Slow Forward on the Hebrides (3)


If you have intentions to hike on the Hebrides: besides the very well made Ordnance Survey Maps and the usual trekking gear I cannot emphasize enough the importance of water resistant and high-cut trekking boots. Even though, for the uninitiated such as myself, the treeless hills (apology again, mountains) appear as though you could easily cycle them up they are, in truth, treacherous.

The soggy moor reduces any attempt to walking resolutely to a cumbersome trudging. Quite in our spirit, actually!

What is not in our spirit is the presence of myriads of blood thirsty beasts, the renowned midges. Only the gods will know what really helps against these tiny monsters, after all, they have placed them on earth . For what reason one can only wonder. The more earthly tips range from fully-fledged chemical weapons (which the midges seem to mistake as marinade), doubtfully fashionable net-hats (which look painfully ridiculous) to a week-long diet of Marmite (which we abstain from for culinary reasons). Lucky he who has a partner such as mine on his side, who is obviously of sweeter blood! What that does to your relationship is another issue, though.


Our next tour on the Isle of Skye we choose much more conservatively and decide to troll a few hours along a well-trodden path through the Quiraing. This time without the company of midges as these don’t like the wind which is constantly blowing around here. The scenery is breathtaking, difficult to describe and we restrain ourselves from chiming in to the usual analogies to Middle Earth. Saying that, we would not have been surprised at all if Gollum had been hopping along.

True to our credo Slow Forward! we declare it as our objective to stroll luxuriously slow to the northern end and then take time to savour the view and a beer that we brought along. We achieve both fully and I am proud of myself.

By the way, one could extend the tour along the Trotternish peninsula, which is then called the Trotternish Ridge Walk and would take you about three days.

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