Isle Of Skye, Scotland #2
Part 2: My Adventure To The Isle Of Skye (August 2016)
Not Read Part One CLICK HERE
Day 3 – Elgol Boat Trip
We set off on our route to Elgol where we had a boat trip lined up to Loch Coruisk.
The single track road B8083 to Torrin and Elgol leaves Broadford immediately by the Broadford Hotel and windingly wends its way slowly around the landscape, demanding a very relaxed driving style. Visitors are encouraged to use the passing places to let local (faster) drivers pass. The passing places are frequently also used to gasp at the scenery while trying to capture its magic and stark beauty on camera.
Boat trips operate from Elgol Pier offering sea-life tours, day trips and transportation to the Cuillins and smaller isles. We decided to go on a Bella Jane Boat Trip out to Loch Coruisk as well as seeing the seals on route, however when we got there the Bella Jane Boat wasn’t working! So luckily they allowed us to go on a speed boat across to the Loch, which to me was much more fun and faster and less choppy getting there, as I get sea sick!!
It was an amazing trip and the scenery and views was just breath taking at the Loch with the Cullin Mountain range being right in front of us. We had approx an hour and a half to wonder round the Loch which was pretty big and we soon found that time soon went and that we had to turn around and walk back so we didn’t miss our boat back! It was one of the highlights of the trip for me and something I recommend to anyone going.
In the evening we decided to eat out at the local hotel/restaurant called The Ardvasar Hotel. What was interesting about this night was that we experienced a power cut whilst we were at the restaurant! Which meant there was slight complications in the kitchen as to what food you could order, which we understood! It was a delicious meal in the end and we ended up having a great time with some other travellers from America.
Day 4 – Fairy Pools, Castles, beaches and Car trouble!
We set off to The Fairy Pools, near Glenbrittle/Carbost at 9am. (See Map above)
At foot of the Black Cuillins near Glenbrittle are the Fairy Pools, beautifully crystal clear blue pools on the River Brittle.
These famous pools entice visitors from all over the world, as they make some great ‘Wild Swimming’ for those brave enough to enter the cold water. For the less adventurous these magical Fairy Pools make some fantastic photos. I chose the latter! We also saw some highland cows on route to the fairy pools!
The walk to the pools uses the same route there and back. The complete return distance to the first main waterfall and pool is 2.4km, with the average time to complete the walk being 40 minutes (with no stops). Most people will spend some time working their way up the river from the first waterfall exploring the different pools. Car parking was a little bit of an issue, you’re not supposed to park on the side of the road as many roads on Skye are narrow but everyone was parking on the hill all the way down and the car park was full.
Next we headed to Dunvegan Castle (see map). Built on a rock in an idyllic Loch side setting, Dunvegan is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years.
On display are many fine oil paintings and clan treasures, the most famous of which is the Fairy Flag. Legend has it that this sacred banner has miraculous powers and when unfurled in battle, the clan MacLeod would invariably defeat their enemies. Dunvegan Castle also has five acres of formal gardens you can wonder through. A considerable amount of replanting and landscaping has taken place by the castle to restore the gardens to their former glory and provide a legacy which future generations can enjoy. We were impressed again that for an adult it was £13.00 for both the castle and gardens, when you can pay £11 for just the gardens.
From here we headed to Coral beach. A great walk down to the Coral Beach in Claigan, just north of Dunvegan. The beach is made from crushed white coral like seaweed that makes the water look tropical blue when the sun comes out. A truly magical place, perfect for a family picnic and maybe a swim. You would think you were abroad it was that spectacular it is worth the trek! The walk down to the beach is easy going along a farm track and takes about 25 mins to get to the beach. The return is that same route back to the car park giving a walk total of 3.6km and 45 minutes (with no stops).
From here we set off to go to Neist Point the most westerly tip of Skye near the township of Glendale. (see map) However, disaster stuck us and we very nearly didn’t make it!
With all the adventurous road driving we had been doing my partners car (Renault Clio) decided it couldn’t cope and we got a temperature coolant issue which turned out we needed a new hose, when you have an external leak, the coolant escapes and your car quickly overheats which was what was happening to us. You can easily spot where the leak is coming from by looking at it; a split or broken hose or a hole in the radiator are two good examples, we could literally put a whole bottle of water in and it would soon be pouring out under the car!
We managed to walk to the lighthouse & Neist Point which was quite a steep trek when you are starving (hungry) and used the last remaining water you have to test with the cars problems! There is only the one safe route, so this walk uses the same path both ways down and back. It covers a distance of 2.2km, with the average time to complete the walk being 45 minutes (with no stops). It would have been nice to do this in better conditions (i.e the car issues and low energy and stressing if we will get back) so it is something I would go and do again.
I am so surprised we managed to get all the way back by continuing to top the water up (we bought more water at a shop), we were starving at this point in the evening and we were still miles away from the B&B! We stopped for chips on route back and we eventually arrived back to the B&B at 10 pm ready for showers and bed!
…To Be Continued…
Part 3 Soon