June 23 Let’s go Back to Scotland: Fairies and ferries

View from the Cafe at the earlier ferry

The ferry that I didn’t take.

So here and now as I write the holidays are over – actually not quite for me – I’m writing in late January and have my tree up and cards to write yet.  But I am quite anxious to get back to telling my tale of travels and adventure: We left off at the Pier in Armadale, the only thing on the agenda was to travel to Fort William by Ferry and Train.

Looking at the pier from the dress shop. The cafe is way to the right. I can't remember the name of these beautiful blue bushes.

Looking at the pier from the dress shop. The cafe is way to the right. I can’t remember the name of these beautiful blue bushes.

Having been deposited on the pier  at the same cafe as yesterday, and after a great breakfast – in that same crowded tiny box of windows,  I made an adventurous decision. It turns out that also at this very pier, in addition to  quite fun clothing store, was Rhubha Phoil:  the Isle of Skye Permaculture Centre, Herb Gardens and Woodland Walk. (see  http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/skye/rubhaphoil.shtml for pronunciation plus other good info on walks all over Scotland).  This had been one of the places I was not going to get a chance to visit. So despite the ferry ticket fellow strongly recommending that I board the next ferry, since the weather did not look good, I was very aware of “now or maybe never” and I decided to chance it and take a look at Rubha Phoil.

educational signage

educational signage

Valerian The sign says that it stimulates earthworms and is good for vegetables.

Valerian The sign says that it stimulates earthworms and is good for vegetables.

So I walked up this path that looked like any path to the woods with some potted plants and a rough sign, and shortly came across a few friendly young folk building something. They directed me to Sandy Masson’s house. Now I had met Sandy, Founder and Director of this place at the Permaculture Convergence- thanks to Danny Alderslowe who found her and introduced her when he heard I was going onto Skye.

I was a bit on the path before I started taking photos

I was a bit on the path before I started taking photos

Once up the small path one is quickly in the woods, and I couldn’t quite suss out how to get to this house and was quickly taken in by the path through the woods that lead past work areas and  fairy places and the forest sculptures and seal and otter observation perches, beautiful places. Of course it was so wonderful for me was to be able to take a walk of this length and sense of wilderness. But what made it especially wonderful was to concurrently have it be in such a singular beauty that if I see again will not be for  long time and  to be in a working piece of land both teaching and producing , like my visit with Patricia, addressing similar concerns and interests of mine back home.

Looking down on the dress shop roof - and water

Looking down on the dress shop roof – and water

People Bothy

People Bothy

From one of the seal or otter observation areas.

A wild life observation area: seals and otters.

I saw no wild life while there.

I saw no wild life while there.

But there was a bench I could sit on and feel so so so lucky, blessed and fortunate.

But there was a bench I could sit on and feel so so so lucky, blessed and fortunate.

Rhododendrons I think. They are an invasive here but Sandy said that she doesn't bother with them.

Rhododendrons I think. They are an invasive here but Sandy said that she doesn’t bother with them.

Comin' down

Comin’ down

The occasional sculpture

The occasional sculpture

Fairy Bothy (Shelter)

Fairy Bothy

DSC01827DSC01828

Well, I followed the path all the way around  and met up with the nice people who had finished their project. For the life of me I can’t remember what it was  – a big gateway sign – I think. They got me connected to Sandy who took me into her great woodland home and took great time with me and was very kind.

This is Sandy Masson. She is pointing to a flag of Scotland. Fair to say she is pro - independence. Something they will be voting on September 2014.

This is Sandy Masson. She is pointing to a flag of Scotland. Fair to say she is pro – independence. Something they will be voting on September 2014.

This isn't Sandy's house. Its a charming shed of some sort.

This isn’t Sandy’s house. Its a charming shed of some sort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So from there it was down to the ferry where, my bags had been stashed, and had enough time to rest up for boarding the ferry – which I was very concerned about being able to do on my own. And once on  short ride to Maillaig. I must of been very sad to leave as I remember tearing up as we got further and further from Skye.

On the ferry to Maillag. No pictures outside as It was cold and rainy and I was comfy and ensconced and resting up for disembarking.

On the ferry to Maillag. No pictures outside as It was cold and rainy and I was comfy and ensconced and resting up for disembarking.

Watching other people buy tickets for the ferry

Watching other people buy tickets for the ferry

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