Our tent, with the ruin behind it and the ditch in front of it.
The ditch-turned-stream we had to cross.
About a year ago, we were staying at a hostel in the Hebrides, a small island chain to the west of Scotland. There was a large communal building with a single large room; it was a kitchen and dining area, mostly. There was a separate building only a few metres away that had a few rooms to stay in, as well as the restrooms. Apart from those rooms, people stayed in tents pitched haphazardly around the site. A little ways away from the kitchen, over a small ditch in the land, there was the ruin of an old stone house. There was a small trickle of water running along the bottom of the ditch. We were camped next to the ruin, hoping it would shelter us from some of the wind or rain (you’ll see how well that turned out).
On the second night we were there I was woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of rain outside the tent. It wasn’t a gentle, pat-pat-pat sort of rain; it was loud enough to drown out everything outside of the tent. It turns out that we had been caught in a massive rainstorm, and water had started to soak through the floor of the tent. My mother was trying to hold up the corner of the tent that had gotten soaked through. After a little while, however, it was clear that the rain wasn’t going to stop anytime soon, so we decided to take all our valuables and move over to the main building.
We started by making sure we had everything we needed in our backpacks. This was harder than it sounds, since we were sharing a fairly small tent, and had to use a flashlight to see. After that, we finally unzipped our tent’s door to start to move out. As soon as we opened the fly, rain started flooding into the tent. I was the second one out, and I tried to hide from the rain underneath the doorframe of the ruined house After we had all gotten out of the tent, we started to move to the kitchen. the rain was so thick, we could only see a few feet away from us, so when we came to the ditch we found that it had flooded completely. The ditch ran all the way to a field outside of the hostel’s property, so there was no way to get around it. By this point, though, we were soaked to our bones and had no intention of going back into our tent, so we risked jumping over it, and made it across without trouble. From there it was only a short walk to the kitchen.
Inside the kitchen was a large room with a long line of tables and benches running down its centre, stoves and ovens along part of one wall, a communal fridge, and a shelf for leaving anything you want to get rid of for others to take. When we made it inside it was a little chilly, but we were still able to dry ourselves of for a little bit. After that we loitered around for a bit. It was late, but we were too riled up to get to sleep right away. Some people had left books there, and an eclectic collection had piled up over the years. I tried to read for a bit, but got tired much faster than I expected. I ended up curling up on one of the benches, using my newly-dry coat as a pillow, and finally fell asleep.
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