24.08 – 25.08.10 – Isle of Skye

Finally I came to the Isle of Skye, the most famous and biggest of all the Scottish isles, and recently ranked 4th best island in the world by National Geographic. The journey here was ruggedly scenic peppered on by rain and grey clouds.

But now I’ve finally reached the isle. After collecting the rental car, I’m now sitting on a picnic bench in the sun, on a 12-acre field with the view of Loch Harport. Life could not be better!

The next day, I continued driving across the beautiful isle, passing meadows, lochs, bleating sheep (either dodging them or waiting for them to clear the road), thistle shrubs, cattle grid, rolling glens covered with purple streaks of heather and picture-perfect cottages. First stop was at Talisker Distillery but didn’t take a tour because of the timings. Along the way, stopped to take photographs as and when I fancy. Stopped for a quick nibble outside Dunvegan Castle. Wasn’t quite keen on visiting the castle when outside the weather is splendid, so continued driving past the castle entrance to reach the car park to the Coral Beach. Along the way, BBC Radio 3 played Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy played by David Oistrakh! I’m not the kind who pairs music with scenery, since the two are so different (like pairing a spoon and say, a pair of trousers), even though Bruch’s piece was inspired by the Scottish scenery. Nonetheless, I was feeling very happy.

Coral Beach is about a mile’s walk from the car park and one has to walk through farm animal grazing land (walking past a herd of unsupervised oxen while wearing a bright red jacket can be unnerving, however irrational the fear is!). The beach is really not bad – one wouldn’t have expected white sand here, but it is there. Apart from that, the beach is rather rocky and covered with coral remains and shells, and is draped with long strands of sea weed.

Stayed out for longer than planned as I was enjoying the walk, scenery and weather way too much. By the time I got back to the car and then drove to Stein for lunch, it was already 230pm.

After a crab sandwich and Scotch broth for lunch, continued driving towards Uig and then it started to drizzle a bit. But it cleared in time by the time I got to the Quiraing region and when I stopped to go walk about a bit to catch a better view of the unusual rock formation and the spaghetti-striped roads below. While walking and taking photos of more sheeps, I got swarmed by what I think are midges!

Continued driving, and again it rains. The weather is unpredictable! But by the time I reached Sligachan, it cleared up again. Today was also a better day to behold the sight of Cuillin Ridge, and in spite of the day’s changing weather, the afternoon was lovely with a rainbow peering through the thick clouds.

Continued driving into Glenbrittle, a beautiful forested area and eventually catching the pink hues of the setting sun at Loch Brittle.

What an amazingly beautiful isle and after driving an estimated 170 miles, I have only seen half of it! Till next time…

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