Scotland 5: Day 8
03.08.16 | 09:08 | Oban Hostel
Today is a rainy day in Oban. I’m pretty sure Oban knows I’m leaving today so it’s weeping. It’s just a theory and I’m no meteorologist, but God is definitely sad about this. I just walked down to Abbie’s Cafe for one more breakfast. This time it was pancakes, bacon and I had the throw on two fried eggs. It was delicious, as I knew it would be.
Last night I had a conversation for a few minutes with my hostel mate. I found out his name is Peter. Peter is in Oban tonight to for a multi-denominational choir that he is asked to sing in each year. I told him I wish I was still in town tonight but sadly I’ll be off at my next destination. That is something I would really love to witness!
He is a very kind man who lives on the Isle of Harris. We chatted about singing and choirs we’ve been a part of. Also about places we have traveled to and places we’d like to see. He told me he envies my coming to a land of my forefathers and wishes that he had a similar drive. He’s in his 60s and tells me that he hasn’t done much of seeking out his family or his people. While I was out, he left a message on my bag:
Since I’m leaving today, the hostel receptionist wanted me to be all checked out by 10:30. I packed all my stuff this morning and came upstairs. They told me I could leave my bags while I ventured out. This is great, since I don’t have to actually leave Oban for another hour to travel to my next destination.
I walked back down to the Oban Chocolate Company one more time for another cup of hot chocolate. This time, the mix was “Ghana” which is about 40% cocoa. I liked the last of this much more than “Cuba”, which was 70% cocoa. Thank goodness I’m doing tons of walking! My constant chocolate intake isn’t the most healthy choice I’ve ever made.
17:20 | Colonsay Flat
My taxi dropped me off at the Oban Airport about two hours before I actually had to be there. The receptionist asked me to put my bag on a large scale and informed me that it was far over the recommended weight. She told me that the only reason she was going to let me take it was because I was the only passenger on the first leg to Islay. This made me feel special as if I had a private pilot or something.
For the next hour-and-a-half, I walked around the airport and took a few pictures. At this point, I was getting extremely excited. The trick is to not let them see your excitement. Try to send out a vibe that reads, “I charter tiny planes and hop over to small British Islands all the time”.
The plane was a cute 10-seater and my pilot was a gal named Julie. She was incredibly nice and told me about living in the states for 6 years where she got her pilot’s license. She remembers flying all around Utah and Arizona. Her favorite airport happens to be St. George, Utah- and she loved to fly over Bryce Canyon.
On the way up, I shot some video and made this little thing. Feel free to take a look… I don’t claim to be a great producer, but this was a fun little montage of flying down the coast of Scotland. Make sure your volume is up, after the first shot of the airport in Oban, then the music starts. Music credit goes to Mary Chapin Carpenter. Enjoy the coastline!
We finally land on Colonsay. I’m laughing to myself because the Colonsay Airport is more like a tool shed, next to a runway. It is pretty spectacular! As I was stepping away, Linda asked me if I knew where I was staying. I told her I did and preceded to make my way down the dirt and rock road that lead from the tool shed.
As I make my way down this dirt road I can’t stop laughing at this situation I’m in. I’m carrying an overstuffed backpack on my back, walking down a road. Mind you, when I asked for directions to the place I’m staying, here’s the reply I receive: Walk away from the airport. Turn left when you get to the road. The key will be in the door.
I’m walking and walking and walking. Picture the moon, but with grass. This is how I would describe Colonsay. This pack on my back makes it seem like I have walked so much further than the 2.5 miles, as it was explained to me. I start to second-guess myself and think that I may have passed the place without realizing it. I decide to take my phone out of airplane mode to see if mobile phone towers have made it to this island yet. I get two bars! Life is good. I pull up google maps and sure enough, it tells me that I’ve gone too far and needed to head back in the direction I’ve just come from.
No big deal until it starts to hail. I’m on a strange island and I’m lost and I’m wandering in a hail storm! Now I have an ice-cream headache. The thick clouds overhead are making it seem a lot darker than it is. I’m starting to worry that soon it will be so dark that I won’t be able to see the road. There are no street lights in this land. I am getting nervous and so I say a few prayers.
I decide to go back and knock on someone’s door of the nearest house. An elderly gentleman opens up and sees me dripping wet, and smiles. I ask him if he knows where The Colonsay House is and he tells me that it’s about 2 miles further up the road. So now I know that I didn’t overshoot my housing and that Google maps is a liar.
I continue my trek. Soon a car pulls up behind me. At first, I think the person is trying to get around me so I move to the side of the road. I’m standing now on a damp grassy bank because they apparently didn’t want to spend the extra money and add shoulders to the road. The car stops next to me and the window is rolled down. Another elderly gentleman asks me if I’m lost. I just ask him if I’m headed in the right direction to The Colonsay House and he tells me that I am, indeed. He then asks me if I’d like a ride. I could kiss him.
I toss my pack in the back seat of his little car and sit down in the front passenger seat next to him. Just then, the next round of hail is starting. I feel very blessed that he happened to pull by when he did. About 2 miles further down the road, I found the place I was in search of. All of a sudden, Colonsay is looking more like the mainland. There are trees and houses and signs of life. It’s very beautiful here! I find the apartment called “Drumclach” and sure enough, the key is in the door. I walk in, drop my big ole pack and run to the restroom. I have to pee like a racehorse.
After “settling in” I see a sign saying that the local general store closes in about half an hour so I head down to the reception office and ask if the man can point me in the right way. He tells me that they close early this time of year and I’d have to walk back in the direction I came from. No problem… I ask him where the restaurant is and he tells me that it’s the off-season so the restaurant doesn’t open up again until the spring.
Tonight I’ll be having water for dinner. I feel bad for those who are less fortunate, like myself for instance. Tomorrow I’ll have to hunt for some food somewhere. Surely these Colonsay residents eat food. For now, I’ll just be grateful that I’ve been eating so much chocolate… I can probably afford to miss a meal or two.