Today started like any other on my journey. Creeping out of our dormitory room early so as not to wake my travelling companions. Some prayer. Some felting. And some packing.
Today we were leaving the quiet alcove of Northumbria, driving up the coast of the North Sea, and then right across the middle of Scotland to our ferry on the Atlantic to the isle of Mull, and then beyond that, the second ferry to Iona. We had consulted fellow travellers and maps about routes, rest stops and times, and now were ready to make the trek.
The first bit went well. The seaside was beautiful, the sky was blue. The roads were windy.
Very windy. Some of us began to feel a little green around the gills. Surely it wasn’t going to be like this the whole time?
Apart from a little highway stretch between Edinburg and Glasgow, it was. We dug out barf bags.
We seemed to be making good time until we reached our lunch stop, a touristy wayside called “The Green Wellie”. But once we gathered everyone after lunch, we looked at the time and gulped. We were going to be hard pressed to get a grocery shop done before the ferry, as we were planning to bring all our food with us over to Iona.
So I put the pedal to the medal, at least, the best I could on very narrow, increasingly windy roads. I felt like a stunt car extra on the Dukes of Hazard. We barrelled on, looking nervously at our watches.
Finally we burst happily into the ferry town, but then realized we didn’t have the time to get groceries. Ah well, worst case scenario, we will buy some on Mull, between ferries. So got in line for the ferry.
And wait and wait and wait. The ferry was late.
Which would have been no problem at all, except at the other end, we had to drive an hour across the Isle of Mull to catch the six o’clock ferry to Iona. The last ferry of the day.
The ferry ride across was fantastic. Amazing views!
When we got to the other side, we hit the ground running.
Here’s the thing though. The isle of Mull has only single track roads. Which means that as you drive, you have to keep your eyes peeled for oncoming traffic, and then pull aside to make room for oncoming vehicles to squeeze by. Yep, single track windy roads. Like an hour long game of chicken. And we did it at 100 km an hour.
Not to mention that the sun was setting directly into my eyes. Not even my sunglasses were helping, and I had to hold out one of my hands in front of me to block the piercing rays.
Single track windy roads. 100 km an hour. One handed and squinting. My car mates alternately cheering me on, vomiting into bags, (sorry, no time to stop!), interceding fervently, or craning their necks one side or another to see around the bends so that they can see cars before we crash into them.
Miraculously, we made it to the ferry terminal unscathed.
Five minutes after six. No groceries at all, of course.
But in the graciousness of God, the ferry was waiting for a bus load of passengers, and was still there. We gratefully stumbled aboard.
I think I’m ready for Nascar now. And I only bumped one curb the whole way…