To The Very North Of Scotland Mainland!

After I camped a night by the sea in Durness, I couldn’t stand the cold anymore. It was too cold for me and the wind never stops blowing. I plan to stay another day there so I went to a bunkhouse nearby to sleep in the warmth under a roof. It was there where I met Lucie, a lonely French girl who hitchhike around Scotland for a few months. A young girl, 22 years old and became addicted with traveling. She made her way here from Edinburgh just by hitchhiking. She left her home somewhere in the suburb of France 5 months ago and get to London to work there for a few months before hitchhiking around Scotland. We then spent the day together walking along the white sand beach for a few hours exchanging our past stories, sharing our hope and dreams in the future in this life. She burst into a laugh when I told her that some Asian girls I know are obsessed about France, tried to speak some words in French because they think its romantic, Paris is somehow a city of love and French guys are romantic. Hehehe…. She replied back that Paris is just another boring city and the Eifel Tower is an ugly tower. And she didn’t find any logic that why the language can become romantic. Probably Hollywood is to be blamed here. Then it was my turn to burst into a laugh…

Later in the evening, 3 German guys came in to the bunkhouse so we all sit together talking crap, hehehe. They travel by car for 2 weeks around Scotland together while waiting to go to University in Munich. And again, they invited me to pass by Munich, if I cycle in Germany heading to the Alps from the east. I guess one day when I cycle in Germany, my progress will be very slow in the country since I will meet so many people in Germany. And again, they were impressed to see my film and that night I felt like I’m back to work as a lecturer in KL when I taught them how to use their DSLR camera to get the best pictures and to film the night sky. I was outside with them in the cold for an hour teaching them the technical part of filming with DSLR cameras under the low light condition and when we get back to the bunkhouse, I taught them on how to handle those footages in post-production from my laptop. It was fun because these guys really have strong interest in the subject unlike back home, where some of my ex-students were learning by force, just to get the paper and the qualification…

Early the next day in the morning, I left Durness heading towards Tongue, the last village for me in the north of Scotland before riding down south fast back towards Glasgow. I plan to meet Lucie again there, since we both heading towards the same direction. Im cycling and shes hitchhiking, heading towards the same direction. So I left first early in the morning while shes taking her time slowly. The road from Durness to Tongue is another pain, many big climbs and some are very very steep and I had to push my bicycle at some point. It was only 50 km away but it took me around 5 hours pulling my bike with the heavy luggage because of the terrain. It was beautiful here when the sun is shining proudly, I was riding constantly under the shadow of Ben Hope, the highest mountain in the northern part of Scotland. The height is only about 1000m above sea level but it looks majestic here under the clouds.


Upon reaching Tongue, Lucie was waiting for me at the roadside and we went to a youth hostel there together. I was shivering all the way so I stayed inside the hostel for a few hours until the sun was shining again. I felt much better after I had a cup of hot tea. It was a very small village with only 1 small shop, I guess the population here is below 200 people. I felt so tired that day and I actually went to sleep for 2 hours in the evening! Hehe I guess im getting older or what? I only cycled some 50km and already felt so tired. Or maybe it’s the cold? Or perhaps too many big climbs?….

Here in Tongue, I supposed to meet an old friend from KL who has been studying and living here in Aberdeen for years. She drove to Tongue from Aberdeen with her brother and arrived quite late. So I decided to meet them the next day since I was too tired. We supposed to meet after breakfast the next day but the problem was that my phone doesn’t have reception in the area. I waited a while and they never show up. I was hoping that they will find me since there is only 1 hostel there in the small village and its easy to find, and they travel by car. At some point, while I was sitting outside the hostel listening to music from my Ipod, suddenly they passed by me! It was really fun meeting them since we both know each other for many years. Its like a school reunion here in the very north of Scotland! Shes from Bangsar and Im from Damansara Heights so we both have the same circle of friends and came from the same background, same culture. We are far away from our home yet we speak the street Malay language, making Malay jokes and laugh the Malay style! Hehehe… But we didn’t spend too long together, since they are on their way to Durness and finally to the Isle of Skye. I will meet them again in Aberdeen soon a few days from now and will invade their space, sleep in their bed and swarm their fridge with my stuff! Hehe…


One Comment on “To The Very North Of Scotland Mainland!

  1. Nice post and great pics, Hariz….as always…membaca story ko ni selalu buat my colleague heran…cos kejap akak gelak, kejap akak dok cakap, “kesian adik aku”….LOL…
    U know, when I did my solo ride recently, I happened to notice my shadow on the road and I told myself, “haa….ini shadow mesti kena capture, just like how hariz used to do”…but since there were many vehicles on the road, I KIV the idea….when the road was less with traffic, cuaca pulak mendung…langsung x dapat amik pic shadow…hampehhh!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: