Let me preface this post by saying I have never actually climbed a mountain before. Steep hills maybe, but this was a in a league of it’s own. We had planned to make the most of the amazing weather Scotland has had over the past couple of weeks and visit the Isle of Arran to hike Goat Fell. Failing to find a suitable time for us both during the week, we left early on Saturday morning. Which also when the sun decided to peace out! Clouds, mist and wind aren’t the perfect conditions to get a Ferry over to a small island, but that didn’t stop us!
In true Chiera style, I was totally and completely ill equipped for a hike. I wouldn’t recommend wearing your £6 Primark plimsolls if you’re walking up a mountain. Just don’t do it!
We arrived in Arran at around 10:30am and started the hike at 11am. Goat Fell is 2800ft high, and the highest point of the island. I was actually quite surprised with how much I enjoyed the climb. What I was expecting to be a horrible, painful hike was in fact quite a relaxing walk. About an hour in we hit the clouds, and had 2 more hours of not being able to see more than a couple of meters in front of you until we reached the summit. This actually worked a bit in my favour. When you are walking/climbing over a bouldery mountain face with a very sudden and steep drop, it’s quite nice to not be able to see how far it goes. I reckon we got to the top at about 2pm – and that is where the exhaustion hit!
I honestly don’t remember much of the descent. It took 2 hours, my feet were in agony, I fell twice and I was deliriously tired. The closer we got to the bottom of Goat Fell, the clearer our view became and it was so refreshing to see colours and shapes and textures, rather than just a white haze. Even in horrible weather Arran was so beautiful and picturesque. I can’t even imagine what it’s like in the sun!
When we reached the bottom we attempted to wait on the bus. Some kind strangers stopped to tell us the next bus didn’t arrive untill 7pm so our only option was to walk back to the ferry port. In actuality, it was about 15 minutes away. After a 5 hour hike? It felt like it took hours! Every step was horrible. I really enjoy walking and exploring but it’s an intense downside that I seem to forget about everytime.
It has taken me 3 days for my legs and feet to recover. I’m still a bit stiff if I’m being honest. Next time I swear I will come prepared. And do some stretches or something!
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