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Looking for unknown roads on Skye

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 24 June 2008

Tuesday 24 June, looking for unknown roads on Skye

Click here for the route and our photographs in Google Earth.
A few years ago we stayed on Skye for a few days, a very beautiful island, but we have not seen everything. Especially Teije is very keen to drive all roads there. Today we are going to make a start with it, but the weather is not as nice as yesterday and more as predicted: 10 to 15 degrees and rainy. Very rainy! Now we can at least prove with the photos that it also sometimes rains in Scotland. In the first years we went to Scotland we hardly had any rain, but the last years much more.
Standing stone near Drumuie op SkyeWhen you look at the route in GoogleEarth you see that we are really criss-crossing Skye. Yet there is a pattern in it, namely the unmarked roads on our Scotland map. Slowly the map is getting full because I mark all roads we have driven but Skye still has a lot of undiscovered roads for us. And on these roads one can encounter nice things, especially on deadends and unknown paths, such as a 'standing stone' in the middle of a meadow.
Scotland has been a fertile area for many millennia and traces of prehistoric settlement and the monuments of those peoples such as cairns (burial mounds), stone circles and standing stones, upright stones can be found everywhere.
Landscape at Glenmore on SkyeAfter we first explore a few small roads in the south, we drive straight to the north and then descend again. Here are a few long dead-end roads that we are curious about, including the road from Glengrasco to Mugeary. On the main road past Portree there are a lot of roadworks so we go quite slowly and on the deadend road of almost 15 kilometers we drive behind the garbage truck. He drives 30 km. an hour through the hills. But downhill we can hardly keep up with him!
Sheep at Glengrasco, Skye Sheep at Glengrasco, SkyeHalfway he lets us pass but on the way back we meet him again, fortunately in a place where we can easily pass each other. But that is the only other car we see on this road, only a herd of sheep being chased by men on quads, mopeds on 4 wheels I call them for convenience.
View on PortreeIn Portree, a nice place where we have spent a few nights, we want to get out, but it keeps raining and we get back in the car soon. South of the bay we take a side road to Penifiler from where we have a nice view of Portree, the bay and the Old Man or Stor in the north. It is actually dry and we have even seen the sun for 20 seconds!
Boat on the land, Skye The harbour of Camastianavaig, SkyeThen we take the east coast of Skye to the south, another dead-end road that continues for more than 15 kilometers and which we therefore have to drive back also. At Camastianavaig we can drive a nice round and there are more tourists who do the same, especially Germans. In the meantime it has become somewhat drier but still very cold, about 13 degrees, not really good for a beach walk we think.
View on Sconser from PeinchorranAt the end of the road, past Peinchorran, we can see Sconser on the other side of Loch Sligachan. We will have to go there later for the return journey, but it is almost 30 kilometers away while it is perhaps a kilometer as the crow flies. At the southernmost point where we take this photo, there is a van from Inverness in which a man is sleeping. We often see this in such remote locations, company cars in which people take a nap at lunchtime. And they are right, take rest in a lonely place (except for those annoying tourists who comne everywhere)!
Fishing nets at Loch AinortJust past Sconser, where we are almost 45 minutes later, we take the coastal road instead of the main road. Now we are already quite used to bad roads, but this is really a bad one. The first piece, to a factory, is still reasonable to do, but then we imagine ourselves somewhere in a country where civilization has not yet hit and where people have never heard of road maintenance. Now we come across only 1 factory, 3 houses (the boss and his servants probably) and a fish auction place before we end up on the main road again after 20 kilometers.
More lama’s near our cottageIt is pretty late when we return to our house. In the parking lot more llamas are waiting and I have become a bit cautious with them after my first meeting with the llama who came to me very enthusiastically. I call them llamas, but they are probably alpacas.
We made a big trip today, despite the bad weather. And we have seen beautiful things even though it was difficult to capture on photo and it was even harder to tell. But we certainly enjoyed it although I am also glad that I can sit at the stove again. This is no weather for June, 13 degrees during the day and even a bit colder in the evening !?


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