After visiting the history museum in town and hiking in some nearby mountains Fort William has little left to offer. So I head to the Isle of Skye and to a bothy in the far north of the Island, which is pretty fitting because the island itself is my northernmost destination. I get pretty lucky hitchhiking, though I kind of feel I’m moving through the landscape too fast. It’s just so beautiful that at every turn of the road I feel like I should get out and continue on foot. One day I’ll come back and spend more time here.
I end up at the bothy well before the sun sets. It used to be a coastguard lookout and there are even some binoculars left for some whale spotting, though I don’t see any. Nonetheless it’s an impressive place: grey sky, grey sea, high cliffs and green and brown hills.
After sunset a couple from Central Europe join me in the bothy, and they’re kind enough to provide me with my first ride of the day in the morning. All of my rides are either from fellow tourists or people who’ve moved to the island. I’ve been told the local population is not necessarily too fond of tourists. A couple who moved up here from Glasgow drop me off at Dunvegan castle. But just as they drive off I realize my phone fell out of my pocket in the back of their van. I walk after them trying to flag down a next ride but nobody stops. Initially I’m pretty despondent, and the impressive yet foreboding landscape doesn’t do much to bolster my spirits. But eventually I get lucky, and an English couple give me a ride and tell me the road stops in a few kilometers by a beach. And that is where I spot the distinct blue van in which my phone lies. I wait for the couple to return from their walk and they even drop me off at Dunvegan again. The castle’s well-decorated rooms offer a strange counterpoint to the wild nature outside. For an hour or two I’m in a different world entirely.
After a few more rides I end up getting one final ride from a man who installs refrigerators in supermarkets for a living. He takes me along for a few dozen kilometers while recalling fond memories of getting stoned in Amsterdam.