29th December 2018 to 1st January 2019 - Sligachan Bunkhouse, Isle of Skye (New Year)
15 of us descended on the Sligachan bunkhouse on Skye for the last meet of the year and we arrived at various times throughout the day. A few of us had stayed at Invergarry the night before and did various hills on the way through to Skye with Kenny and Fiona C going up Carn Ghlusaid at Cluanie and myself and Anne going up Sgurr na Sgine while Gillian was Graham bagging near Fort Augustus. After receiving an urgent text from Claire I made an emergency stop at the coop in the Kyle to buy the custard which Claire had forgotten, close call but disaster averted and custard was procured.
The following morning there was a lot of gazing out the window at the weather, minging was the verdict. Heavy showers and windy but there was only so much coffee you can drink and so in dribs and drabs people set off for various activities. Mike and Fiona took a gamble and were the only folk to actually attempt a hill and went off up the Graham directly behind the bunkhouse, myself, Claire and Neil did a run over to the fairy pools where despite the weather there must have been 50 cars parked (why are these so popular?!). Gillian, Fiona M, Kenny, David, Chrisx2 went up a Marilyn called Roineval. Anne, Cathy and Fiona C went for a coast walk near Portree. Clare A joined us that evening having driven up from doing a hill near Crianlarich and arrived in plenty time for the excellent feast that was served up that night. After dinner we all retired to the lounge where David took on the role of entertainment manager and we played a game that involved holding your nose when someone pointed at you while the two people either side of you had to cup your ears. Now on the face of it this all sounds very simple but as more drink was consumed, the heat in the room grew to sauna levels and the game speeded up it turned very competitive and got very very funny, this could become an EMC favourite! After that we moved onto that old favourite charades, I think it's safe to say that charades is not my forte and our team was soundly beaten.
If we had thought the weather on Sunday was poor, on Hogmanay it was even worse. Horizontal rain, 50mph winds, more coffee please! Eventually cabin fever began to kick in and folk started to venture out, first to break was Neil, who donned his running stuff and took off up Glen Sligachan into the wind and rain. Anne and I took Gillian's shopping order and went off to the Portree coop and then walked up to the Old Man of Storr where we saw Kenny but not much else. Others went to Talisker Bay, some stayed near the Slig, while Claire and Chris R went over to Camusunary and hitched a lift back to the car in a post van. That evening we had another great feed, the custard all being consumed, followed by a quiz. As the New Year came in we were walking down the track, mulled wine in hand, to see Kennys excellent firework display, after which the sparklers came out. The star of the show though was Clare who performed a fantastic fire dance, the hidden talents of the EMC.
After two minging days of weather the first day of 2019 came up trumps, little wind and clear tops. I jumped at the chance to get up Blaven in clear conditions and did a wee run up it, taking in fantastic views. I met Chris R,Chris W and Clare on my way down as they made their ascent. Clare's influence in cold water swimming is catching with Chris R going in for a dip in Loch Slapin after their walk, brave lad. Fiona C, Cathy and Gillian also stayed on Skye and made Garbh Bheinn their first hill of the year. Neil and Claire did a run over the Kintail brothers and sisters and met up with Mike, Fiona R and Fiona M who were doing the 5 sisters. The hills had a slight whiteness on them today but full winter seems a long way off yet.
This was a great fun and sociable meet despite some very poor weather. A huge thanks to everyone for cooking, coordinating everything, preparing all the veg and meals, the cask of beer, the fireworks and the evening entertainment.
Happy New Year all.