I’ve never heard of Isle of Arran until my cousin mentioned it. And soon enough, two days later we were on the ferry heading to this isle. We weren’t blessed with good weather but maybe it was for the better. As the fog lifted, the mysterious island slowly revealed itself to us: it felt like we were on our way to discover King Kong.
The ferry was pretty crowded: a lot of locals came here to spend their weekend with their dogs and bikes. We took a map of the island and we happily boarded the bus that would take us to the highest peak, Goatfell. We figured that at least half of the people on the bus would come down and hike with us so we didn’t worry much. Turns out, our destination was not even a bus station and the driver dropped us off in the middle of nowhere. It’s no coincidence that no one got off with us. Heck, in my head I could hear the driver snickering and calling us “bloody idiots” with his thick Scottish accent.
Do you see that mountain in the background, covered by fog? Or was it a cloud? I have no idea but anyone can tell that the visibility is pretty much zero. It was raining, it was cold, no one was around but us three. Suddenly, we remembered that as we came down from the ferry we saw a missing person notice but ignored it since it was crowded there. And as we were climbing the to the peak, the road got gradually bumpier, there were no human sounds and at one point, all we could hear was the waterfall.
Do you know how terrifying it is to hear the water rushing down just one step away from you but all you could see were the trees?
One – what you can’t see, you can hardly dodge so any of us could slip into the water and drown.
Two – if some kind of other misery befell on us, even dogs with their powerful hearing sense wouldn’t be able to hear our screams.
We started to get scared… ( God, why is IT called Goatfell? Did a goat fall here, aren’t goats supposed to be nimble and stuff ?)
…so we turned back halfway and returned to the safe land.
I do have to say that the hike was enjoyable. The mountain was in front of us, the ocean was behind and right next to us, bushes and trees were swaying in the wind. You couldn’t be more in tune with nature than that. But it was a wise decision to come down before any of us slipped in the mud and literally become part of nature.
When we got back to flatlands, we had to come up with new plans since any activity involving climbing mountains was now off the grid. Fortunately, Isle of Arran has no shortage of beautiful landscapes.
Look at those beautiful shores. They have nothing in common with the sandy beaches but their rocky surface and their wildness are quite charming.
These two brave kids played right next to sea waves. I was scared that the wind would lift them off and drop them into the deep waters but their parents were apparently fine with it. The locals here are hardcore.
Here is my cousin admiring Goatfell from a safe distance.
We discovered a lovely goat farm on a hill. I absolutely wanted to take a photo of one of the goat’s faces but the animals were so focused on eating that grass that none of them bothered to look up. Also, this is how I imagine Heidi’s house (even though she lived in the Alps).
Finally, we reached a valley. We could only gaze at it from afar but it was enough to awe us. We took our time contemplating the landscape and then we headed back to the ferry station. On our way back to the mainland, we managed to get some places to sit and ate fish and chips. We were exhausted from all the walking and hiking but it was a very satisfying experience. Next time, we’ll just plan the trip a little bit better.