Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Good Hippie B&B

We drove to the west this weekend past. We had no specific purpose other than to see what we could see. Julie has been over there a couple of times, but it was my first trip. The scenery is spectacular! You get bits and bobs of everything scenic - Sea cliffs, white sandy beaches, stunning vistas of islands, fog shrouded munros, tree filled river valleys, and desolate moors.

Sightseeing in Scotland with Julie is a different kind of trip. It involves stopping for second breakfast, elevensies, first lunch, second lunch, tea. You get the picture. I am not complaining. After many miles of single track roads with passing places, any time to get out of the car is welcome.

As it neared supper time we cruised into Ullapool. Ullapool is a small fishing village that is port for one of the large car ferries that takes folks out to the Hebrides. Being a jumping off point or a land fall point, the main street, all of a half a mile, is lined with B&B's. We parked the Festiva and strolled for a place to stay. We passed a few establishments all looking much the same. White plastered facades fronting the sidewalk with rooms upstairs directly above the street. But, there was one that stood out to Julie. A wood-sided house set back from the street with trees and a rustic looking garden and a vacancy sign. I could sleep anywhere, so I left Julie in charge of finding accommadations that would suit a princess. We rang the bell and after a pause a gray haired, 60'ish woman, who would not have been out of place at the Davis Farmers Market or a Grateful Dead show, answered the door.

The conversation went something like this..
"Do you have any rooms available?"
"We have one."
"Can we see it?"
"You can", opening the door to a nice room with a rustic, wood-canopied bed and two rocking chairs directly in front of the window overlooking the garden and the harbor.
"How much?"
"Sixty pounds."
"Does it include breakfast?"
"It is B&B, not just B. Just B wouldn't do, would it? And it is good breakfast."
"We'll take it."
"Gooood" in a Scottish brogue.
Extended pause.
"Do you want us to sign anything, registration or whatever?"
"OK, is there a key?"
"No, no keys, no locks."
"Should we pay?"
"You can or you can pay tomorrow."
"If you really want to sign something you can sign this," handing over the breakfast menu, which had no place for a signature.

So I settled into the rocker and made cups of tea. This house looked like something I lived in in Arcata in 1975. Rustic and comfy. The lounge was lived in with books with titles like Organic Gardening, Sustainable Planet, and Make Your Own Cloth strewn about. I settled into my book. I felt I should be reading the Collected Works of Emanuel Kant but, alas, it was only a golf book. Oh well, do hippies golf?

Give me crooked teeth and a true heart over the inverse any day of the week.

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