My GF & I headed for Scotland in the hopes ( which were quickly dashed) of having
drier weather than what had been happening over there all summer long.
Still we were determined to make the most of it.
First on the list was Ben Nevis (known locally as: The Ben) the highest hill in the UK.
Leaving the Hostel at around 0800 in clear weather, we walked the 1.5 miles to the
start of the path.
It didn't take long for the rain to start. About an hour later the wind joined in.
Every time we thought about turning back. There'd be a 'sucker hole" and we'd
keep moving up.
Two & a half hours later the rain and wind got serious: I'm guessing in excess of 40mph.
But by then we were close enough to just do it.
On top there is a small shelter atop a pile of rocks that is suppose to be used in an emergency.
But when we got there is was full of other hill walkers. (well 4 others) We made 6 and that was about all it could hold.
We enjoyed the company and the talk for about 20 minutes before heading down.
And that was when the rain and wind got serious
It was every thing we could do to stay upright--even with trekking poles. And the rain
stung any exposed skin.
This lasted about 2 LONG hours. By then we had dropped down on the lee side.
Still windy and rainy: But we could stand up. (at one point a gust of wind knocked me backwards and I landed on my butt cheek. Still better than some boney part)
We got back to the TH after 3 hours.
Wet. Done in, but content.
Then as we walked back, some kind woman in an RV give us a ride into Fort Williams.
Of course; there were no views.
We rented a car in the hopes that if we headed east, we could escape the consent rain.
We ended up in Ballater. Which is close to the TH for the Munro: Lochnagar.
As before we started out in decent weather. Then da ja vue. Wind n' rain a plenty.
Again. We thought about bailing. As many others had already done.
But we pressed on. Then just when we'd had enough ( I mean how soaking wet can ya stand to be ?). A guy with a map came by and said we'd already done the hardest of it. Now it was mostly just a wide,flat ridge walk for about a mile to the summit. So of course we kept at it. The wind, tho' not as strong as on The Ben, was still strong enough to sting our faces.
Needless to say we only stayed long enough to get some snaps. And just like before: Our views were quite limited
On the way back we took a different path that, tho'longer, got us out of the wind and rain. And in fact all that ended in warm sun after about 90 minutes.
Once again we were ever so happy to see the car.
Hill walking wasn't the only thing we did.
There were some little visited Standing Stones and burial sites we made it to.
And we did some other walking as well.
Scotland is the only place I ever travel to. It is the only land that holds my heart.
Live everyday like you will die to-marrow. For someday that will be true.
My wife and I spent 2 months in the Highlands and Islands this spring. This was our second extended trip. There is a lot to see in such a small (think W. WA) area. You are constantly surrounded by amazing scenery and history. Walk a few feet from you room, lean back on a stone that has been standing thousands of years and watch an incredible sunset. A vehicle is pretty much a necessity as public transport is limited to the major population and tourist areas. Weather last spring went from record heat to this: That's a Telford bridge by the way. (large file)
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