My beautiful Iona – Rental car with handcontrols…whaaaaat.
Midway through my second month in the UK, I found out that rental cars have the option to have handcontrols put in them. That to me was GOLD, not only could I travel with ease …it also meant that for the time that I had the car rented I would have accomadation sorted aswell, sleeping somewhere at a whim without any organizing was my kind of travel….and I was just going to get in it and drive, see where I end up. So I’ll book a rental for a week and see where I end up.
I booked the rental, they required I let them know 48 hours before so that they could install the handcontrols. First stop I thought I would backtrack down to Sandwidch which was where I stayed with Ries and his mum for the 5 weeks..and I had left my walking calipers down there because they were a pain and I didnt plan on using them after the flight.I got to the company and filled all the paperwork out and went to do the check around it …And i realised there were no handcontrols, mabe they thought I didnt need them. At any rate they were super apologetic and for the wait I ended up gettting a free days rental. I rang sally and asked if I could stay the night as I was still going to come down and get the calipers but didnt end up leaving later that day.
I had spoken to one of my Ex girlfriends and I wanted to meet her dad because while we were going out, and i knew he was English and living in England. He seemed like someone I would love to meet. So Emma gave me her dads (Nick) number and we chatted and he offered offered for me to stay the night which was awesome because it’s not like I had a plan…I thought I might head up to Scotland but I knew it would take me awhile because it was a long way from Sanwidch.
Up early and on the road, trying to figure what the speed limit was on the motorway…so google it was. I loved the motorway and the system of fast, medium and slow lanes, there was no stopping for hours and hours. ALSO thank goodness for cruize control because the handcontrols were literally just a couple of poles connected to the accelerator and brake, which sounds dodgy but they were safe-ish haha but holding down the accelerator with your thumb for 5 hours straight is not terribly comfortable.
Nick and Wendy were amazing, they were so accomadating. We had some wine, whiskey, talked philosophies , chatted away and they were telling me places of interest in the north of the UK. Iona being one of them, a very spiritual place was what Nick told me…somewhere people go for peace. Now that sounds exactly like something I’m after.So theres a destination for me to head to tommorrow or at least try, it was a long drive from eaton to Oban. I dont exactly have an endless amount of money, infact the opposite so I was very aware that I couldn’t spend money on this long trip, and ferry rides, however at least it sounded too nice to not go there. So at the very least I’m going to drive up and check out Scotland and if the ferry tickets are too expensive…they are too expensive.
Up early, was feeling good even after a few wines and whiskeys last night. Nick and Wendy sent me off with a full stomach of an english breakfast which was amazing, and Nick and I exchanged details so I could let him know how the trip was going. On the road….the very long road up to Oban. I drove from 8am til 6pm to make it up to beautiful Scotland where I parked up in a foresty rest area and slept in the back of the car with the sound of the rain on the roof…this is exactly what I had wanted. I did wake up paranoid in the night though because I parked near a bank in the rest area and for some crazy reason I thought the rain was making me slip closer to the edge or the bank might give way or something, I checked…so far away from the bank, literally not even close haha.
Went to Oban, I expected a small fishing town or something. However it was buzzing..well compared to what I had pictured anyway. I did my daily routine of finding a coffee shop, charging my phone, reading and figuring out how to do whatever it was I was going to do. The coffee shop opened at 9 and the information centre at 10..Perfect, enough time for a quick charge and a coffee.The tickets for the ferries were not very expensive and I could even take the car across to the Isle of Mull so thats accomadation sorted. The Isle of Mull was not as small as I thought…it took me an hour and a bit to drive from where the ferry dropped me through they amazing and beautiful land that hand nothing but volcanic rocks in it to the where the Iona ferry would take me across.
I could see the small Iona from when I got on the ferry for 3 pounds or something ridiculous.There only seemed to be 2 roads…so I wheeled down the one that seemed to be to me more promising, It felt like this Isle was as far as I could possibly go on earth. The lack of noise and the constant sound of the ocean breeze filled up my senses. The end of the road there was a sign it said “hostel – Scotlands most eco friendly hostel”, Well firstly I was suprised that there was a hostel at the end of what seemed the earth and also I couldnt see it…it was hidden behind and down a grassy hill. I went down and waved to a woman who was at the door, she volunteered here and showed me around. I said thanks and asked the price, and being concious of money I thought I would just catch the ferry back to Mull and sleep in the car there instead because Mull was nice too. Making my out of the entrance to the hostel there was a gate to a grassy field, I’ll go check that out.
The ground was soft like a cushion, the track is a mountainous field of what feels like total freedom. The sound of the ocean and the soft breeze looking out from this island feeling like im have it all to myself at the end of the earth. This is what I invision my dream of peace would look like. I just lay there, looking up and out. It is so peaceful….this is why im travelling.
How could I not stay after that peaceful moment, I wheeled back down to the hostel and checked in. I wheeled down to the beach..parked up, jumped down on to the grass and spent the next hour or so watching the sunset. listening to the ocean and just looking, and everything was worth this moment.
That night, there were more people staying at the hostel than I thought there would be..and again it was magical. These people all after the same thing. A young girl there Iona ( I know crazy right) got out the fiddle and there was a guitar sitting in the corner so we had a jam and provided some music for the people in the hostel, dancing and a glass of whiskey provided by a Scottish man and his partner. At the end of the night we all went up to the top of the grassy hill layed down under the clearest blanket of stars and Iona played the fiddle softly while we watched the night…..Iona, the Isle that is the reason for memory.