In two weeks time I embark on what is looking like being my most challenging trip yet. On the face of it going to Iceland by sea (my 2018 trip) seems like a bigger challenge than 3 weeks in Scotland, but I had my refuge with me all the time. With the camper I could always get warm and have access to the “essential” comforts. I could also avoid people, which turned out to be the biggest downside.
On this trip I will be using the camper to get from place to place and as an occasional refuge, but for 10 days I will be on the islands of Eigg and Canna with only what I can carry. A few days later I will be away from all civilisation in a bothy in Glen Affric with ten other volunteers, all strangers. (see picture above.)
I’ve always been an early riser, but lately it’s got stupid – 4 am, 5 at best. On Eigg and in the bothy I will be in shared dormitories. What if I can’t find somewhere warm to sit, or tea to make? What if the weather is terrible and I can’t get outside when it gets light? On Canna I will be in a Camping Pod with, it seems, no cooking or heating facilities.
When I’m determined not to let deafness prevent me from meeting and talking to people I can do it, and I love making those connections. On Rum last year I had a great few days staying in the hostel and meeting the locals in the evening at their shop/pub. Yet there is always the fear that I won’t understand what people are saying to me and look like a stupid old git.