After camping on the top of a seaside cliff, I woke up to some stressful winds and pouring rain. The conditions made me dread getting out of my bending tent and packing up. But just like back home, my need to urinate motivated me to get out of bed. It was time to trek back to Portree.
That night was the start of the 10th Annual Isle of Skye Accordion and Fiddle Festival, and since I recently sold my accordion for my trip, I just had to check it out. So I got a bed at the Portree Independent Hostel and and walked to the bar where the Festival was happening. I got to try several locally brewed beers and listen to local bands play traditional Scottish music. I couldn’t think of a better way to experience Scotland.
After staying out late and partying with the older crowd, I was the last person to go to bed in my four person room. The next morning, I met a guy from New Zealand named Gary. He’s an engineer who works at sea five weeks at a time. Because of this, he’s been all over the world and gave me some really good travelling advice. He wanted to go wild camping on Skye, so we decided to travel together for a while. This is what Gary looks like when he’s hitchhiking.
After a few minutes, none other than Richard Dorrell from earlier in the week stopped and picked us up. It’s a small island after all…
Richard gave us a ride south as we were heading to Glennbrittle Beach, but on the way, he pointed out the Fairy Pools. I had to stop. For the past year and a half, the wallpaper on my work computer has been of the Fairy Pools. It would remind me what I’m working for and motivated me to keep going. So I got out of the van and wished Gary and Richard well as I walked up the trail with my trusty camera. It was too cold to go swimming or anything, but the beauty of the pools still took my breath away.
I found a big rock in the middle of the stream and thought it would a good place for a picnic and a nice spot to just sit, take it all in, and reflect on how amazing life is.
On the way back to the road, I ran into a couple taking pictures who were visiting from Manchester. Their names were Tony and Vera and they offered to take me to Glennbritle Beach then back to the bus stop in time for me to catch the bus back to the hostel. How perfect.
The bus stop as well as the ride back was pretty dang scenic and I couldn’t resist taking some more photos. I hope you’ll forgive me.
Back at the hostel, I made some new friends to try fish and chips for the first time with. Josh from Pennsylvania, and an Autralian gentleman who wishes to be known as “Jorge, the 15 year-old child giant.” They were fun to talk to. Back at the hostel we were joined by a man from North Carolina named James and his two sons, Spencer and Liam, as well as an Australian woman named Monique. We stayed up late eating ice cream and playing trivial pursuit.
After a while, everyone went to bed and I ended up staying up way too late with the woman who was working the front desk of the hostel. Her name is Sotiria and she’s from Greece. She left home eight months ago and wants to ride a bicycle all through Europe with hopes to inspire the people in her home town to get out in the world and break their routine I know all too well. After hours of talking about how to reach and inspire people, I helped her set up a blog and hopefully we’ll all be reading the travel blog of a cycling Grecian very soon. She was very excited.
The next morning, I said good bye to everyone at the hostel as well as the Isle of Skye. It was time for me to move on to somewhere a little less extreme weather-wise. I literally had to sprint to catch the early morning bus, but I was off to travel south…to Edinburgh!