Inverness, I hope

I watched the landscape change from the train window as we headed further north into Scotland. Rolling pastoral hills morphed into mountains, glens, and forests. Animals became shaggier. Accents got a wee bit thicker. 

I arrived at Bazpackers Hostel in the evening, and mostly just relaxed. The hostel was pretty nice, and it was interesting to meet the other people there from all over Europe. I was happy to see others my age and older staying there. There were six beds in the room I was in, and I was surprised to find that the room was coed. There was one guy in the corner who behaved himself, other than snoring.

Today I started out walking along the swiftly moving river Ness. The path goes by the Inverness castle, churches, houses and shops facing the river, along with forests. The whole suggested route on my tour map, complete with stops, didn’t take very long.  So on the way back I looked around a few tourist shops selling tartan kilts, tartan bags, tartan scarves, tartan socks, tartan underwear, and just about everything else. I didn’t buy any. The fun discovery was a grocery store called Morrison’s. How could I not go in? While perusing inside I found condensed milk that comes in a tube and needn’t be refrigerated. Perfect for a “cuppa” on the go. I didn’t ask if they’d give me a discount for having the same name.

After capping off the morning with fish and chips followed by banoffee pie, I arrived back at the hostel. One o’clock. Now what? So I decided the morning’s walking wasn’t enough, and found a trail. The Great Glen Way goes all the way from Inverness to Glencoe, about 60 miles. I wasn’t planning to walk the whole way, but thought it would make a nice out and back walk. 

Thanks to my lack of a map, the out and back turned into a loop of sorts, but the loop took me along a peaceful canal, and through a forested hill offering stunning views of Moray Firth. On my way back, I was pretty sure that I was headed in the right direction, but I will admit that there were a lot of signs for Fort William, and they had me nervous for a bit. I did find my way back. My watch tells me I walked over 14 miles today, so maybe I burned off that banoffee pie.

Tomorrow I’m on my way to the Isle of Lewis. I’ll take a bus to Ullapool, and then a ferry to Stornoway, where my next hostel will be. I’ve bunched up my posts here a bit, so I’ll give you a break until Tuesday or Wednesday. Thanks for following along!

Author: mettatsunami

In 2009 I was working full time in medicine, and living a life that was alienated from what I truly valued. While volunteering with a local hospice, I began to wonder: "What would I do differently if I had six months to live?". This began the impetus to change direction. While it has been a case of two steps forward, one step back in many ways, there has still been slow movement in the direction of a more authentic life. Since the pivotal decision to change direction, I have been a Buddhist nun, returned to lay life, changed Buddhist schools, returned to medicine part time, and then full time, quit again, traveled extensively, trained in yoga, spent time in several Buddhist monasteries, and am in the process of how to live according with Buddhist and yogic practice and values, and how to streamline this life into something worthwhile. In the Theravadan Buddhist practice, one of the daily reflections is "Has my practice born fruit with freedom or insight, so that at the end of my life, I need not feel ashamed when questioned by my spiritual companions?". That is my practice. My goal in this blog is to share the journey along the way.

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