As I sit here writing, I hear multiple languages spoken, English being spoken with a Spanish accent, smell various types of food cooking, can see people reading and checking their phones, and eating, and just snuggling together. And all this by cozy fireside glow and warmth. This hostel was a great life choice.
At breakfast it was just me and, coincidentally, the family I gave up my booth for at the cafe the previous day. They asked me how I was after “that unfortunate incident with the inebriated Scotsman” and we all had a good laugh remembering Angus. Instead of porridge today, I opted to eat one of the crumpets and lemon curd Kirsten gave me for Christmas. I have never had a crumpet in my life, but felt very fancy eating crumpets with lemon curd for breakfast. Fancy and British. But maybe it’s redundant to say fancy and British? At any rate, it was utterly delightful, and now I’m sad that she has hooked me on a food I can’t get in the states.
Since yesterday I did the northeastern part of the island, today I decided to do the southwestern part. I drove down to the Fairy Pools, which I had heard a lot about. It was a very scary, narrow drive, but I made it, and was the first one in the parking lot. I set out down the path, prepared to be awed. Unfortunately, that was when it decided to start raining, which wouldn’t have necessarily be so bad, except that the wind here has not stopped blowing at over 90mph since I arrived a week ago. I persevered though, and loved following all the wonderful waterfalls. I hung my coat on the passenger seat to dry out, and even though it got soaked – only because of the intense wind, I’m convinced – it dried out quickly, and that $110 I spent on it is probably the best $110 I ever spent. Thank you Calvin Klein.
By the time I made it back to the parking lot, it was full of cars, and I headed off for Talisker scotch distillery, just to rub it in Seve’s face, since he’s such a scotch lover.
I tried next to go to Niest Point lighthouse, but kept getting lost. I finally stopped at the only shop I saw open, which boasted “Skye’s oldest bakery.” I bought a Scottish pie – even after eating it, I really have no idea what was in it, just that it was meat, but I don’t think I want to know what kind, even though it was good, and a sausage pastry. I asked the cashier for directions to the lighthouse, and am so glad I did because I would have never found it. Things have been labeled so well here, so I was surprised this wasn’t, since it’s such an important site on the island.
As I was driving I was getting confused because the landscape didn’t seem especially special – don’t get me wrong, it was still stunning, just not really any different from what I’d been driving in the past hour. And then I arrived.
Pretty much every hour I see something new on the island that makes me say, “This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!” Then I see something new and think, “Ok, this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!” It’s just mind-blowing how it’s all fit into this one little island. Anyway, Neist Point was one of those moments. I parked my car, and just stared in awe. I finally got out, and set out on the loooooooong path to the lighthouse, made even longer because of the intense winds that tried really hard to blow me right into the sea. It’s so hard to choose a favorite spot here, but I think if I really had to, this would be it. It just all felt so monumental, and inspiring, and grand.
I tried to see Dunvegan Castle after that – closed, and the Coral Beach – impossible for me to find, so I just headed back to the hostel, and got here at 3:30pm, perfect napping time.
I’m bummed to be leaving tomorrow, but at the same time I’m so extremely grateful for what I got to live these past 3 nights and 2 days. It’s been an absolute dream. Everything has just been so what I needed. The nature. The company – two of the desk guys are from Barcelona – of course. The gloomy weather. The time to just be. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve doubted myself, and then I’ve proved those doubts wrong time and time again. This is the power of travel, friends. This is why I do this. For these simple moments. This rejuvenation of the soul. These reminders that I am so much more than a single, childless, teacher in Wichita, Kansas. I am brave. And I am powerful. And I am in love with this big, amazing world.