Rain, Rain, Sunshine, Rain.
The rain fell in misty waves, obscuring the tops of the hillside. A sense of ancient foreboding loomed. The ground gleamed with rain and mud, sloshing gently with each step forward. My legs strained with the effort until I finally reached the summit. The clouds finally parted, allowing the sun to peak its way through, and we were granted a gleaming view of the hillside below.
Last weekend I traveled to the Isle of Skye with the university’s international center, and thought that International Education Week would be a great time to post about it. The Isle of Skye is part of the Scottish Highlands and is home to some breathtaking views, including, if you time it right, the northern lights. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right time to see the lights when our group went, but we still were able to see the beauty the isle has to offer. Our group stayed at a hostel in the town of Portree, the largest town on the Isle. We hiked during the day along Kilt Rock and the Old Man of Storr and later visited Dunvegan Castle.
Hiking in the Scottish Highlands
The hikes were intense to say the least, and the changing weather even more so. It rained on and off the two days we were there, which might have been unfortunate if not for the rainbows left behind when the rain stopped. The weather on the western coast is much more unpredictable than it is in Aberdeen, so it was essential to prepare for sudden changes. The rain itself wasn’t too bad for most of the trip, though at one point our group got caught in a downpour. The rain came down in seemingly almost every direction. Rain was pouring off the hood of my coat in tiny little streams. By the time we all got back to the bus, we were drenched. Good thing we were only twenty minutes from our hostel and I had worn fleece lined leggings under my pants to stay warm.
If you are planning on taking a trip to the Isle of Skye, or even going on a long hike, remember to try to pack light and take only what you need. Check weather forecasts and pack accordingly. For Isle of Skye in particular, a good raincoat and sturdy boots are essential! The terrain is can be really slippery and uneven. Also for novice hikers, like myself, take your time. Hiking isn’t a race. Pace yourself and enjoy the view!
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