Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hitchhike, Ferry, Train, Walk :: Isle of Skye to Glasgow

Today was my day of getting from the Isle of Skye to Glasgow to catch my flight.

This is going to be put just about as dryly as possible as the words just aren't coming to mind but I'm in a mood to document.

6:01 AM – Indian man decides it's a great time to talk on the phone in the caravan we're sleeping in which has been lovingly dubbed “the Yellow Welly.” I skip being passive aggressive and tell him exactly what I think of him waking me up like that. The only part I skipped was commenting on how much he's been snoring all night. I'm sick. I only got five hours of sleep the night before. Just call me Oscar the Grouch. But, really, why man? Why?

Up until 8:30 AM – Dream. Have dreams of dancing with this person I know well – but who is not someone I would consider a dancer. But we had a rad dance in my dream and it was lovely.

8:31 AM – Arise. Get dressed. Pack up the suitcase and head from the Caravan to the main house.

8:45 AM – Heat up some beans and put it on toast. Beans on toast. Seek out first ride for the day. Since buses aren't running as it's a Sunday, I'll need to hitchhike across the island to catch my ferry. More specifically, I'll have to hitchhike with a suitcase.

8:52 AM – Sniff the lady's mushrooms.

8:55 AM – Ride offer from Norman – the old man from California who likes to go on long hikes each day.

9:20 AM – Check-out, leaving with a deep feeling of gratefulness that I normally don't have ringing through my limbs when I leave a hostel. Hop in the car.

9:45 AM – Norman drops me off in Broadford. I'm 1/3 to my destination.

9:46 AM – Stick out my thumb and smile a lot. Assume proper hitchhiking stance.

Up until 10:00 AM – Just a few folks drive by. Some shrug their shoulders. Some ignore me. A few stop, but either aren't going far enough or don't have room for the suitcase. I have a thermos of tea which I enjoy sipping at as I wait for the right ride. Listen to a Katy Perry and Ben E. King mash-up and feeling no guilt in how happy it makes me.

10:01 AM – Get picked up by E. of Sleat. Sweet lady and mother of a young girl. She's fluent in Gaelic and works at the Gaelic college. We stop by the college. Wonderful conversation. Good connection. Eager to meet her again someday when I come back to Skye.

10:30 AM – She drops me off at Armadale where I'll catch my ferry. I stow my luggage in the Staff Room and trudge off to explore the town which consists of the MacDonald centre, gardens, a few tourist shops, and a cafe on the pier.

10:42 AM – Attempt to enter the gardens and realize I don't have my wallet which is never the best feeling.

11:02 AM – Back at the ferry terminal. Find my wallet. Invest a few pounds in having internet access. Chill at the ferry terminal. Ferry won't be leaving until 3:20 PM. Here Jamie Cullum on the radio for the first time ever. I consume butternut squash soup from Coop.

2:20 PM – Laugh when a biker does an amusing dance to the music on the radio. He catches my eye and I end up hanging out with him and the other man until I reach the other side of the water at Mallaig.

2:55 PM – The two bikers are Craig and Craig. They offer me a coffee and I take them up on the offer. They also end up getting me a bacon roll with brown sauce which is really satisfying.

3:20 PM – Ferry from Armadale to Mallaig.

3:40 PM – Arrive in Mallaig and trek over from the ferry terminal to the train station.

4:05 PM – Train departs.

4:10 PM – Young couple join me at my table. They eat prepackaged pancakes with cheddar cheese. I sip tea from my thermos, still hot from earlier that morning.

4:55 PM – Amazing view as we pass over a bridge. It looks very strangely familiar. The entire ride is remarkably beautiful.

5:15 PM – We begin to engage in a conversation. Both are students at the University of Glasgow. She's doing English, TV, and Film and he does Product design and is from America.

I learn at the bridge we had passed over was the one in the famous epic Harry Potter scene (Google “Scotland Harry Potter Bridge Train” and I bet you'll find it). Apparently this segment of the train ride is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

5:40 PM – I realize I'm traveling on the completely wrong day. I was supposed to leave for Glasgow tomorrow. My flight does not leave tomorrow, it leaves the day after tomorrow. The couple makes up a list of things for me to do in Glasgow and offers me a place in their flat if I need it.

6:00ish PM – Pass through Fort Williams. New travel companions.

7:00 PM – Start to engage in conversation with a women getting her PhD who has a flatmate who likes Thanksgiving and describes me as being like Christmas. Her name is Katie. She is swell and I appreciate her companionship. She says, “Cheers,” a whole lot instead of thank-you and we both believe that tea must often be consumed on a train ride, especially in Scotland. She's a mighty fine soul. She invites me to a comedy show the next night done by intellectuals. I'm amused already.

9:20 PM – Arrive in Glasgow. She's determined to make sure I make my connection before leaving me on my own. She calls Flynn multiple times, trying to get a hold of him. When he does answer, she thought he sounded quite apathetic and isn't too sure she trusts him yet and gives me her address just in case.

9:55 PM – Flynn shows up and gives me a huge hug. He's definitely Aimee's cousin. I say farewell to Katie. We do the short trek to his flat.

10:14 PM – Arrive at the flat on Bath Street in central Glasgow. Huge vaulted ceilings with trim. He prepares me for what to expect at his flat which is, pretty much, exactly what you'd expect from a bunch of uni students.

I find out that he's giving up his bedroom for me for the two nights. I feel overwhelmingly grateful and blessed. Turns out I'll be getting a full night's sleep.

10:24 PM – I meet the rest of the flatmates. It looks very reminiscent of the apartment above the Quik Shop in Haines. They had had a party the night before. Folks playing Grand Theft Auto. Smells like the place above the Quik Shop. Lots of dudes plus Flynn's lovely girlfriend.

11:20 PM – I start writing and testing out the internet which isn't working. Have to pay 6 pounds for that, but even that doesn't work.

11:53 PM – Right now. I'm sleepy. Good-night, world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your words make me grin.

Related Posts with Thumbnails