Back from hiking in the Highlands

Old Jun 27th, 2001, 10:27 AM
  #1  
Diane
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Back from hiking in the Highlands

What started out nearly a year ago as a question on this forum about UK-based operators of walking tours in Scotland evolved, with masses of help from Sheila, into an independent two-week, four stop tour of the Highlands. The "walking" evolved, too, into something more akin to mountaineering, with an excellent guide recommended by one of Sheila's friends. Got to spend a few days at the end of the trip with Sheila and her husband at the Pierhouse Hotel in Port Appin---idyllic. The Highlands are gorgeous, and Sheila's recommendations are first-rate. We didn't even have any midges (I think it was too cold for the little buggers)! I'm happy to provide details, if anyone's interested.
 
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 10:49 AM
  #2  
chuck
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Diane,

By all means, please give us a trip report. I've only been as far North as Skye and that was a conventional hotel/rental car vacation. I'd love to hear the particulars of your adventure in that beautiful country.

Thanks
 
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 04:15 PM
  #3  
Diane
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
OK, Chuck, here goes:
We flew to Glasgow, got directly into our rented car (done thru AutoEurope, who were great) and drove out to the Cairngorms. We stayed at Auchendean Lodge in Dulnain Bridge---nice view over Strathspey and out to the mountains, excellent food, nice garden. Did two beautiful hikes ("walks", in Scottish!), including some "heather bashing" (bushwhacking) and plenty of elevation gain. Next we moved on to Torridon, where we stayed at a pleasant little B&B in Kinlochewe called Cromasaig. Had two more excellent walks (one in "atmospheric" weather conditions---clouds blowing straight up to the top of the ridge, views opening and closing depending on the clouds). Then on to Skye, and the Hotel Eilean Iarmain, which was lovely and had fantastic food. We splurged and stayed in the "half tester," which was a wonderfully comfy bed. Again, gorgeous views. Our walking guide was hired for our first two days there, fortunately (we did Sgurr nan Gillean and the Inaccessible Pinnacle---sounds good, doesn't it?), because on the third day it _poured_ rain, with driving winds, all day long. We took about a quarter mile walk out to a ruined castle on a headland (very "atmospheric"), and got soaked! Thank goodness for Goretex! The following day wasn't much better; we had a look at Dunvegan Castle, then on to Glencoe and the Pierhouse in Port Appin, where we met up with Sheila. The setting is beautiful, right on Loch Linnhe, and the seafood is fantastic. Best mussels I've ever had. Two more spectacular walks (ask Sheila to tell you about the Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor---here we'd call it Class IV scrambling, in Scotland they call it IIIS---the S stands for "serious!"). On the summer solstice, we went to a stone circle in Kilmartin Glen---it was almost midnight, and the light was spectacular. Very magical! On our last day we took a quick day trip out to Mull (Tobermory is very picturesque). As you see, our emphasis was on the out of doors (we bagged a total of nine Munros), not culture or history, and we didn't spend a single night in a city. All that will just have to wait for another trip! I feel we've barely scratched the surface (and there are something like 268 more Munros!).
 
Old Jun 28th, 2001, 05:18 AM
  #4  
chuck
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Diane,

All I can say is *wow* As we were driving through some of the same areas you describe, I thought how great it would be to hike that country. It is so open, the views from the ridges must be spectacular. All of the hiking I have done has been in heavily forested areas, such as the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC, where you labor for hours to get to an open space.

Thanks for a great report!
 
Old Jun 28th, 2001, 12:13 PM
  #5  
Diane
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Yes, the views were amazing (you have to be out West in the US to experience similar spaciousness)---WHEN I could let myself look at them! The "exposure" on some of these hikes was truly daunting. On the Inaccessible Pinnacle (they don't call it that for nothing) I absolutely could not look out (let alone down). The sense of nothingness out of the corner of my eye was quite sufficient! And I was safely harnessed and roped, mind you! That said, sweeping views across moor and mountain are readily available without such exploits.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2001, 12:55 PM
  #6  
Thyra
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Diane,
Thanks for the wonderful report, it really brings the Highlands back to me.. and reminds me that it's been way WAY too long since we were there. Thanks again!
 
Old Jun 28th, 2001, 01:19 PM
  #7  
Sheila
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It defeats me. this woman said "come for a walk; four fingernails and the erse torn oot o' ma breeks later; and you're PRAISING her??

And she drinks! Top of a mountain, no breath left to get down and she's swigging champagne. There are photographs to prove it and if she doesn't send one to Sally Fowler, I will.

We're now planning a trip to the Hebrides, but Diane's husband Alan says it's too flat
 
Old Jun 28th, 2001, 02:24 PM
  #8  
Diane
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Alan hasn't said it's too flat (yet)---I'm just anticipating his response. I will have to sell him on good seafood (yes, Sheila? Remember, he doesn't like whisky [misguided soul]), birds, and a Munro or two on Skye
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO