SCHOOL JOURNEY TO THE ISLE OF SKYE
THE ISLAND Of Skye had enjoyed a long period of drought until the day we arrived. The journey up was uneventful except for a brief period in a ditch (owing to the narrowness of the roads).
The farmer on whose land we camped generously lent us his barn, in which we cooked our meals during our stay there. The next day we became acquainted with the native language and carried out various geographical exercises, in Portree, the principal town of Skye.
The rain continued to fall, and so we went by coach to Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the MacLeod clan. Here we were fortunate enough to meet Lady Flora MacLeod of MacLeod.
The next day was by far the longest walking trip of the stay, and we trekked across country and climbed The Sorr, 2,360 feet, the highest point in Northern Skye. The problem of descending the cliffs was overcome by crawling down a stone chute and making our way back to our camp.
On Sunday, fearing the wrath of the local inhabitants for religious reasons, we carefully retreated to the hills and removed various boulders as geological specimens.
The next day we had our first experience of the Cuillin Hills. and due to lack of time we managed to reach only half-way up Sgurr-nan-Gillean.
By this time there were so many victims of blisters that the ascent of Sgurr-Alasdair, 3,309 feet, the highest mountain in Skye, was carried out under the leadership of Mr. Hanson. After a thousand feet, cloud made visibility for climbing the rocks poor, and some of the time we were avoiding stray rocks dislodged by would-be mountaineers. We reached the icy-cold summit without injury, meanwhile the remainder were enjoying themselves swimming in the cool waters of Loch Brittle. The journey down was almost a race down the mountain side as the thought of food spurred us on.
By now the party were quite used to wading through peat bogs and highland burns, but we were not yet to be put out of our misery for the day after we again waded across the wet country to find the island's source of electrical power.
Thursday, our final day, dawned bright and clear and we paid a visit to Uig. This is only a village but with a pier which is reputed to be the longest in Scotland.
We left "our barn" at 7.0 p.m. much to the dismay of the local inhabitants and by 9.0 p.m. we were on the Scottish mainland. We travelled through the highlands by night and by early morning we were evading the policemen in Glasgow. The return journey was more prolonged than the trip there and we arrived at School at 11.0 a.m. on Saturday after 35 hours continuous travelling. Several of our number were missing as we had dropped them off on our journey across England. We had time for a meal, a wash and photograph before we were bustled off to London.
Many thanks must be given to Mr. Cobb and Mr. Hanson for organising the journey and for seeing us safely and speedily throughout a most enjoyable trip.
J. HANSELL and N. O'LOUGHLIN (V1)