Thursday, 26 June 2014

BEAUTIFUL BOTHY


Having had a magical (almost) two years living on the Isle of Lewis, Jared and I have decided to move back to mainland UK. We've both absolutely loved it here, but agree that it's the right time to move on. Before we say our goodbyes to this beautiful part of the world, we're determined to make the very most of living in it.

When friends from London came to stay, we seized the opportunity to visit and camp overnight in one of our favourite spots - the bothy (stone outhouse) at Mangersta. Even if my brain weren't clouded by the fog that comes with ME / CFS, I don't think I could find the words to do this place justice. 

Aware that the trip would involve more walking than I'd managed in a while, I was a little apprehensive about it. This was far outweighed though by my determination not to allow ME/CFS steal what I knew would be a fantastic experience from me.

Since I'm not able to drive far, my lovely friend, Mr Spraggs, offered to negotiate the hour-long single-track car journey instead. This was really very kind as it meant that I could save my much needed energy beans for the next more physically demanding leg of the journey. 

Having parked up and checked with the owners that it was actually ok to stay in the bothy, the boys identified the best route through fields and highland cows for us to take on foot. With a plan in place, we began the 600m walk from the car to the cliff faceIt would be a massive lie if I said this part of the trip was enjoyable because truthfully it was really quite tough. As I looked at the expanse I still had to cross and tried 'just ten more steps' I was reminded of how I felt at the ten mile point of a half marathon several years ago.  With physical support, regular reminders to keep breathing and a chair carried along behind me for rest breaks, I managed though. It was all worth it the minute I realised I'd made it and looked up to be met with the view pictured below. Hannah, who works as a health professional, was absolutely fantastic throughout this part of the trip and I cannot thank her enough for her quiet but comforting reassurance and encouragement. Her patients should consider themselves very lucky.


The bothy, where we would be staying, was built in memory of a journalist who came from this part of the island. One of the things I love about it most is that, nestled into the cliff face and made from rock, you could miss it entirely if you didn't know it was there.



Inside there is a stove, a bench, a small wooden bed and a window looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. With the fire lit and tea light candles dotted about, it feels incredibly homely and cosy. Having unpacked our bits and pieces, we cooked a very yummy chilli con carne dinner before getting comfy for a round of the Pointless board game.


Settled in the little hideaway, non-alcoholic shandy in hand, I completely forgot about my illness for a while. It was such a treat to be tucked away from the world, in lovely company, doing exactly what I would've had I not been ill. When I curled up in my sleeping bag, listening to the others chatting away and the fire crackling I felt more content than I had in a long long while.
 

When morning came, it felt incredible to step outside into the fresh sea air and watch the birds swooping down from the cliff.  After a leisurely (attempted) pancake breakfast we packed up, and bid the bothy our goodbyes.

The trip back to the car wasn't easy but our lovely evening had given me the boost I needed to get through it. By the time we got there my legs didn't feel like they were attached to my body and I was a little emotional from the effort. Just under a mile of walking across two days may not sound like a lot but for me it was a huge achievement. I could've burst with how proud of myself I felt. There is no way I could've done it without the help of the lovely people pictured below and I'm just so grateful they were there to support me.


I had such a lovely time and it was just the escape I needed. I really hope that this was just one of many adventures Jared and I will fit in before we return to the mainland. 

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12 comments

  1. Sounds like you had a lovely time! And the location looks beautiful!

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    1. I really did Gemma, it made such a nice change to get out and make the most of our beautiful surroundings!

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  2. You should definitely be proud, how admirable is your determination? I'm so glad you had a lovely day, I hope you manage to squeeze in a few more before you leave!

    By the way I just wanted to say your 'Things That Have Helped Me' posts have really been helping me lately, even though I have a different health condition, so I just wanted to say a big thank you! x

    Josie’s Journal

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    1. Thank you Josie, that's really lovely of you. I can't tell you how nice it is to hear that the 'Things That Have Helped Me' (goodness I need a better heading!) posts have been helpful. So sorry to hear your health hasn't been so great recently though and sending lots of positive vibes and 'get better lungs' wishes your way x

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  3. I still can't believe how beautiful it is. I'm so pleased you could get out and make the most of your time there. I hope you can get out and do some more trips out before heading back to the mainland.
    Xx Hayley-Eszti - hayleyeszti.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Hayley-Eszti, you're a sweetheart! x

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  4. wow, such a beautiful place! It seems the perfect location to just forget about life's problems and negativity too. I'm glad you had a lovely time :-)

    xo
    www.thisisfrancescarose.com

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    1. Thank you Francesca Rose, that's lovely of you. You're right about the location, it's exactly that! x

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  5. such nice photos! looks like a lovely place to explore

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

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  6. Looks amazing! I'm so glad for you, well done Faye! xxx

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