s like living on this paradise.  Richard and Sue Dorrell rent out cottages for people on holiday and I was able to get in contact with them.  Richard responded the very next day and was very helpful in providing the information I needed.  We emailed each other off and on talking about our lives and what I could expect if I ever made it out there.

So I emailed him from Portree and he gave me detailed instructions on how to get to his house, “Roskhill Barn,” near Dunvegan.  Hitchhiking that far west from Portree was much harder than it had been, but thanks to a man from Collinsey Island (population: 100!), I made it there before nightfall.

I was greeted with coffee, tea, and cake.  It was absolutely wonderful.  The three of us sat in their living area and chatted for hours until it was time to sleep.  I followed a river away from his house and set up camp.  It was my first night alone in the wild.  Sorry for how dark the photos are.

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The next morning, Richard let me use his shower and cooked a delicious breakfast for me.  Eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and beans.  It might have been the best meal I’ve ever had.  It was definitely the most appreciated.

After that, he offered to drive me around the island to show me some places I wasn’t aware of, but needed to check out.  So Richard, Cooper (his border collie), and I drove out to Neist Point.  The westernmost point on the Isle of Skye.  I was able to sneak a picture of him while he was telling me about the area.

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He then said he’d give me a ride back to town so I can set myself up.  We ended up driving for a good portion of the afternoon just talking about the history of Skye and how different the lifestyles were between Scotland and Oklahoma City.  I feel like we both learned alot from our hours of conversation.

We drove through the village of Glenndale, a remote farming community with very few inhabitants.

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He pointed out these big piles of stones and told me how they used to be homes people lived in over 700 years ago.  These now ruined, moss covered structures are several times older than my country.  Very humbling.

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There was a small detour he wanted to show me where there were big stones on the side of the road that had been there since over 1000 years ago, he says.  Like Stone Henge, these rocks were brought here by indigenous people and placed in a circle, but no one really knows why.  Very interesting.

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After thanking him for everything and saying farewell, I was off into the wild again to find a good campsite.

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You can see exactly where I set up my tent in the picture below.  In the middle of the big cliff in the background, there is a big, grassy patch.  If it looks really high up, that’s because it is.

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Once I got up there with Gautama, I was exhausted.  So I took this video.

Here are some pictures of my view from camp this morning.

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Unbelievable.  But now I’m afraid there might be some bad news.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the weather out here is completely different from how I thought it would be.  (Wikipedia is a dirty liar.)  It is much colder than I thought it would be.  Yesterday it got up to just over 40 degrees fahrenheit.  Throw massive amounts of wind and daily rain, and the conditions for camping are borderline miserable for a city-dweller like me.

And on Sunday, I was walking around the bogs by Flodigarry and I got my foot stuck in a deep mud pit.  I was literally stuck for several minutes and had to strain so hard to get out, I really pulled a muscle in my right thigh.  It’s been sore since then, but has gotten so much worse today, it really hurts to walk that much.  All this leads me to think that maybe it’s time to stop camping and go somewhere where the conditions aren’t so harsh.  This isn’t really depressing to me because my attitude at the beginning of this was that I didn’t make any plans so that just in case this happened and I needed to leave sooner than expected, I would still feel satisfied with just having been there in the first place.

So now I’m thinking about where I would go next.  Southern Scotland?  Britain?  Germany?  Home?  I’m not sure yet, but I have faith that if I stay positive and just keep going, I’ll still have many great adventures ahead of me.  Thank you for reading.

6 thoughts on “On My Own

  1. You are experiencing so much on this journey and learning much about the world, the kindness of strangers and your own spirit. You’re already wiser. I’m proud of you. I hope you were able to read a little during your alone time in that tent.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and talking with you Zak. I am so sorry the Skye weather has not been kind to you. But as you say, your adventure has barely begun – I look forward to reading about your onward travels. My very best wishes to you.

  3. I am loving reading about your adventures. I’m sorry that the weather has been miserable. I was a bit worried about that when I read when and where you are going.
    Maybe you could go a little further south in Scotland and try walkimg up Ben Nevis. There is some lovely scenery around there.
    The area of northwest England called the Lake District is also very beautiful
    If you want a real advemture, maybe you could try India, but I think that would need to be a trip in the future.

  4. Zak, what an incredible adventure you are experiencing! I love seeing you grasp the opportunity you have at this point in your life. I just heard about your travels, today, and I have been anxious to get a look at your blog. I am so proud of you. Your life is already so incredibly enriched with experience. I can’t wait to see more of your adventure. God bless you. I will keep you in my prayers.
    Mr. Carpenter

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