chapter

V. Confrontations

Journey to self-discovery

In summer 2019, I leave on a five-month trip through Scotland and Iceland. I travel on foot and by bicycle on large wilderness, mineral deserts, inhospitable environments and face the elements in search of a return to simplicity through physical effort. In Scotland, I walk for five weeks on the West Highland Way, the Hebridean Way and the Skye Trail. I walk through ruin, swamps and green mountains, ears lulled by the singing tones of the Gaelic language. Then I embark on an expedition to Iceland. Wind is my worst enemy and my best teacher there. It keeps me from advancing and destroys my strength. It teaches me to get rid of my vanity and my pride. To accept unpredictability and impermanence, to discover beauty in every second. I pedal and walk for almost three months, my mind on the alert in this very different world. On this island the landscapes are so raw, so pure that I feel on another planet.
Keywords: wind, effort, nature, hiking, cycling, wide open spaces, solitude, magnificence, volcanoes, bogs, talking to myself, mass tourism, raw

Five months – July to October 2019 – Scotland and Iceland

dispatches.

part 2: An Icelandic expedition

Snaefellsnes, Iceland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

Driving on my footsteps

End of my trip to Iceland. I travel for the last time the extraordinary landscapes of the island.

Myvatn, North coast, Iceland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

The large North

Pedaling around Tröllaskagi peninsula and the Myvatn oasis.

South coast, Iceland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

Southern delusions

First week cycling along the south coast of Iceland, from Keflavik to Svinafell.

part 1: Walking through Scotland

Highlands, Scotland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

Quick visits

Last days in Scotland. A short tour of Loch Ness following the Great Glen Way and a visit to Inverness.

Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

Exploring Harris and Lewis

Last part on the Hebridean Way through Harris and Lewis. An end of a hike full of discoveries and encounters.

South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

Windy monotonies

First part of my hike on the Hebridean Way through the Outer Hebrides archipelago.

Highlands, Scotland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

Across the Highlands

Part two on the West Highland Way. The return of the sun, a feeling of accomplishment and the great green mountains.

Highlands, Scotland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

One foot after the other

A week of hiking on the West Highland Way. First part across the Highlands, in the rain and with a head full of questions.

photographs.

Ísafjörður, westfjords, Iceland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

Iceland

Iceland is a country like nowhere else. Its landscapes are magnificent and inhospitable and its atmosphere is special.

East fjords, Iceland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

At the pace of Iceland

Iconic landscapes of Iceland. Landscapes of a rough, inhospitable and beautiful island.

Skye, Scotland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorisation

The Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye, located in northwestern Scotland, is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago.

South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland © Claire B. - Please do not use without authorization

The Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides are an archipelago of islands east of Scotland that I crossed on foot following the Hebridean Way.