After a long day of driving through the highlands of bonnie Scotland – a trip all the way up to Dunnet Head, through Loch Ness and across to the Isle of Skye – me and my travel companions were ready for a wee nip… once we’d properly parked the car of course.
We arrived in the town of Portnalong where our accommodation for the evening, Skywalker hostel, was located. Despite being well off the beaten path and a long way from most things, this was one of the greatest hostels I have ever been to. Friendly, welcoming people coupled with incredible facilities and setting made it easy to see why this was one of the highest rated hostels known to man. If you’re ever road tripping Scotland – be sure to stay here.
Unfortunately we were not able to make use of much of what it had to offer because, well, it’s Scotland and it rains almost all the time. Not a problem though because there was a pub just down the road that served food and had the local brew on hand. You don’t have to tell me twice!
We get there, play some pool, toss back a few pints of some decent beer and then call it a night, but it is a bit hard to find our way back in a place we just got to and are now not thinking so clearly – remember we (I) have been driving all day. Oh, and there aren’t any street lights because otherwise this would’ve been too easy.
We finally make it back to a recognizable road when we stumble into this life sized rag doll husband and wife… which scared the shit out of us.
(I should probably mention at this point that upon driving in we saw many of these rag dolls around town and found out they were a contest thought up by the youth to raise money for the community – creepy but really well done).
Once we realize what it is and that there are probably more we haven’t seen, we say screw it to our hostel and make this our new mission. We run into all sorts, ranging from a bride and later the groom, an old lady and child to a guy in a Guy Fawkes mask. Amazing. Just when I think we’ve seen them all, we run into what amounted to either a sincere memorial for a tragic figure or just about the creepiest thing I’d ever seen.
On a chair, surrounded by empty wine bottles and a sign, was an effigy of Amy Winehouse, who had passed away like… a week before. At first we were just kind of stunned – I’m not a fan of her work (to this day I still don’t know any songs by her, despite other people’s insistence otherwise), but it was quite an elaborate display. And… well… she just died! The sign read ‘RIP Wino’. Maybe that was her nickname? Like I said, I don’t know anything about her. After the initial shock wore off, we decided pictures were in order and then proceeded to drink with her. Classy.
We only spent a brief time on Skye but what we did see won’t soon be forgotten. Never underestimate the good times to be had in a small town, especially in Scotland!