Contrary to my dread that there might be fog, the day has dawned bright and clear – hopefully it’s going to be a good crossing over to Skye after all.
Time to say goodbye to Tony and Flodabay this morning – we will certainly miss him and it. He brought some more sausages up for us – we do love his sausages! The girls had taken their breakfast over to the table on the rocks and had already set up their scope on a tripod. Tony tells us that they not only saw the Golden Eagle yesterday evening but filmed it too! Grrr….
We drive, for the last time, around the dodgy bend in the road on our way to Tarbert to catch the ferry.
The ‘Hebrides’ had just docked and we joined the queue, after being shepherded expertly into the right lane. I have to say that the crews of Caledonian MacBrayne have been unfailingly efficient and friendly throughout our journey and today was no exception. The ship’s huge maw opened and coughed up the vehicles and passengers who had come over from Skye. It wasn’t long before the lanes started to move and we were ushered into the centre of the ship as usual.
Punctually at 11.50am we left Tarbert behind and I have to admit that I was quite sad to leave Harris. It really is an extraordinary island in many ways.
The ‘Hebrides’ negotiated the various little islands beyond the harbour and we went on to the top deck to take photos. It was windy but the sun was shining strongly and we weren’t cold in tee-shirts at all.
We decided to go down to the restaurant as we were getting peckish and it would save cooking later. We had the chef’s special steak and ale pie, followed by chocolate fudge cake – not bad for an all-in price of £8.99. By the time we had eaten, we were getting near to Skye and Peter spotted an ordinary Guillemot and this Black Guillemot and Shag.
The skies above Skye (!) looked a little cloudier than on Harris and we hoped we hadn’t swapped weather forecasts. A fishing boat near the harbour at Uig was attracting quite a lot of gulls.
Everyone returned to their vehicles and there was expectancy in the air as the ship came to a halt and the ramp started to lower.
The first thing we noticed about Skye was the abundance of gorse and also bluebells! Flowers had been in short supply in the Western Isles.
As we climbed the steep hill out of Uig, we took a last look at the ‘Hebrides’ – our last CalMac ship of the holiday.
It was a straightforward drive to Loch Greshornish and the Camping and Caravanning Club campsite that we were booked into for our week on Skye. Suddenly a transporter plane came out of nowhere towards us and and flew straight over our heads!
We reached the campsite within about 45 minutes and booked in at the office. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a loch-side pitch available but promised we could change when one came free. There was a small contingent of Eider Ducks on the water – this one was showing off – and, taking a walk, Peter found a Greenfinch and a pair of Twites near the shore; also a Chaffinch and a Blackbird. It wasn’t long before a flock of Red-Breasted Mergansers also joined the passage down the loch.
I was tired and had a snooze until tea-time and after our meal we had a Skype call from Sally, Sean, Harry and Guy. It was great to talk to them again. We have no phone signal on site but at least have the benefit of Highland Wi-Fi which gives a reasonable service.
The mackerel sky above the campsite gave way to twilight over the loch and we are looking forward to our first day of exploring our new island home tomorrow.
More breathtaking shots! I’m particularly fond of the header shot. There are some lovely shots which highlight the textures, colours and feelings of the sky and sea. You have also now identified a new bird to add to my list of favourites – the Twite!
Pity you missed the Golden Eagle, I’m sure you’ll see (photograph) one at some point on the trip.
Birds seem a bit scarce here on Skye and we’re struggling to add to the tally! The score so far is 69 different species but we’re hoping to make it a 100 before we get back. The Twite appeared in one of the Barra blog posts – he was in the air being blown off his feet! A really cute little bird – I love it too.
Yes, it was the being blown off his feet shot that brought the Twite to my attention it was just so comical and seeing a new shot of a pair of them confirmed their new found status in my list of favourites. Is 69 the total number of species you’ve seen or is it new (not previously seen) species?
I wish it were the latter! No, it’s the total number of species we have seen in the islands. I don’t know how many ‘new to us’ species – I’ll check and let you know. 🙂