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Windy Islands, part 13

After a winter spent in the Scottish Highlands, I'm heading slightly south to Wales and then... Let's see what part 13 of the Windy islands brings... 😎 Here are the part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10 part 11 & part 12.
You can also fallow the trip in Polarsteps.
Not to overload the post with pictures, most of the photos you can find at the end of it divided into galleries.

04 March 2024 – Rosal Clearance Village – Garvault, Scotland

Something was happening. Something was surfacing and literally killing me! I couldn’t sleep or eat for 5-6 days in a row now. And I was freezing. I was shivering with cold. Only I was next to the stove. The cold was coming from inside. I was exhausted…

The last sunset at Garvault
The last sunset at Garvault

I knew it was a combination of nerves, emotions, and everything built up over the last 4 months at this place and pressed down in order to survive. It was all pouring out now. It’s good that it’s being released, but at this rate by Tuesday when I had to leave, I would be absolutely zombified and inadequate from exhaustion.

Listening to the wind harp
Listening to the wind harp

I had to do something. Stubbornly, I went out for two long walks. I said goodbye to the woods, which were some of my best moments here. I said goodbye to Garvault. In the evening I took a sleeping pill (for the second time in my life!) and curled up in bed. It took me about 2 hours to warm up under the covers. And I fell asleep. 6 hours of deep soaking sleep.

At Rosal Clearance Village
At Rosal Clearance Village

Meanwhile Sapphire had become part of our shared reality. She was taking the baton from me. Not that I was much in a position to hand it over to her in this zombified state, but all she needed was to show her what was where and what is used for what. The highly independent 43 year old Sapphire was exactly my breed, only more intelligent. She had been through a lot. And there was a lot more to go through…

On the way to Rosal Clearance Village
On the way to Rosal Clearance Village

Monday had been wonderful and sunny day. I was feeling better after I’d managed to get some sleep, though my stomach wasn’t ready to return to its routine yet.

At Rosal Clearance Village
At Rosal Clearance Village

So the three of us went to see the wind harp and the last village cleared. (When the dam was built, people from the area were displaced. Well, they did something similar here only without the dam and on a much larger scale) I was feeling much better and fully able to enjoy the day.

Rosal Clearance Village
Rosal Clearance Village

And I was in the woods. The energy of the trees is my energy, they always take care of me. Always lift me up…

The last sunset at Garvault
The last sunset at Garvault

My last day. A wonderful day! Healing day… Thank you!

05 March 2024 – Glasgow, Scotland

One of the hardest goodbyes
And the journey continues…

Roberto seems to got along with Zach quite well
Roberto seems to got along with Zach quite well

All day on the train. A 3 hour layover in Inverness where my previous hosts, Sonia and Graham, came over specifically to meet for coffee. It was a really nice and interesting meeting.

Roberto seems to got along with Zach quite well
Roberto seems to got along with Zach quite well

They were, of course, impressed that I was wearing a kilt, which gave me the opportunity to tell them more about Zach, the culprit of having it. (I had spoken to them if they could find Zach a job on a visa to stay in Scotland longer)

An addition to the lunch Zach prepared for my leaving
An addition to the lunch Zach prepared for my leaving

I listened to their stories and felt like I was still there, still living with them in Loch Ness Glamping

Roberto and Carla patiently waiting at Inverness train station
Roberto and Carla patiently waiting at Inverness train station

Back on the train and off to Glasgow. George was waiting for me with open arms. I was going to stay 4 days, but we had no plans this time. I didn’t need anything, I was here to see my friend for last time…

Visiting George once again
Visiting George once again

All I asked for was that we find a charity store. After everything Zach gave me, I just had to finish the costume and find a jacket and socks.

Whisky tasting in progress, Slàinte Mhath!
Whisky tasting in progress, Slàinte Mhath!

George declared that I was absolutely mad to look for second-hand socks, even for those special ones for a kilt. Just ordered me a pair from Amazon without any hesitation. And it turned out that he knew the perfect place for a jacket – a second-hand shop, but specializing in traditional clothes, jewelry, accessories, etc.

At Riverside Museum in Glasgow
At Riverside Museum in Glasgow

There was a lot of everything. Huge selection. Still very limited for me due to financial reasons. I found the exact same jacket as the one I wore at Garvault, only £65 – way beyond my limits…
Well, I did choose one of the cheaper ones that I liked and I’m happy with the result! 😉

My Scottish outfit - kilt with all the accessories 🤗
My Scottish outfit – kilt with all the accessories 🤗

A two-day battle with the system ensued to send part of Roberto directly to Ireland – it was too heavy for my lame leg. No such nightmare, honestly! George and I, instead of enjoying each other’s company, were struggling with some huge nonsense. We even drove around to different depots and companies and nobody knows anything anywhere… 🙈🙊🙉

Whisky tasting in progress, Slàinte Mhath!
Whisky tasting in progress, Slàinte Mhath!

I was desperate on the second day in the evening and gave up – I’ll carry it, somehow I’ll manage, I have no choice.

Sure, if normal, you won't be one of my friends
Sure, if normal, you won’t be one of my friends

I remembered that I had missed two companies (out of probably 20!) and without any hope, without even connecting the laptop to the electricity (it will take 2 minutes to find out that those don’t work either) I decided to check them out. The first one doesn’t ship to Ireland at all, which is super weird to me, but whatever. The second…

Whisky tasting in progress, Slàinte Mhath!
Whisky tasting in progress, Slàinte Mhath!

The second one (the last one!) worked out! Things happened! For £12! I still can’t believe it. I’m still expecting something to go wrong at the last minute.

The package is ready for departure
The package is ready for departure

The box is right in front of me – packed, the label printed, let’s see…

09 March 2024 – Carlisle, England

An emotional farewell to George and on the train to Carlisle. Towards the next goodbye…

From Glasgow to Carlisle
From Glasgow to Carlisle

I had already passed through both Glasgow and Carlisle, it was logical to take the eastern side this time. But that’s exactly why I went west again, right against my rule not to go back the way I came.

The craft shop and workshop in Carlisle
The craft shop and workshop in Carlisle

I had left friends there. Friends I would probably never see again. A series of goodbyes. As they have been slandering since the first day of March and there is no stopping so far…

The craft shop and workshop in Carlisle
The craft shop and workshop in Carlisle

Heavy goodbyes…

11 March 2024 – Leeds, England

And back to where this adventure began almost a year and a half ago – Leeds.

Walk with my sister in Leeds
Walk with my sister in Leeds

This time I wasn’t the babysitter, just the poor visiting relative. 🤣😛 Well my sister still let me in. She even fed me! 😜

Cozy lazy day at my sister's with a good book
Cozy lazy day at my sister’s with a good book

My niece went for her first rugby game – happy as hell, up to her ears in mud and grinning from ear to ear. I don’t envy her mom at all right now. 🤭

My niece after rugby training
My niece after rugby training

My nephew continues to surprise me with his incredible talent in various fields and especially in drawing.

My talented nephew
My talented nephew

And the sister broke me again! 🙈 Well, surely if someone touches me, we’ll break his hands – everything hurts like hell! However… However, as usual, sis sensed problems that even I didn’t know about and took care to make them as painful as possible and to fix as much as she can at once… 🤷🏻‍♀️

My sister's work place
My sister’s work place

We also went for a walk around the city. I wanted to take the water taxi, highly recommended by Zach, but never got around to it. After about half an hour of waiting, a passer-by informed us that the taxi was not running – the river was too high… 🙈

At Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds
At Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds

From there on foot to the Royal Armory Museum, a walk through several shopping centers (not for shopping, they are like museums themselves!) and headed home as after almost 11 km, my heel was literally killing me and I was already limping quite seriously.

Walk with my sister in Leeds
Walk with my sister in Leeds

15 March 2024 – Tunstall – Withernsea, England

And once again my sister took me to the seaside. At least the first day was great – sunny and beautiful.

Cheers! 😉
Cheers! 😉

Part of the sister’s routine was playing snooker in a nearby town. I had no intention of trying – it’s not my cup of tea, but I would have enjoyed walking around while they had fun chasing the balls around the table.

The play house in Withernsea
The play house in Withernsea

So I did. We went with the kids, who were certainly bored walking around familiar places, but they did not contradict their aunt and behaved at a level.

Visiting Withernsea with my niece and nephew
Visiting Withernsea with my niece and nephew

First walk on the beach. The sea was quite rough and beautiful, albeit with its murky brown color. I decided I would film the raging waves up close. I risked getting wet, but at least I would make a cool video.

Nuts! One of the waves surprised me in the back and covered me up above my ankles. I wish at least I had made a video, but the camera did not start at the sublime moment. What a surprise, isn’t it!

At Withernsea beach
At Withernsea beach

However, there was another surprise. Naturally my pants were wet up to the knees. My shoes were dry though! Wet only around the ankles where the water had come in from above! And my socks, almost knee-long, were wet of course, but being pure wool they didn’t feel wet at all!

Absolutely delightful! Now I know what I’ve been missing out on by choosing price over quality (the socks I mean) Thank you Zach! (both were his credit!)

Spring is coming
Spring is coming

We walked around the town, wandered around interesting little shops, a church sale, and a museum the kids had never been to, but unfortunately it was closed.

The Lighthouse Museum in Withernsea
The Lighthouse Museum in Withernsea

We soon returned to the players to wait for them to finish. God, this place is overwhelmingly huge! With hundreds of different games and entertainments! It literally blew my mind!

18 March 2024 – Nottingham, England

At 6:15 in the morning I was at the bus stop in front of my sister’s. Half of the coffee already drunk and another one in the to-go cup.

Beauty
Beauty

I arrived at Gavin’s at noon. Walked a lot with my backpack on my shoulder. And he also lives quite up hill, but I managed with not too much struggle.

Once again - my famous salad - fresh, yummy and with flowers 😁
Once again – my famous salad – fresh, yummy and with flowers 😁

We talked for hours. Then I picked some weeds from his garden and made a salad, which seriously impressed him, he was brave enough to try it and he even liked it! 😁

Whisky tasting still goes on 😉
Whisky tasting still goes on 😉

And we talked for hours again. Literally. He had traveled far more than me in the same way. We shared stories, opinions, views, thoughts…

Tomorrow we plan to ride bicycles. Let’s see…

Little freshness from the garden
Little freshness from the garden

We went out with the bicycles. Mine was on the verge of falling apart (not really, it was just protesting about the weight LOL) and cracked and rattled all over, so at the lake I gave up and we turned back. But I was so happy nevertheless!

Good morning!
Good morning!

The walk was completely worth it! Reminded me how much I used to love cycling! It also reminded me how the ass hurts when you haven’t ridden for years, but that’s another topic… 🤭😜

That reminded me how much I miss riding a bike!
That reminded me how much I miss riding a bike!

We focused on salads. Gavin was fascinated by the idea of having a nice healthy salad right in his garden and even took some notes of what I was picking. LOL, I’ve overwhelmed people with these grass and weeds of mine… 🤣

20 March 2024 – London, England

London was not included in the initial itinerary and the decision to go was spontaneous. While arranging the transport of the journey I found that the buses from Nottingham to Cardiff go through London. Instead of taking a 3 hour nap at Victoria station, I’d rather just stay a couple of days to see old friends and how my perception of London has changed in 14 years.

Ready to hit the road again
Ready to hit the road again

I decided, again completely impulsively, that I would stay with a friend from Plovdiv who had been living in London for years now.

I was in for a surprise. Quite a shock upon my arrival. (Other people’s personal stories that have no place at the blog) The next day was beautiful and sunny. I didn’t go anywhere, though. She needed to talk, and I was there for a reason! And maybe I needed it too… 🤷🏻‍♀️

Arrived in London 14 years latter
Arrived in London 14 years latter

We talked for hours. We unraveled buried problems, old wounds and painful scars… I didn’t go out for the whole my stay there.

23 March 2024 – Cardiff, England

My bus to Cardiff was in the early afternoon, however, I was at the bus station at 9am. The original idea was to drop off my luggage and use the few hours I had left to look around. Yeah, but I changed my mind. First I was going to spend some money on the luggage, then I was going to spend even more on the subway and spend half the available time traveling. Or if I decided to walk around nearby, I ran the risk of not being able to walk (still limping) when I got to Cardiff if I had to. So, I just spent £3 on coffee and had it for over 4 hours. 😁😜

Loooong coffee drinking at Victoria station
Loooong coffee drinking at Victoria station

Admittedly I had to walk in Cardiff, I also had to stay up right for half an hour at one bus stop with nowhere to leave Roberto at least, so I was happy with the decision I made in London. You can’t see London in 3-4 hours anyway…

Night in Cardiff - my window view
Night in Cardiff – my window view

I arrived at Lassia’s at 7 and it was almost dark, so the first thing I saw was the night view of the bay. We chatted a lot and in the process she mentioned an engagement the next night. Hari Krishna.

With my host in Cardiff - Lasya
With my host in Cardiff – Lasya

Well, sure I have to try this as well, right… I self-invited myself, successfully at that, then went to bed. I was super tired.

24 March 2024 – Cardiff, England

The next day we went out together, Lasya went about her business, I walked around. I went to the castle that Zack had so warmly recommended to see and which was actually the reason I was in Cardiff.

Here it is - Cardiff Castle
Here it is – Cardiff Castle

Yeah right, but I only saw it from the outside. £20 for entry is way over my entertainment budget, even if highly recommended…

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle

I continued to wander around the city in my own way. I checked out the trains at the station heading towards the ferry, just to be safe, and there I stumbled upon a street concert that filled up my soul.

The clock at the city centre of Cardiff
The clock at the city centre of Cardiff

I don’t know how long I sat listening to them, but I know I left when they left too.

Street concert in Cardiff
Street concert in Cardiff

It was time for our date with Lasya and the Hari Krishna thing. Sure for me it was a ‘thing,’ ’cause I’m an absolute unwitting on the subject. Religions are out of reach of my interests, but then again, the spiritual is quite there, so curiosity leads me down unknown paths. It was an interesting experience. Without putting anything religious into it, I frankly enjoyed it. The singing, the dancing…

Beauty of Cardiff
Beauty of Cardiff

I watched these people committed to what they were doing, united by a cause and a lot of love. They were all smiling! Not just their lips, their eyes and faces were shining, radiating love and kindness.

At Harry Krishna fest in Cardiff
At Harry Krishna fest in Cardiff

To everyone. Even to me, the stranger, who had no idea where or why had ended up. They guided me through the rituals with kind smiles and understanding.

At Hare Krishna fest in Cardiff
At Hare Krishna fest in Cardiff

It was amazing! And there was dinner at the end to top it off. Huge portions + desserts. Nah, the plural is no accident…

26 March 2024 – Cardiff, England

I skip one day – it was rainy, and my leg needed a rest after the 12 km walk.

Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay

It wasn’t a wasted day, though – I used it to get caught up with the photos and videos from the day before and catch up with the blog as well.

Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay

The next day was supposed to be cloudy, but no precipitation, according to the forecast, so the plan was a tour of the pier (another 12 km, as it turned out).

Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay

I considered other options, some more appealing, but this was the least painful – physically and financially.

At Penarth Pier Pavilion
At Penarth Pier Pavilion

It was the right decision! The day turned out to be sunny and warm, not just rain-free. Setting off with two jackets, after about 20 minutes I was only by t-shirt and so on until I got back around 6pm.

An old industrial abandoned railway in Cardiff
An old industrial abandoned railway in Cardiff

The walk was fabulous, full of interesting encounters and introductions, some of which will make it into the Cardiff video when its turn comes some day… 😁🙈


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