About this blog

Just having a bit of fun here, posting about walks and other stuff. I need to get out more.

Monday, 7 May 2012

A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye (Part 5)

Day 6

Loch Sligachan to Portree

I was up and off early this morning, and immediately missed the path to the road end at Peinchorran. Instead, I ended up scaling a few fences on the way over moorland to pick up the coast road before taking the "low" road beside the sea.

It was a grey morning and my thoughts turned to home as I made my way past Balmeanach Bay. I had pre-booked train tickets for the journey home on Tuesday, today was Friday.
This meant the last couple of days from Portree to Rubba Hunnish would need to be rushed and hard going, totally out of context with the walk so far.
I wanted to finish the walk to the northern point on Skye in the same way I had enjoyed the walk so far.

It was at this point that I decided that this walk would end at Portree and that I would return at a later date to continue to the far north or the island in the same leisurely manner that I had enjoyed over the past week.

The landscape of Skye is far too good to rush.

Glamaig from moorland above Loch Sligachan

The Narrows of Raasay

As far as road walks go, this was a little beauty, great views over to Raasay and up the coastline to Ben Tianavaig.
Ben Tianavaig from the Braes

The Braes from memorial cairn
The cairn commemorates a brave battle for land tenure by the former crofters from these parts during the clearance programme in 1882. A bit of research has revealed that this was a very important battle in Scottish clearances history which led to new legislation being written protecting the rights of crofters.

The route from here involved more road walking, breakfast was taken at the Aros centre before I plodded through town to the harbour.

Portree Harbour, Journeys end......for now.

During the planning for this walk I had discovered that a favourite Scottish band of mine, Frightened Rabbit, were playing at the Community Centre in town tonight. I had purchased a ticket for the show and this would bring the curtain down nicely on what had been a great week on Skye.
I dropped on Frightened Rabbit recording songs on the beach at Portree in the afternoon before catching the show later on.
Needless to say, I woke up the following morning with a hangover, I groggily packed up my gear for the last time on this trip and caught the bus to Inverness to begin the long journey home.   

Frightened Rabbit on Portree beach
The Isle of Skye is a remarkable place. Granted, I had been blessed with exceptional weather for almost all of the trip but I have a feeling I would have loved this place in any weather.

Until the next time.....

Swim Until You Can't See Land

A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye (Part 4)

Day 5

Loch Coruisk to Loch Sligachan

The Loch Coruisk wild camp had been something I had wanted to do ever since I had first seen photos of this wild place. I had made the most of it, and stayed awake until late watching the stars appear and drinking on the last of the whisky.
As a result, I enjoyed the best sleep of the trip and woke at about 8 am. I loitered around for a while, marvelling at this spectacular location before finally packing up and setting off walking back along the path beside the Loch.
A soggy path ascends below Sgurr na Srti up the the bealach below Sgurr Hain.

It was another beautiful morning and I was blessed with wonderful views all day.
Loch a' Choire Riabhaich

Coullin backdrop from the bealach below Sgurr Hain

Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Sgurr nan Gillean from River Sligachen
The walk out to the Sligachan Hotel was a pleasure, I passed the only walkers that I had seen on the entire trip, three solo walkers heading in the opposite direction.

The peace and quiet was interrupted at one point by a couple of low flying Tornado's out on exercise.

Lunch was taken in the hotel. Fish and Chips washed down with a few pints of Guinness sat by the log fire in the lounge bar.  
There was no need to hurry today, in fact the entire walk had been a leisurely affair and extended lunch stops and early camps had been a feature of the walk. 

Eventually, I shouldered the pack and pushed on along a lovely path on the north shore of Loch Sligachan to a perfect pitch a mile or so short of the road.

Burn on An Leitir

Loch Sligachan camp.
Glamaig across Loch Sligachan
Another memorable day's walking on the Winged Isle.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye (Part 3)

Day 4 Broadford to Loch Coruisk.

My logistical problems had been solved by paying a visit to the bus stop to read the timetables on the way back to the hostel from the pub. It turns out that on school days there is an early morning bus service from Broadford to Portree via Torrin and other surrounding settlements.
And so at 07:20 I returned to the bus stop on a glorious frosty morning for the short journey along a narrow road to pick up my planned route at Torrin. I was the only passenger to board the bus at Broadford and chatted to the driver who explained that the bus service operated to transport pupils to the only secondary school on the island in Portree some 20 miles or so away.
Despite my disappointment of having to cut out part of the route due to the bad weather the previous day, I had enjoyed the break in Broadford. It is a friendly town with all the amenities I needed and I could see this being a good base for a future visit to Skye.
As it was, I alighted the bus by the shore of Loch Salpin and stood looking in awe at the magnificent mountain that is Bla-Bheinn soaring above the far side of the Loch.
The weather was outstandingly good once again as I set off along the road around the head of the Loch.

Snow capped Bla-Bheinn and the ridge line to Belig

Loch Salpin

I followed the B road soaking up the views in all directions as far as Kirkibost where I turned off on a minor road, alongside the river to the beach at Kilmarie. An early lunch, which was becoming a feature of this walk, was taken looking out over Loch Salpin towards the west coast of Sleat that I had walked two days ago. 
I called in at an atmospheric old graveyard before continuing the walk along tracks and paths just above the coastline to Glasnakillie to pick up the minor road to Elgol.

This is the road to Elgol
I called in at the shop on the way into the village which also doubles up as a  tea room and stocked up on half price, out of date  Mars bars and enjoyed mugs of tea and coffee cake sat outside in the mid-day sunshine. 
While in the pub last night, I had researched the Elgol-Loch Coruisk boat trips on my smart phone and I had phoned Stuart at Misty Isle Boat Trips who explained that the boat ran trips all day and that a ticket could be purchased for a one way trip only. This had not been on my original route plan but I quite fancied the idea of travelling in to Loch Coruisk by boat. 
I made my way from the tea room to the jetty to await the next Misty Isle boat.

The Coullin Hills from Elgol beach

My idea of heaven
I had an hour or so to wait for the Misty Isle to return to Elgol and spent the time chatting to Anne in the kiosk and lazing about on and around the beach taking photos of the Isles of Rum and Soay and the stunning Coullin Hills. 
Eventually the beautiful Misty Isle returned to the jetty and I boarded the boat along with a few other passengers for the short journey across Loch Scavaig to Loch Coruisk.

Stewart  entertains whilst dad Seumas skippers the Misty Isle

Emerald lochans on the approach to the landing point 

Loch Coruisk and some joker

Unspoilt view of Loch Coruisk

Looking back, from the path by the Loch

Wild camp at the head of the Loch
Looking towards Sgurr na Stri from the best camp site in the World (probably). 

Waiting for the stars 

Cuillin skyline

All in all....not a bad day at all.