Our visit to the highlands was simply a road trip, a quick drag around the Western Highland region to give Ruth a taste of the real Scotland. I have to say that I will not be unhappy to shed the car tomorrow. Driving has simply reinforced the joys of moving at a much slower pace.

The very pretty West Highland Coast just south of Ullapool. Unfortunately the rain limited our opportunites, it was usually grey and menacing looking but always spectacular, regardless of the conditions.
The very pretty West Highland Coast just south of Ullapool. Unfortunately the rain limited our opportunites, it was usually grey and menacing looking but always spectacular, regardless of the conditions.r
One of the softer Glens we saw on our trip down from Ullapool
One of the softer Glens we saw on our trip down from Ullapool

This was the region we had packed our extra layers of clothing for, little did we realise we would live in them for the entire 53 days we were in the British Isles.

Scotland did not disappoint, it has been cold, wet and bleak since we left Edinburgh but that has not detracted from the experience. You expect it, Gosh, if we flipped the World, the area we have been visiting would be well south of Cape Horn, in iceberg country. However, once on the ground, we had had to reassess how adveturous we could be.

The rare mix of light made an otherwise bleak scene quite colourful
The rare mix of light made an otherwise bleak scene quite colourful
The are many shear cliffs on Skye
The are many shear cliffs on Skye

When packing for a longer trip that is largely focussed on warmer climates or an expectation of warmer summer weather we had to compromise, we could not carry all of the gear you really need to. If we were coming for the sole purpose of walking on the Isle of Skye, I would have packed specialist gear, wet suit, scuba gear, ropes for pulling companions out of the bog, etc. All we had was sturdy footwear (but not water proof enough), quick drying pants (not quick enough), rain jacket (the wind still drove the rain in through any little gap) and in Ruth’s case, gloves and a woolly hat (very sensible lady). This gear was no match for the conditions so we restricted our walks to well formed paths, relatively lower altitudes and timed our walks for what looked like breaks in the weather. The latter proved impossible to judge, we got lucky on several occasions  but our last outing we did get a water blasting at the point furthest from shelter, not that there was much of that anywhere.

The Trottenish Peninsula on Skye has slipped and eroded to create a other worldly landscape. This one was called 'the old man of storr'
The Trottenish Peninsula on Skye has slipped and eroded to create a other worldly landscape. This one was called ‘the old man of storr’
A typical Skye village, this one was Uig where you could catch the ferry to the larger Isles to the West
A typical Skye village, this one was Uig where you could catch the ferry to the larger Isles to the West

The scenery has been stunning. Bleak but at the same time beautiful and well worth the minor discomforts we have encountered. Ruth said she felt strangely at home but when I suggested that we purchase one of the little “do up” crofters cottages I noticed that the nostalgia quickly disappeared.

Hopeful locals try to dry their laundry in the far north of Skye. It was bleak but spectacular
Hopeful locals try to dry their laundry in the far north of Skye. It was bleak but spectacular

I wont prattle on anymore but will let the pictures do the talking.

For our 53 days in the British Isles the weahter has been dreadful, 8 days without significant rain. However, I will cut the locals a bit of slack and take their word that this has been a really bad summer. We all have them.

Despite the weather, we have had a great time, met lots of amazing people and seen lots of amazing sites. Looking forward to our next adventure in Greece, I am putting a day aside to do nothing other than lie in the sun to catch up on the bonus summer we missed out on.

PS: I have no idea what happened with this post, just found it in “drafts”. I will put it down to the dodgy Wifi we experience, rather than the writers tardiness.

Ruth got plenty of practice at jumping between wet rocks at Glen Brittle at the base of the Cuillin mountains on Skye
Ruth got plenty of practice at jumping between wet rocks at Glen Brittle at the base of the Cuillin mountains on Skye
Ruth gets a blowdry on Skye
Ruth gets a blowdry on Skye
A short but very muddy walk we took from our BnB at Portree on Skye
A short but very muddy walk we took from our BnB at Portree on Skye
Unfortunately, after taking this picture similar volumes of water blasted out of the Sky, on Skye
Unfortunately, after taking this picture similar volumes of water blasted out of the Sky, on Skye
Well you have to take a picture of one of these. Sheep were the problem though, they roam free all over the roads.
Well you have to take a picture of one of these. Sheep were the problem though, they roam free all over the roads.
Wooden yachts in Plockton Harbour
Wooden yachts in Plockton Harbour
As in Ireland, the early Scots built round houses (Brochs) which housed family and livestock.
As in Ireland, the early Scots built round houses (Brochs) which housed family and livestock.

2 comments

  1. Many times we started planning a trip hike the West Highlands and just as often we ditched it for another destination. One friend, from that area, told us to ONLY go in May to hit the best weather and fewest bugs. Your photos and the scenery are spectacular and an inducement to see if a future May might work…

    And yes, we anxiously awaited the next blog post and finally came to the conclusion that it was wifi that was the problem. Enjoy sunny Greece!

    Like

    1. Part of our problem was our need to compromise on gear. With specialist hiking gear it would not have been such an issue. It rarely rained all day but the regular passing showers and the heavy underfoot conditions left us with wet walking shoes and pants. Unfortunately, we found that most accommodation, even those in the Cotswolds who pitch at the hiking sector, did not have drying facilities. Due to the delayed oist, we have been in Greece for nearly a week, very hot (been nudging 40c). Loving the contrast.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s