Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish, AKA The Hike From Hell

Scotland #1: Welcome to Edinburgh!
Scotland #2: The View from Arthur’s Seat
Scotland #3: The View from Scott Monument
Scotland #4: Going Forth to Forth
Scotland #5: The Beauty of Fife
Scotland #6: Whisky Fail
Scotland #7: Defeat at Culloden
Scotland #8: Cawdor’s Not-So-Secret Garden
Scotland #9: The Loch Ness Loop
Scotland #10: The Road to Skye
Scotland #11: Old Man of Storr
Scotland #12: Pieces of Skye

Rubha Hunish

The hike along Rubha Hunish (literally the head of Hunish) is located at the tippy top of the Isle of Skye.

Ironically, we chose to hike Rubha Hunish because it was billed as an easy, flat stroll to Skye’s northernmost point. I was still feeling under the weather and didn’t have the energy to huff and puff up a mountain.

That was our first mistake.

The hike started out fine enough, but grew a little treacherous as the “path” became increasingly muddy and wet thanks to Skye’s persistent wet weather. Every couple of minutes, one of us would screech when we accidently stepped in a pool of muddy water. The hike instructions were the opposite of clear, but we followed the stream of people in front of us and what looked like a reasonable path.

*@IMG_5485

This is a path. So far so good.

**IMG_5505

Pretty views. No complaint here.

**IMG_5539

Ditto.

@IMG_5533

The aforementioned muddy puddles. You see how the “path” is a little more mysterious here?

It all seemed worth it when we got to this stunning view.

***IMG_5636

And took these pictures.

*@@IMG_5671

*#DSC04291

After taking way too many pictures (of course), we decided to follow the book’s instructions for a loop back to the starting point instead of heading down the same path we had started on.

**IMG_5786

Heading back

That was our second mistake.

We hiked down to low land, walking along the beach. By this point, Skye’s infamous wind picked up, and it began to mist. The guidebook instructed us “follow a faint path diagonally inland, aiming for a corner of the [stone] wall to where it becomes a wire fence.”

UH…IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE CLEAR???

*IMG_5819

Walking along the beach…

Those would have been fine instructions if we could make out either the stone wall or the wire fence. Failing to see either of those things, we decided to move inland anyways.

That was our third mistake.

As we moved inland, the weedy grass grew taller – sometimes as tall as our waists – making it difficult to walk and impossible to see the mud puddles lurking throughout. By this point, our feet were soaked through and through. Our socks were black, and our pants weren’t much better. Every step we took made a sad squish sound. And, we had no idea where we were going.

**IMG_5849

My poor sneakers…

I reread the instructions in our hiking path, finding little amusement in the authors insistence that the path may be faint, but still there. Faint my ass. If there was a path, it was long, long gone.

*IMG_5858

This looks like a stone wall, but where the hell does it meet a wire fence?

We finally reached what appeared to be the aforementioned stone wall and wire fence. But there was no obvious door or path toward the “row of houses which were once the home of the coastguards.” We climbed over the wall and wandered for 10 minutes until we decided on a new plan: Make for the hotel in the distance in the hopes that someone – anyone – could point us back to our car. We turned around, climbed over the fence, and wandered in the opposite direction. Guess what? The elusive hotel was unreachable, barricaded by a wall meant to keep away nomads like ourselves.

So… we turned around, climbed over the fence and walked in the opposite direction. Again. At this point, we decided to simply keep going. I suspected we were headed in the general right direction, even if we had no idea where our car was.

After some period of time we came across a man herding sheep on the side of the road. He was very nice and accommodating even though we sounded a bit desperate. Okay, a lot desperate. He pointed us in the right direction, and a few minutes later we saw…

*@IMG_5867

…The red phone booth right near the parking lot. Lisa was so overjoyed, she gave the phone booth a hug.

Tired, cold, and wet, we made our way back to the hotel and promptly declared our socks unsalvageable.

Dirty socks - Skye

Our disgusting socks

And then I blow dried my sneakers, which is a) a bad idea if you’re trying to avoid a fire and b) not good for the sneakers, but desperate times… (Side note: When I got back to the U.S., Saucony was kind enough to send me a new pair of sneaker inserts after my original inserts mysteriously shrunk on my trip to Scotland.)

Shoes - Blow Dryer-cropped

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a pleasant Scottish stroll turned into the hike from hell.

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

6 thoughts on “Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish, AKA The Hike From Hell

  1. […] Scotland #1: Welcome to Edinburgh! Scotland #2: The View from Arthur’s Seat Scotland #3: The View from Scott Monument Scotland #4: Going Forth to Forth Scotland #5: The Beauty of Fife Scotland #6: Whisky Fail Scotland #7: Defeat at Culloden Scotland #8: Cawdor’s Not-S0-Secret Garden Scotland #9: The Loch Ness Loop Scotland #10: The Road to Skye Scotland #11: Old Man of Storr Scotland #12: Pieces of Skye Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish AKA The Hike from Hell […]

  2. […] #10: The Road to Skye Scotland #11: Old Man of Storr Scotland #12: Pieces of Skye Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish AKA The Hike from Hell Scotland #14: Losing my Phone in Scotland and Other […]

  3. […] #10: The Road to Skye Scotland #11: Old Man of Storr Scotland #12: Pieces of Skye Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish AKA The Hike from Hell Scotland #14: Losing my Phone in Scotland and Other Adventures Scotland #15: The Road to […]

  4. […] #10: The Road to Skye Scotland #11: Old Man of Storr Scotland #12: Pieces of Skye Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish AKA The Hike from Hell Scotland #14: Losing my Phone in Scotland and Other Adventures Scotland #15: The Road to Glasgow […]

  5. […] #10: The Road to Skye Scotland #11: Old Man of Storr Scotland #12: Pieces of Skye Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish AKA The Hike from Hell Scotland #14: Losing my Phone in Scotland and Other Adventures Scotland #15: The Road to Glasgow […]

  6. […] #10: The Road to Skye Scotland #11: Old Man of Storr Scotland #12: Pieces of Skye Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish AKA The Hike from Hell Scotland #14: Losing my Phone in Scotland and Other Adventures Scotland #15: The Road to Glasgow […]

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

%d bloggers like this: