On Sat 2 Jun, we headed south to Dingwall then west to Skye based on Sandra’s advice. She said the scenery would be beautiful and she wasn’t wrong. We stopped briefly at Dingwall to consult our big map and some locals passing by confirmed Sandra’s advice. We drove along the A890 beside Loch Carron to Auchtertyre. We backtracked along the A87 to visit the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. It didn’t disappoint. After a tour, many photos and a late lunch, we set off again passing through the Kyle of Localsh and on to Portree (Port Righ). We found the Givendale Guest House easily. Phew!! Jurriaan, our host, very personable and hospitable. Fountain of knowledge but not intrusive. He rents five rooms that are fully booked from May to September. And he plays U2 every morning at breakfast. It was a one mile walk into Portree, which, after being on farms in some previous B&Bs, was a treat. Finding a laundromat behind the youth hostel was another treat not too mention the pub up the road. We settled into this next stage of our highland fling easily. What can I say about the Isle of Skye that no one has said .....
nothing!! It is beautiful and stunning no matter where you go on this very large island.
Sun 3 Jun, after a walk into town and consulting several people including the proprietor of the Skye Batiks (where I bought a cute backpack), we decided against doing an organised tour. Jumped in the car and headed for Dunvegan Castle. A self guided tour and we could take photos as long as there was no flash. Perfect for my Nikon! The ancestral home of the Chiefs of the Clan Macleod for 800 years was impressive. (I looked for Conner Macleod but he wasn’t there - just joking) The gardens were as beautiful as the castle. The woman who arranges the flowers in the castle is in her 70’s and has worked there since she was 17. The lovely flower arrangements reflect her dedication.
We then decided to visit the coral beaches. One track road with passing places. Unfortunately, many other people decided the coral beaches would be nice to visit also. After an incredible four point turn by Bill in what could be barely described as a car park, we got out of Dodge and decided to head north to Uig.
Past Uig, we continued to the northernmost tip of the Trotternish then down the eastern side through Staffin. Just before coming into Portree, we spotted the Storr, an ancient land slip. The standout is Old Man Storr. A bit of a walk not overly strenuous but, being late in the day, battling a swarms of midgies and a badly stubbed toe, I gave up half way up the track. A bit of a wuss, I know. And the Avon Stay so Soft did help. Thanks Eleanor.
Back in Portree, looking for dinner. Sunday night is busier than Sat night!! Who would have thought? Not us! Ended up back at our ‘local’ with a big bowl of mussels and a Magners. Great way to finish the day! Got talking to an American couple from upstate New York who couldn’t think of anything nice to say about Trump and regretted not moving to Melbourne years ago when they had an opportunity to do so. Lol.
Mon 4 Jun, we decided to head west to the Fairy Pools. Quite a long hike after managing to find a park on the side of the road. First 100m was steep but after that not
too bad until we reached the first burn crossing via stepping stones. I managed these with Bill’s assistance. The second set were a little more daunting but, again, thank God for Bill and also that the area is in drought. Apparently in more ‘normal’ conditions, you can’t even see the stepping stones. The Pools and waterfalls were worth the effort. Absolute magic. There was even a bride and groom getting married up there! 4.5kms there and back through rocks, stones, peat and heather. Great walk.
We then managed to find the only whisky distillery on Skye, Talisker. We had booked a tour on good advice from Jurriaan. Another good tour guide, Mike. He thanked us for bringing the Australian sun. Ha ha.
We drove further along to Portnalong and then back down to Talisker Beach. Found it difficult to access but did see a beautiful peacock. Check the photos. We then drove east across to Sligachan, Harrapool, south to Armadale via Eilean Iarmain. Here we dropped in to a pub for a coffee and in walked an entire bridal party who seemingly stopped in for wee bevy. Mondays are obviously popular for weddings. We also saw the aftermath of
Isle of Skye
The haar rolls down through the glens before your very eyes.
a bushfire. Made us feel quite at home sadly. Apparently started by a camper. All in all, we saw some amazing places on this beautiful Isle. Back at Portree, we headed for the Lower Deck Restaurant. A no reservation, line up deal. Our timing was good. Only a short wait. Good food and good wine. A lovely way to finish our short stay in this lovely place.
Tuesday 5 June, we reluctantly said farewell to the Isle of Skye and set off for the wilds of Glencoe.
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