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Walking in Scotland

Walking all day. In Scotland it truly feels like walking, not hiking. Even the highlands are not so very high. Orkney is another end-of-the-world kind of place. Everything eternally grey, the sun forgotten how to shine. Heather everywhere. The famous moorlands of all those Victorian novels. Skipping across burns, shoes sloshing with rainwater. A score of staring, aggressive bulls. Never seen such mean, healthy, interested cattle before. Later, a mother cow just given birth, placenta still dripping from behind and calf tender and wet. Scotland is wild and yet not wild. Emphatically tamed but with some unquashable spirit. Maybe it's the drippiness. If you can survive the wet you must be made of flint and sparks.

Ten hours of clambering over slippery rocks, climbing soggy heather, shuddering in driving rain, fighting buffeting winds, trudging over miles and miles of road, dodging cars and hostile bulls. Calves are sore as they've never been before. Two cans of low-fat soup (and four eggs) were not enough for lunch; we came back and devoured two sandwiches each, a bag of salad, and a whole carton of Ben & Jerry's cookie dough ice cream.

Ohhh, we groan. Let's just sleep and eat and read tomorrow. But we never do.

* * *

The cutest ponies ever

I couldn't resist another picture

Sedimentary rocks?

Would be cool to see those caves from a kayak vantage point

Our first sea stack!

Like a real-life Jenga game

Hat is already coming in handy!

Unlike the Isle of Skye, the Orkney Isles are quietly scenic

Yesnaby coast sea stack

How did this happen??

Or this??

Please don't fall...

I don't even remember taking this picture, but I'm glad I did

The most intimidating cattle we've ever met. They chased us, and that barbed wire looked awfully flimsy.

Who needs Stonehenge when you've got the prehistoric communities of Orkney?

Stone yoga

How did they get these guys stuck into the ground?

He's got the bends

Look at the height on these!

Posted by chschen 05:00 Archived in Scotland

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