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view from a mountain top: last of the scotland recap

2012 August 1
by dena

these pictures are from exactly 1 week ago, on my last days in the scottish highlands. its weird to think that one week ago i was wearing layers of sweaters and climbing mountains – fully immersed in untouched nature and now i’m sitting in my backyard, wiping sweat off my forehead and listening to sounds of construction a few blocks away. 1/2 of me misses the beauty of the isle of skye, but the other 1/2 of me was ready for familiarity, its own type of beauty, back here in houston.

our tour guide told us we’d be taking a hike, and further described it as a simple walk from A to B, B being the last 1/3 of the trail where he’d park our van in the “car park” and walk up to meet us. i feel like i’d be someone with some hiking experience but now that i think about it i don’t think i’ve ever really hiked, maybe a little in new mexico growing up and well, i guess in kauai last summer but anyway i’d never hiked like this before. yes there were trails, but there were also steep drop offs and fences with little ladders we had to climb over and although i enjoyed it, it was definatly not just a walk from A to B like presented to us before we set out.

since we were on our own for the first 1 1/2 hours of the hike we had assigned a leader and promised to keep together. although i wasn’t the assigned leader i some how became the unofficial one, if you know how bossy i can be this makes sense, lets just say it’s because i’m an aries. i’m also a pretty fast walker so its not my fault if i just happened to be first in line and there for ended up leading the rest of the 29 people. the only “uhhhh” part of the hike itself was when one guy from team-USA and one guy from team-Denmark thought they take a different trail and meet up with us on the other side of the mountain – only a boy would have this idea. and this idea being: DUMB. no way were we going to split up, i guess they just wanted to look cool or something.

from there we were all tired and cold but not too tired or cold for some of the daredevils to go swimming in this waterfall on the atlantic coast. oh my gosh, i was wearing a scarf and sweater just looking at the long walk down the hill – no way was i going to get into a bikini and go swimming in the way WAY cold water. once again – it was mostly the americans who took part in this DUMB idea, i’m proud to say i represented houston well by not participating.

that night we had a major pot luck – lots of past and meat. in the picture below France is showing something to the 2 Georgians and 1 canadian.

we spent the next several hours playing that game were you write the name of a famous person on your forehead and go around the room asking questions trying to figure it out. i had “margaret thatcher”. i had no idea until i asked it my celebrity was pretty and everyone started laughing. after a long round of that game we resorted to playing team charades with pictionary cards. this proved to be more challenging than expected with all the language barriers. turns out only americans call “the place where you store pigs” a “pig sty”.

this is me in front of the tallest mountain in the UK. next stop a small farm of HAIRY COWS, of which i didn’t necessarily care too much about but just about everyone else on the tour was peeing their pants excited to see one up close. and let me just say, i’m used to most “farm smells”, you know growing up going to my grandparents house in the country and all, but for some reason this pasture smelled 1 zillion times worse – it was horrible. so if i wasn’t already feeling car sick from driving up and down the steep mountain roads – this just put me over the edge!

last stop before returning to edinburgh was the william wallace monument – you know, william wallace, the guy Braveheart was based on. well actually i was the 1 person on the tour who had never seen that film so no, i didn’t know either. from there we headed back and i got our bus driver to drop me off 1/2 closer to the flat i was staying at – so from there it was only a 30ish minute walk home.

i still have some “london street style” and “UK skyline” pictures to show – but i’ll give you guys a little break, maybe i’ll post them next week or later. more good news: makenzie comes back tonight at 6pm. we already have our friday lunch date planned and then all day saturday hanging out at white linen night and then the infamous HAUS party. get ready for some CRAZY posts.


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