Yesterday we took a real rest day. We only rode to the small market for food resupply. Otherwise, we sat in the cozy lounge of our hostel reading books, eating, and watching the nasty weather roll through. It was a good day to be indoors.
That evening in the lounge we ended up talking with a pair of 60-something gents from England and a 40-something couple from Scotland. The conversation eventually led to the referendum. To my surprise everyone in the room had voted to leave. These were the first people we’d talked to who wanted the UK to leave the European Union. From what I gathered the most important factor to them was they were tired of outsiders controlling them. They wanted the UK to have more control over its own destiny. This is the same argument the Scots used in their failed effort to secede from the UK. Perhaps if the Scots have another referendum, they’ll choose leave. Carrie and I didn’t contribute much to the conversation. It was just interesting to hear opinions from the other side.
After three days of posh hostel life it was time to strike out to the town of Thurso, the gateway to the Orkney Islands. So the following morning we, with the help of a friendly wind headed east. Although this turned out to be our first day cycling in Scotland without rain, we continued to wear our jackets to stay warm. Scotland feels like San Francisco in June: windy, damp, and chilly. Mark Twain wrote, “I never spent a winter so cold as a summer in San Francisco.” Twain probably hadn’t been to Scotland.