Himself knows only too well my limitations with my duff knee (damaged out walking in Scotland in 2011) and is wise enough to know what I can and can't do. He also knows that I am also overprotective about re-hurting it or damaging my other.
So when he suggested I climb down then back up this ... understandably I had a bit of a wobble (read as melt down) ... please note the distant view between the rock cleft there is evidence of farming (lines on the ground) and on them are sheep ... no I can't see them either - that is how far down they are ...
Let me start from the beginning.
The skies were grey and the threat of rain was very real, but we were camping on Skye and so far, despite the heavy cloud we'd managed to avoid getting wet. Himself had planned a 6km round walk to the end the Trottinish Peninsula and back, where the final ness - Rubha Hunish was 90 - 100 metres below the cliffs. He reassured me that we would stop at the top and only attempt the descent if I thought I could do it. (No pressure then).
We followed the stony track towards the deserted village of Erisco - a visible reminder of Highland clearances. The path traversed the high ground avoiding the wet and boggy sections and we made brilliant progress with wonderful views of the coast and the sea all around us.
We found the old coastguard look-out, now converted to a delightful bothy. The view from the old command window was outstanding and I sat perched on the high seat for a moment or two and took in the vast horizon. The sea and the sky seemed to melt into each other while the clouds continue to roll and turn menacingly. Inside the bothy it was warm, dry and out of the biting wind. We found ourselves a quiet corner outside the building and sheltered from the breeze as we sipped tea and nibbled biscuits. Himself suggested (in an offhand casual sort of way) that he'd like to look at the access route off the steep section down to the ness. I (in a guardedly sort of way) agreed. This was the view I was greeted by at the top of the path ... it just drops off the edge!
No, I don't know why I agreed to go down. It was steep, very very steep.
If you squint very closely behind Eldest and his red rucksack, at the top of the path just below the col (dip) you will see a family of four on their way up. We'd met them earlier near the bothy and their young daughters had made a fuss of Miss Moss. Himself then saw them later down on the ness and reasoned that if the girls had gone down and back up and lived to tell the tale ... then so could I.
Once on the ness and my heart had calmed and my knee had survived - a magical world began to reveal itself. Stone archways with feet plunged deeply into the inky waters and high rock monoliths towered up behind us. Sea stacks stood like solemn sentinels with startling evidence that they had been once climbed.
Suddenly on the horizon, speeding towards us, a squally shower had us scurrying for shelter in a tumbling jagged rocky cleft. We'd brought two large umbrellas that, once up and with our backs to the stone wall, gave us a wonderful refuge where we drank tea and watched the sea merge with the clouds.
The rain faded and we emerged from our shelter and continued walking around the ness. Moss played and played, running running running and splashing in the lochans and tarns. Her tail and beaming smile highlighting how happy she was. I kept looking at our return route - the cliffs were there waiting for me ...
I climbed back up, I climbed so much better that I had ever dreamed or hoped. At the top, puffing for breath and mentally giving my shaky duff knee a silent thank you, I caught Himself smiling at me proudly :)
Once home back at the camp site, the rain returned but it didn't matter, my knee and I were feeling suitably chuffed with ourselves. We were drinking huge mugs of steaming tea and munching shortbread - so we didn't care that it was raining - it had been a brilliant day :)