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Climbing Goat Fell

So Sunday was the epic hike day for The Goddess, The Kilted One, and The Dae.  The weather up here has been absolute horrendous the last few weeks.  Raining every day, flooding in parts of the nation, and a wet dog smell on the highland coos.  Well, there would be a wet dog smell on the highland coos regardless of how much it rained, but you can't fault them for that.

The day started out bright and early with a trip by car from Prestwick to Ardossan, which would have been lovely, but The Goddess isn't a morning girl and leaving without so much as a cup of coffee, well... that was pushing it.  But 8 a.m. saw her up and getting dressed, putting on her borrowed hiking boots, and shuffling into the backseat of the car.  The ride to Ardossan was uneventful and soon she was being herded onto a ferry.  Now The Goddess hasn't lived near water for most of her life so this was actually her first big boat ride, first ferry ride, first trip out into a sea/ocean, etc.  A whole lot of firsts that were a bit marred by the fact that she was still rubbing sleep from her eyes.  Overall it was a great experience.  No fear, no sea-sickness, nothing negative, well save from loud obnoxious children but what are you going to do about that?

To make things even more grand, The Dae even bought the morning's cuppa to get her started.  The ferry ride was about 55 minutes from port to port so there just wasn't enough time to do more than relax and enjoy the first day's coffee.

When we arrived on the island it was raining, which it has been nearly every day since some time in June, so that wasn't too much of a surprise.  We boarded a bus bound for the start of the trail and began our journey.  

The entrance to the trail is behind a lovely boutique, but alas, the kilt wearers weren't having any of it.  So we trekked into the hills.  The trail immediately became engulfed in woods and foliage and green green green.  Even the tree trunks were green.  The Goddess was impressed.  After about a quarter of a mile of steady slight incline we came to a field with Highland Coos in it.  

Now Highland Coos, if The Goddess had to describe them, most look like a cross between Texas Longhorns and Yaks.  Since first seeing them back in 2010, she is convinced that they must be the most beautiful creatures on the planet and are now one of her favorite animals.  After having the coos pose pretty for pictures, it was back on to the trail.

A steady up and up among the brush and bramble, pictures of thistle, bell flowers, heather, and trees, and every now and then a quick peak over your shoulder to admire the beautiful bay, it was all looking rather lovely.  Even the rain had let up, although, up ahead around the crest of Goat Fell was a ring of mist that proved to be ominous.

The way began to break from the trees and green and become more rugged and rocky as we made our ascent.  It was incredibly steep and all in the party were puffing hard and rolling their ankles at every loose stone.  It was breathtaking, literally, and as we broke across stream and boulder alike the mist creept ever closer.  By the time we reached the highest ridge before the final ascent we were walking among the clouds.  Visibility was just too poor to continue.  One for safety reasons and secondly because if we did manage to get to the summit we would see nothing beyond the mist.

Begrudgingly we decided to stop and have our lunch in the hopes the mist would move off.  The Goddess decided to be particularly adventurous and moved herself off to a far cliff to sit atop a boulder and dangle her feet into the nothingness below.  It was the most amazing experience.  She just had to video it and upload it to youtube.

The hike down off the mountain was uneventful but rushed.  Andy Murray was battling it out at Wimbledon and we were already pressed for time.  We were able to catch the last few games at a lovely lil' pub called Mac's.  The crowd was lively, although we were there too late to enjoy their free strawberries and cream and bubbly.  It was so unfortunate that Andy wasn't able to make it out against Federer, but the amount of support he had from his countrymen was overwhelming.  I would have been brought to tears as well.

We ended up catching the late ferry off the island and had a most uneventful ride home.  All in all, it was a most memorable day and even with the weather, the mist, the loss at Wimbledon, The Goddess could not have asked for more. 

Please take a moment to check out the photo album from the day's events.


Pinterest is a liar!

The Goddess is a Pinterest addict. She spends way too much time there. Follow her at

Shameless promotion over with, back to the topic.

Recently The Goddess has been trying her hand at some cooking. What better place to be inspired and to find new and exciting recipes than pinterest?! Take for instance the following pin that she stumbled upon recently. Pinned here.

The link sent The Goddess over to a recipe on how to make lovely banana chips!  She loves banana chips!  Can't get enough of them.  Well why not give this a try?  The Goddess has plenty of browning bananas.  She decided it was worth the minimal effort to transform them into delectable works of edible art.

And while she was at it, might as well make some gorgeous dried strawberries as well!  The cook time was slightly longer, but since the oven is gonna be on anyways, what's another hour?

And they look so scrumptious!  Pinned here.

Both recipes were fairly simple, essentially just cut and bake at a low temperature for a gazillion hours.  Well, it felt like a gazillion hours.  The Goddess is not known for her patience.  Especially when Pinterest had shown her such beautiful, colorful photos of the end result, just waiting by the oven door was excruciating enough!

The disappointment afterwards was even more excruciating.

Banana Chips Recipe via Pinterest
2-3 browning bananas
Lemon juice
Parchment Paper

Preheat oven to about 175-200f/80-100c
Slice bananas width-wise no thicker than 1/4 inch.
Spritz with lemon juice.
Place on parchment paper as close as possible without letting the banana slices touch.
Pop in the oven for 1-2 hours.  Touch or sample at 30 minute intervals to check if they are as 'done' as you would like.
Pop out of the oven and onto a cooling rack (move the parchment off the pan, don't worry about separating the chips from the paper just yet)
As they cool they will harden some more, so if they are a little bit gooey still, they will solidify.

That was the recipe.  Here's what actually happened:

Find two slightly brown bananas and some parchment paper. Take a photo.

Don't like the first photo you took and take another from a more 'artsy' angle.

Needlessly take a photo of the bananas peeled.

Slice the bananas and spritz with lemon juice.  
Look in the fridge for a lemon.  
Skip the spritzing part as you can't find a lemon.
Take another artsy photo of the sliced bananas.

Underestimate the size of your pan and the size of the giant bananas.
After slicing two, you will be out of room.
In hindsight, only use 2 large bananas.
Eat the third one since you've peeled it already.

Put in the oven and bake at 100c for 2 hours.
Open the oven door ever 20 minutes to poke bananas.
After 2 hours pull out bananas and cringe at the not so pretty coloring.
Let cool.
Eat one before it's done cooling.
Not enjoy the taste....
Take photo.

All in all it went as planned.  The Goddess turned 2 bananas into banana chips.  The consistency and texture is perfect, but the taste is not how she recalls banana chips tasting.  It's missing... well, the banana flavor. And what's with the color?  The Pinterest photo is much more reminiscent of banana chips over the end result The Goddess was able to achieve.  Further research is necessary.

The real muck-up and why The Goddess is calling Pinterest a liar stems from the strawberries.

Dried Strawberries

Preheat oven to 100c.
Cut off tops of strawberries.
Halve or quarter strawberries depending on the size
Place on cooking sheet
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for 3 hours.
Cool on cooling rack.

Easy enough right? HA!

Cut off the heads (laugh evilly) of the strawberries.
Except for one with a stem on it.  
Pose stemmed strawberry on the pile of other headless strawberry corpses.
Take Photo.

Lay stemmed strawberry on it's side.
Take another artsy photo.

Take a photo of the strawberries next to their heads.
None of this is actually necessary, but quite fun playing at being an artist.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.... Can't find another cookie sheet, so a pizza pan will suffice.
No where on the recipe's page did it say use parchment paper.  The Goddess is SOOOOO glad she did. 
Find out why at the end.

Take an artsy, close-up photo of the strawberries.
Imagine yourself Queen of the Pinterest Folk with your beautiful photography skills!

Take photo of the strawberries in the oven with the bananas. 

Check on strawberries needless every 20 minutes.
Feel part of your soul die every time you open the oven door.
Slowly your strawberries are withering before your very eyes.
After 3 hours, remove strawberries from the oven.
Take a photo of the carnage.

Had The Goddess not put down parchment paper, the pizza pan would have been stained, of that she is sure.
Take photographic evidence of the battlefield once strawberries have been removed. 

 Pose the strawberries in a custard cup.
Give up on the pretense of creating an artsy photo of these withered nasty things.
Take photo.. dejectedly.

The Goddess has NO idea what happened to make these poor strawberries wither and become shells of their once lustrous selves.  They taste bitter and sharp, but very much like strawberries.  If only they looked as delectable as Pinterest told me they would.

Oh well.

The main purpose for giving these two recipes a shot was to have some hand snacks available for our walk of the Isle of Arran tomorrow.  All in all, these will be eaten... just no photographic evidence for pinterest. 


Walking the Isle of Arran

So The Goddess is gearing up for a bit of a trial run this weekend. Weather permitting, The Goddess, The Kilted One, and The Dae will be walking a few trails on the Isle of Arran.

This beautiful island is just off the coast of Prestwick and we will have to take a wee ferry ride over to the trails, but the choices we have to choose from is pretty remarkable. Walk Highlands has the routes in three separate ranges with dozens of routes within those areas.  Castles, waterfalls, mountains... Arran is referred to as a mini-Scotland.  The Goddess can get used to that idea.  The Land of the Kilted Ones has been her absolute favorite place on the planet so far.

Which is fortunate as this walk is going to be a wee trial of her capabilities.  If all goes well, The Goddess and The Kilted One may do... the... West Highland Way! 96 miles of walking from just outside Glasgow to Fort Williams.  Here is West-Highland-Way's suggested times and distances:

Milngavie to Carbeth - - - - - - - 5 miles (8 kms) / 3 - 4 hours
Carbeth to Drymen - - - - - - - - 7 miles (11.2 kms) / 3 - 4 hours

Drymen to Balmaha - - - - - -  - 8 miles (12.8 km) / 4 - 5 hours
Balmaha to Rowardennan - - -  7 miles (11.2 km) / 3 - 4 hours
Rowardennan to Inversnaid - - 7 miles (11.2 km) / 4 - 5 hours
Inversnaid to Inverarnan - - - - 7 miles (11.2 km) / 4 - 5 hours
Inverarnan to Crianlarich - - - - 6 miles (9.6 km) / 3 - 4 hours
Crianlarich to Tyndrum - - - - - 6 miles (9.6 km) / 3 - 4 hours
Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy - - 7 miles (11.2 km) / 3 - 4 hours
Bridge of Orchy to Inveroran - 2 miles (3.2 km) / 1 - 2 hours
Inveroran to Kingshouse - - - 10 miles (16 km) / 4 - 5 hours
Kingshouse to Kinlochleven - - 9 miles (14.4 km) / 4 - 5 hours
Kinlochleven to Fort William - 16 miles (24 km) / 7 - 8 hours

The route would take just under 5 days to complete, but to be honest The Goddess has ALWAYS wanted to do something like this.  Lets face it.  She isn't a runner, she is a traveler, and she could probably walk the earth... Probably.

The Goddess is more than excited for this upcoming adventure and of course pictures will follow!!!