Last day in Skye – From Home to End – 14


We were heading to the north of Skye. We wanted to make up for the previous night, when our plans had been foiled by our own lack of foresight and a near empty petrol tank. It would be our final chance to scout out somewhere breathtaking and relax there with a joint. We had a couple smokes left—the dust and crumbs and the fragments of stalk at the bottom of the bag—but soon we’d be driving home and so this one would be important. Maybe the most important. A chance for reflection and a last look at the place.

A seagull raced our car through a valley before we got caught in the intricacies of the back lanes and it took off ahead. When we reached the coast is was through a tiny fishing village made of a single row of old Tudor style houses. A lot of them were Bed and Breakfasts now. A few lampposts lined the street but a little light still came from the sun; it was setting almost directly ahead of us, peaking just above the horizon. Past a small pub and the narrow, thatched houses, the road opened into a harbour with a couple of old boats at rest on the backs of trucks or propped up on stands or leant in various states of disrepair and a concrete pier that lead into the water. We parked up at the end of the pier, facing the sea, with a white fishing boat next to us.


The moon was low and more distinct the longer we talked. Ben rolled a joint in the back of the car, working amongst the stuffed and ever more confused luggage we left in the spare passenger seat, and sparked it while we listened to Biophilia. Bjork made the album to represent different elements of the natural world and listening here seemed appropriate. There was almost nothing artificial in sight and the things that were had the feel of a lost era; the fishing boat looked like a relic more than anything.

We played tracks loud enough to make the car shake and its cheap speaker-grates buzz. This was necessary. We were at the end, some more things might come and we’d make sure to take whatever opportunities arose, but this was a milestone moment just the same. If you set the end mark of a journey as the crossing of the threshold of home, it will always be an unsatisfying conclusion. This was the end of the Highlands leg. Next would be the journey home.


We watched the moon, we watched three boats jostled by waves, anchored maybe 40 feet from shore. I thought of our first spliff after we’d made it all the way north. We watched the sun go down over the ocean. The car was on a cliff side and from there we could see a boat, people watching the sunset too maybe. Tonight there was sputtering rain, cold winds and the sea churned white occasionally. But there was also a boat. People on it. These people though, they were probably sleeping, maybe the faintest hint of Bjork sneaking into their consciousness somewhere. They weren’t watching the world like we were. This too seemed appropriate.

The following morning, admitting financial defeat, we decided to head home. It seemed to us a fairly bleak matter. We packed the tent up. It was sticky with rain water now and had dried grass stuck to it and sand rattling about inside. We wasted no time leaving, stopping at Portree on the way out for waffles and a smoothie. Then the road. We wondered how much of the Highlands we had left to drive. It became unfortunately clear that there wasn’t much at all. Beautiful moorlands and mountains for a while but then back to the stagnating cities and congested motorways. Our second to last joint was smoked on those roads, with the Highlands still around us.


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About Luke Smith

I travel around and write about it. When I'm not travelling around, I write about whatever seems meaningful to me at the time; these are usually meditations on current events, finding ways to survive the crushing existential grind of modern civilisation or vaguely philosophical musings.
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1 Response to Last day in Skye – From Home to End – 14

  1. Pingback: From Home to End – Adventures in the Highlands | Journeys Through Pre-World War 3 Britain

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