The grand finale of my trip to England and Scotland was my time in Papa Westray in the Orkney islands.
I had planned on a meditation retreat away from it all on the northern most island in Scotland. It was off season so I assumed with only one hostel there it would be empty and very, quiet for a feeling of isolation.
As it turned out there was an exploratory film crew from Europe and America there to investigate the site for the future film of the book The Outrun written by a former resident Amy Liptrot.
At first a bit stunned I recovered enough to see the benefits of the people and island. It was a different kind of isolation.
It was like being isolated on a holiday with friends and wonderful people. Being there was an adventure in meeting different lives coming together to form a wonderful creation.
The island itself was so different to what I was used to that it was exotic. There were no trees, however the air itself seemed to have ever changing energy and light.
The lack of adornment on the earth left space to see the energy surrounding it with ever changing light and wind.
The photo above is of the neolithic farm house, the Knap of Howar. It had been previously covered by sand which shifted to reveal the historic treasure. It was inhabited between 3,500 and 3,000BC.
There was a wonderful community store right next to the newly remodeled hostel. The hostel was a rating of 5 out of 5 in my opinion. I had been concerned about getting fresh vegetables there – however it was no problem at all. They have an island greenhouse that supplies spinach, lettice and chard. There were fresh farm eggs and anything I could want in terms of specialized food. It was a very pleasant surprise.
When ever I wanted to be by myself all I had to was go for a walk. There was a feeling of sky and more sky. Lots of space to meditate and relax.
I also met some lovely locals. It was great to see the community spirit. Papay is like one big community where people connect and communicate to build and support the community. It is quite inspiring. There were windmills for generating electricity for the household as well as for electric cars.
I managed to go to the weekly local coffee morning as well as a great Saturday night bar at the hostel. There was live music at the hostel, joining both visitors and locals in a wonderfully friendly atmosphere.
It was the perfect ending for an incredible month in England and Scotland.
The last day I walked halfway around Papay Westray along the coast and the next day took the daily plane to Kirkwall and back to the mainland.
Then of course as I love trains, I had to take the train back to London via Inverness and Edinburgh, then fly back to Chile.