I’m in a small town in The Highlands in Scotland as of writing this post. There are no taxis, Uber doesn’t exist, and every store and restaurant is shut by 9pm. Going to a local pub for a drink (there are only 2 options) I am surprised to find it empty. The barman tells me the “public room” is quite busy, and directs me there. I have to leave the pub completely and open a shifty looking back door. “Crowded” ends up meaning 5 people, who are all the town drunks. Two of them leave as I enter, leaving me alone with 3 drunk men joking about how many shakes to do in the bathroom. Humph.
There are buses about once an hour or two, but many places I want to go do not have a bus stop. This leaves me walking about 8 miles a day, and the one day I didn’t bring water with me, ended up being quite a long way without a place to drink some water!
My first night in The Highlands, I end up joining a hotel guest to see her local friends play Scottish music at a local venue. It was lovely! However, the venue didn’t have any food. The bartender jumped to my rescue. I had the option to take a 30 GBP taxi back to my local town, where everything but the local Chinese would be shut, or to order Indian delivery and pay an extra 5 GBP for delivery. So, I ended up stinking up the venue with the most delicious lamb-almond curry. 🙂
Everywhere I have been, including Edinburgh, people are dynamically friendly. Instead of staring into a mobile phone screen, they look up and out, and smile and say “hello!” I learn that my precious Highland Cow is actually called a “Heeland Ku” and many a stranger has been kind enough to point me in the direction of the nearest herd.
I stay at a Bed and Breakfast with a lovely host, full on UK breakfast cooked to order, and am so blessed that he has a secret stash of the most delicious whiskey I’ve ever tasted in my life, AND he fills my flask with it to keep me warm for the day. 🙂
The cows are either gracefully curious or pose for amazing photo shoots.
The Highlands are covered with my namesake, everywhere I look, fields of Heather abound. The scenery is breathtaking, and when I take a breath, it feels like clean, pure air. Mist hangs over mountains, and I feel surrounded by smiles, the past, the present, and cows. How can life be any better?!