We came upon the coral beach like shipwrecked sailors. While we had never stepped foot from the land, we had spent days tossed about by strong winds beneath stormy clouds on the coast of the Isle of Skye, and we had seen nothing but those cold, silver waters over which the wind came. We knew very little about the place we were trying to find, and had been given only the vaguest directions and a grossly underestimated sense of how long it would take to walk there. It was the end of the day, and we were particularly exhausted from the cold and the incessant scream of the wind that kept us awake all night. What began as a path soon descended into fields of mud, through which we trudged with no great enthusiasm and several conversations about turning back.
And then, after climbing over the collapsed stone wall of an old ruin (or new ruin – those winds destroy rapidly), we saw it, and all but ran down the hill towards the water. The sun came out just as we reached the edge of the beach, and we found ourselves unexpectedly in the midst of a world of Caribbean blue waters, white sand, and bright green hills.
Dressed in heavy wool and muted colours, I felt as though I’d stumbled into a dreamscape I didn’t belong in. It still does not quite seem real.