Argyll Adventure Weekend (Alternatively Titled “Pop, Loch, and Drop It”)
One of the many benefits of studying abroad through IFSA-Butler is the fact that the program includes two trips, the first of which was an adventure weekend at the Benmore Centre in Argyll. Every student had the chance to sign up for and participate in two activities – I chose hiking and canoeing, but other options included things like gorge scrambling, underground caving, and mountain biking.
We departed Edinburgh at 2:30 PM on Friday and, after a relatively quick drive and ferry ride, we arrived at the Benmore Centre and were assigned rooms and served a lovely dinner of fish and chips, with both gluten free and vegetarian options available for those who needed it. After dinner, we had the choice between going on a night hike or staying in and watching Rob Roy, a film where Liam Neeson is a Highland clan leader. My friends and I chose to stay in due to exhaustion and a general aversion to trust-building activities, but those who did go on the hike seemed to have an amazing time.
The next day we woke up bright and early and had breakfast before splitting into our activity groups. It poured rain the entire weekend, but that didn’t stop anyone. My group and I started the day by hiking to Puck’s Glenn, a breathtaking trek full of amazing scenery and waterfalls. After a quick break for lunch back at the center, we headed out for an afternoon of canoeing on Loch Eck. By the time everyone returned to the center, we were all soaked and exhausted, so most people took the chance to shower, change, and rest before dinner and a screening of Braveheart. It was my first time watching the film, which is essentially a three-hour long, historically inaccurate Mel Gibson vanity project, but somehow still managed to be vaguely entertaining and the perfect way to end the weekend.
On Sunday morning we left around 10 AM to go back to Edinburgh, making a quick detour to Loch Lomond for a photo-op. Despite the inclement weather, it was a perfect weekend and I can’t wait for the IFSA-Butler trip to the Isle of Skye in April.