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Short story assignment "A Short Walk to Kirkjubor" Faroe Islands

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A Short Walk to Kirkjubor Faroe Islands Despite my rasping lungs and screaming leg muscles I am happy. The day is just beginning to get warm and the early morning mist is just beginning to burn off the turquoise sea hundreds of feet below me. The sculptured islands of Koltur and Hestur are nudging their heads out from the clouds. For the last seven or so miles, because it is Sunday, and because I feel in tune with the universe, I have been blasting out my entire repertoire of hymns. I am, for once, in fine voice. There is no one around to complain and apart from a few concerned looking sheep I haven't seen a soul since I left Toshaven. Hoisting my bag onto my shoulders, I hike off across the ridge and continue on my way to Kirkjubor. Occasionally I stop to pass the time of day with a sheep and tell them about the ice-cold beer I am going to drink at the end of my walk. They knowingly bleat back that I am mad. I am as happy as I can ever remember being. I didn't expect to find such serenity in the Faroe Islands. The eighteen islands which float like a poet's lost ideas in the story North Atlantic might just be the Shangri-la of travel in these turbulent days of the early 21st century. ...read more.


was well trodden. The sun was just warm enough to stroll along with a shirt, the sea a few hundred feet below the cliff edge I was following was just the correct shade of turquoise for my liking and the grass was just the correct shade of green as to be aesthetically pleasing. Even the clouds were my favourite kind , those little fluffy bobs of cotton wool that are probably called neo-cumulo- something or other. It was as idyllic as I could ever possibly hope for. I stood for a long time gazing out to sea, lost in my thoughts and thinking: this is how life should be. Eventually, after raising my hip flask to the sky and toasting this magnificent day, I dropped down into Kirkjobor. Of course, happiness is transient and comes at a price. However, I put aside, for a brief second, the feelings of longing for home and my family and basked in the glow of walking hard in a beautiful land with no-one but myself to please. Chatwin, that most ephemeral of wanderers, claimed that if man walks hard enough there is no need for God. I have to agree and there is simply no better feeling than to be free in a strange land with no time constraints and an optimistic outlook. ...read more.


I sat down to look at the map and work out the best route back. I was slightly astonished to find that I had already walked about 15 miles that day (though closer inspection of my feet showed that it felt much closer to 150). The walk back was distinctly eerie. Not only was the path difficult to find there was also the added excitement of the crumbly cliff edge to deal with. I spent a long time gingerly feeling my way along, wondering if it would be best to plunge several hundred feet onto razor sharp rocks or die of exposure amongst the sheep. Neither seemed much of a good option. Every time I stopped to get my bearings and turned around I was sure that I was being followed. Every now and again I caught faint whistling on the breeze or smelt cigar smoke wafting towards me. It was terribly disconcerting. I tried not to let the mist dampen my feelings too much. As it closed in around me like a winter duvet I realized how different the day would have been if I had spent it groping around in the mist. I would never have seen the beauty of the place or laid my stones on the magical cairn or, perhaps, even made it to the village. Perhaps, I thought, still searching for the path, this is how my life is. Surrounded by beauty but hardly ever seeing its true value. This thought made me suddenly lonely for my little family. ...read more.

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