Europe | United Kingdom (UK), Great Britain | Scotland | Outer Hebrides – Day 20 – The cliffs of St Kilda.
Woke up to an absolutely glorious day so I pack up my backpack and head for the hills, or hill really… Chaipaval to be exact… standing alone on an outcrop of land. Heading across fields ablaze with white daisies, marsh marigold and a few purple something-or-others (just when you think I’ve gone all botanical on you!). I come across an old ram with great horns curved many times about the side of his head (to say they were a bit reminiscent of Princess Lea’s hair do would be robbing him of his dignity!)
After passing the ruins of an old church I turn my attention to the hill… I figure the only way up is straight up so I slog it out… green grass on the lower slopes is soon replaced by large heather bushes and I have to listen out for small streams that I can’t see. Stopping occasionally to enjoy the view (and to rest!) and to listen to the sounds of no people. The small waves against the shore and the bleating of sheep are carried up to me. All around are the sounds of birds chattering, suddenly there’s a whirring sound behind me and then… whoosh! A flock of small black birds go zipping past, hugging the ground in some dare devil race to the bottom of the hill.
The summit comes sooner than expected and I’m greeted by a 360 degree vista, the cliffs of St Kilda about 5 miles distant can just be made out through the haze on the horizon. I only stay a short while as the midges are driving me mad, I descend a little way on the opposite side luckily coming across a small, flat grassy patch with just the right kind of rock for leaning against. Sitting here for about an hour or so I can see tiny, ant-like people making their way across the huge expanse of white sand that stretches out below. I head back down for lunch and spend the rest of the day sitting on the beach by my tent… I am on holiday after all! I chat briefly to Iain and Paula who are doing the same thing… it really is that kind of day.