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A long drive through the west of Skye

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 27 June 2008

Friday 27 June, a long drive through the west of Skye

Bay at Craig View near PlocktonToday we will make another trip tor Skye, there are still a lot of places where we have never been. The day starts nice and dry with temperatures between 13 and 20 degrees, so very variable. The llamas graze again at our door, it becomes a familiar phenomenon. Near Loch Nish we see Loch Kishorn behind the hills and we follow the road to the Kyle of Loachalsh, the access to the island Skye that nowadays with a (toll-free) bridge is connected to the mainland.
Eas a’ Bhradain Waterfall, Skye Loch Harport at Merkadale, SkyeA little past Luib on Loch Ainort we stop to look at the Eas a 'Bhradain (the salmon waterfall) where we have been driving past for a few days now. But we do not get to see salmon. Then we head west on the A863, first towards the Cuillin Hills, a large hilly area that has been on sale for years.
Waterfall at Carbost, Skye View on Carbost, SkyeThere are still some roads here that I would like to drive and this time it will be rewarded with something beautiful, another waterfall, but I love them. Just above Carbost a small river collapses in a narrow and very steep gorge. We stay a bit away from the edge, because the ground is treacherously soft. And a lot of accidents happen every year on the hills and mountains of Scotland, often due to ill-considered behavior (well, it is still possible to take another step...) or by quickly changing weather conditions.
Loch Harport near Portnalong Portnalong, SkyeSkye is actually a collection of peninsulas, strands of land that are separated by a saltwater ditch. We will now continue to the end of the road on one of those peninsulas. They are all single track roads, winding narrow roads through the hilly landscape and this time we do not see oil trucks or other heavy traffic for a change. We skip the road to Talisker because we have already been there.
For the whiskylovers, a tip: the Talisker distillery is not in the village of Talisker itself, but in Carbost. I certainly recommend this whiskey if you like spicy, it is a so-called peat-fired whiskey and has a special and salty taste.
Bewteen Portnalong and Fiskavaig, SkyeFrom the ascending and descending road we often have a nice view on the sea and the islands that are nearby. We find the west coast of Scotland the most beautiful coast we know. The fjords in Norway are certainly more impressive, but here it is the combination of green landscapes, hills, mountains, winding roads and villages that make it so beautiful.
Dead crowAt the end of another dead-end road we suddenly see a dead crow, with a string hanging on a fence. So we saw two hung foxes last year. We checked once whether that might be a warning for the other animals, but nobody knew exactly what to tell us.
Dun Beag Broch, Bracadale, Skye Dun Beag Broch, Bracadale, SkyeSkye was also inhabited in ancient times and there are still a lot of leftovers to be seen. At Loch Bracadale we see Dun Beag, a so-called broch, on a hill. A broch is a kind of fort or fortified place from the Iron Age. Probably there was a settlement around it and the broch was used as a defense spot when pirates or attackers approached. A broch has several floors and has a staircase between the double outside wall that was over 4 meters thick!
Photographinh the photographer, Dun Beag BrochIn the parking lot we had already seen that there was another a Dutchman walking around and it turns out to be a photographer who is busy with panoramic photos. He even asks us to pose, so maybe you will soon see our silhouettes in Plus Magazine (it is for an article about the western islands of Scotland). We have occasionally visited the store for a while to look for the magazine, but eventually we didn't find the right issue or maybe it never got published.
Dunvegan Castle, Skye Seals in Loch DunveganIf we drive further north, towards Dunvegan Castle, we see many more Dutch people. We also meet our photographer again. But also lots of seals that lie on the small islands off the coast. Many boats with tourists sail close to the lake to view the animals better.
Loch of Bay, SkyeIt is already quite late in the afternoon but fortunately we have long nights so far north even though the clouds are still darkening. We drive to the north, but there are still so many places that we want to see here and roads that we want to drive, that we can continue indefinitely. Well, I at least.
Loch of Bay, near Lusta Loch Snizort, near Knockbreck, SkyeOn this small peninsula we also encounter many small villages, deserted beaches and we wonder what all these people do. Fishing, herding sheep, tourism? We hardly see agriculture, and the services sector will not be that big either. Often there is only one shop for several villages and we don't see any petrol pumps. The nearest city (well, town) is Portree and that is surely an hour and a half drive from here. Anyway, we enjoy the free view as much as we would like to see every day.
Fog at SligachanWhen we finally start the return journey and see that we have more than 2 hours to go, it starts to rain. Occasionally quite violently and we do proceed very fast on the narrow roads. The clouds quickly descend onto the tops of the hills and occasionally we drive through the fog. But just before we are back in Craig the air clears and it gets a lot warmer again.
In the evening we can sit outside, the second evening this week. But also this time, the midges, small and vicious Scottish mosquitoes, ruin our pleasure. Last year I quit smoking but in the holidays I still do it now and then and now I'm happy because that seems to be the only way to keep the hundreds of thousands of little mosquitoes about 5 centimeters away from my face. Just like the cold and the rain, so many midges for us are also new phenomena for us in Scotland, the past few years we have had little trouble and were always surprised about the stories of others. This place is really the most beautiful place we ever in Scotland have stayed but unfortunately the mosquitoes know that it is nice to stay in paradise, with so much human food!


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