Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 - Plockton

I spent the day basically driving around the Isle of Skye. I would stop on many occasions to take pictures as well using the lay-bys as often as I could. The weather was not terribly good though…

I crossed across to the island by the (now free) bridge at Kyle of Lokalsh then passed through an area full of evergreen trees which reminded me a lot of some of the landscape in my native Canada. The roads are quite windy but quite well maintained all the way up to Portree after which the roads generally change to single-lane with “passing places” (fun, fun, fun). The scenery is absolutely spectacular with few permanent residents (though a lot of tourists).

Skye - Near Kilt Rock

During my travels I managed to stop at Old Man Storr which is a large rock perched on end on the top of a small mountain. It was drizzling a bit but I decided to risk it as I followed the well-marked path up the mountain. I was told by others that the trip was not much more than 15 minutes each way but about 30 minutes later I was at the top – drenched to the skin with the wind whipping my clothing in all directions. I tried to take a few pictures but to no avail. The last section is actually a steep rocky path that leads through an area with no trees so it was very windy there. I made it to the top though and enjoyed, somewhat briefly, the limited view (I could only see, at best, 50m when the rain briefly would slacken). I cautiously made my way back down to the car, following the trail back through the pine trees, then took off my jacket and laid it out on the seat of the car to attempt to get it to dry (turning on the heat in the car – to cause numerous problems with driving for the next few hours as the windows would continue to fog up).

Duntium Castle (North Coast of Skye)

I rounded the top part of the island on the east coast then continued back along the west coast (of the eastern arm of the island). The driving is very tricky but ultimately quite rewarding with fantastic vistas and charming small villages all along the way.

Central Skye

The B & B I had stayed at the previous day (Monday) had first indicated, when I booked, that she would be able to put me up for two nights but she was mistaken and could only take me for the Monday. Because of the way I booked the B & B (through VisitScotland) she was contractually obliged to find me somewhere else to stay. This turned out to be with a friend of hers in a neighbouring village, Drumbuie, who was not really a B & B but had an extra room and who turned out to be VERY friendly. After I found my way to the town (not as easy as you might think, just off the main road the small roads here around Plockton are quite difficult to get around) I had a suggestion for her for a place to eat so I headed back a few miles to the main road, Kyle.

Kyle is right on the ocean where the bridge leads to the island. It is a small place with a few pubs and shops. Her recommendation was the local café which actually was quite good though I was a bit annoyed when I was told that the specials they were advertising I could not have yet since it was too early in the evening (only 6, don't you know!). This was a disappointment since the specials made use of local sea-food though I managed to get a Prawn Cocktail which I was assured used local prawns – The prawns were very good though I do not really like Prawn Cocktail because of all of the mayonnaise. The main meal was a bit of a meatball made of local Aberdeen Angus beef on top of some mashed potatoes – Not bad but VERY filling (I passed on dessert).

⇒ Continue to Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 - Drumbuie