- Steven Brocklehurst
- BBC News Escosia
For nearly 40 years, Ken Smith lived without electricity or water in a wooden room made of handicrafts on the shores of a remote lake in the Scottish Highlands, avoiding regular life.
“It’s a sweet life. Everyone wants to do it, but no one does it,” Smith said.
Not everyone will agree that Ken’s solitary and secluded lifestyle is better than fishing and gathering food, collecting firewood and doing laundry in the old open-air bathroom. And even less in 74 years.
It is a two hour walk from the road near your registration room On the edge of Ranoch Moore by Loch Drek (Scotland)
“It’s called the Lonely Lake. There was no way to get here, but people lived here before the dam was built,” he says.
“Its ruins are all there. Census [de habitantes] Now it’s one, it’s me, ”he says as he looks at the lake from the foothills.
Filmmaker Lizzie McKenzie first came in contact with Smith nine years ago, and for the past two years she has been filming him for the BBC documentary Scotland. The Hermit of Trick (“The Hermit of Dreak”).
Ken, originally from Derbyshire, described building fire stations at the age of 15.
But His life changed when he was attacked by a gang of thugs at the age of 26 After a dinner party.
He suffered a brain haemorrhage and lost consciousness for 23 days.
“They said I would never cross it. They said he would not speak anymore. I was told I would not walk anymore, but I walked. That’s when I decided I wouldn’t live under anyone’s conditions except my own, ”he says.
I am looking for a new direction
Ken began to travel and became interested in the idea of nature.
In Yukon, a Canadian area adjacent to Alaska, he wondered what would happen if he left the road and “went nowhere”.
So he did just that. He says he walked 35,000 kilometers before returning home.
When he was out, his parents died and he was not found Until he comes home.
“I didn’t feel anything. It took a long time to hit me,” he says.
When Ken was all over Great Britain and was in Ranoch, in the Scottish Highlands, he suddenly began to cry thinking of his parents.
“I cried all the way when it happened,” he says.
“I wondered where the most isolated place in Britain was.“, He adds to the documentary.
“I was wandering around, following every bay and every summit where no houses were built. Hundreds of kilometers away. I looked across the lake and saw this forest,” he recalled.
He knew he had found the place he wanted to stay.
Ken says it was the moment he stopped crying, and his constant wandering.
He first experimented with designing with small sticks and began to create a wooden room.
A life of solitude
Four decades later The cabin has a wood stove, but no electricity, gas or running water And definitely no cell phone signal.
The firewood in the forest must be cut down and brought back to a distant refuge.
He grows fodder for vegetables and berries, but his main source of food comes from the lake.
“If you want to learn to live an independent life, all you have to do is learn to fish.”, Share.
Ten days after film director Lizzie McKenzie left the cabin in February 2019, Ken was in danger of being isolated when he suffered a stroke while out in the snow.
He used the GPS provided to him a few days ago to activate SOS, which was automatically sent to a response center in Houston, Texas.
From there he was reported to the Coast Guard in England and was airlifted to a hospital in Ken Fort William, where he recovered for seven weeks.
The staff left to make sure he could live freely again Doctors tried to bring him back to civilization, Where he owns an apartment and caretakers. But Ken wanted to go back to his room.
However, the “double vision” he experienced after the stroke and his memory loss had to accept more help than Ken had ever received.
The main hunter in the area, who takes care of the forest where Ken lives, brings him food once every two weeks, which he pays for in his retirement.
“People are so nice to me these days,” Ken says.
A year after his first recovery, Ken was sent back on a plane after being injured in a falling pile of wood on him.
But he says he is not worried about his future.
“We never came to earth. I will definitely stay here until my last days come. I have had many incidents, but it seems that I have escaped them all, “he says.
“Of course I’ll get sick again at some point. Something will happen to me that will take me a day like everyone else. But I will reach 102 years old,” he says.
Now you can get notifications from BBC News Mundo. Download the latest version of our app and activate it so you don’t miss out on our great content.
“Music ninja. Analyst. Typical coffee lover. Travel evangelist. Proud explorer.”