First of all, some good news – other than the fact that the sun is shining brightly that is! We are moving to a pitch directly in front of the loch and so will lose our noisy neighbours. After all this time of relative seclusion whilst camping, we like a bit of peace and quiet. Here is Bessie looking gorgeous!
Pete has been at it again and spotted this little Pied Wagtail on the grass.
We have done surprisingly little research on Skye so, after reading the Skye Birds website, headed off vaguely in the Dunvegan direction, stopping first by some mudflats at Pool Roag.
The scenery is dramatic but also very green and everywhere there is gorse and bluebells – even more spectacular when combined.
We saw a Grey Heron and a Curlew but were too far away to get any good shots. We then followed our nose and found ourselves at Orbost where we could park in the farmyard! The area was purchased by Highlands & Islands Enterprise in the late 90s to encourage organic smallholders. There is a footpath that leads to Bharcasaig beach, Macleod’s Maidens (?) And Ollasdal so we thought we’d try it out.
It was blissful walking along the track – we could hear a peacock calling from inside the garden of Orbost House but never actually saw it. There were some strange animals, looking like a cross between a goat and a sheep in the field – perhaps someone might know what they are?
As we came out into the open we saw Loch Bharasaig in front of us and the cave-ridden rocky promontory of Meall Greepa.
These are some of the pics we took along the way.
Back along the track Peter captured this Swallow doing a nose-dive!
On the farm building was what looks like a juvenile Hooded Crow:
and a Pied Wagtail with a fascination for a car’s wing mirror!
Back in Bessie, we drove towards Dunvegan.
Quite a small place really, with an attractive castle overlooking the loch. We carried on up the coastline till the road came to an end at Claigan. There is a one kilometre walk from her to the Coral Beach but we couldn’t park unfortunately. Perhaps we will come back as I like the sound of it.
The scenery all along the single track road was wonderful, especially little Loch Suardal, which was home to a solitary Whooper Swan (also in featured image above).
As with most of the smaller roads on these islands, it came to a dead end eventually and we turned around for the return journey, stopping for a while beside the loch to have some lunch. There was a lot of noise and two drunken fishermen hove into view! One was elderly and looked like Captain Birdseye and the other quite young. I had spotted them down by the loch earlier and noticed the young one fall over, complete with fishing rod. Now I knew why! They passed by Bessie, rambling in Gaelic (I think) and zig-zagging across the single track road. When we caught up with them after lunch we found them sitting by the roadside – probably the best idea in the circs.
We hadn’t actually seen Dunvegan Castle itself on the trip down the loch but it looked great on the return journey, looking very photogenic tucked away into its own little bay.
We passed by Macleod’s Tables again:
They are so called (as legend has it) because a 16th century Macleod clan chief held a banquet up there (presumably the bigger of the two) to show off to a Lowland chief that he had the biggest table. Hmm… An even more unlikely tale has it that they were flattened by St Columba in the 6th century to give him a place to lay his head after being refused hospitality by the local chief. Hmm again…
It was still fairly early and, in need of a trip to a Co-Op, we discovered there were no fewer than two in Portree, so decided to pay it a visit to stock up on essentials, passing splendid scenery en route.
After shopping we thought we might as well go into Portree itself for a flying visit. I think it’s probably the biggest ‘town’ on the island and has a beautiful harbour, complete with boats. The colourful houses rise up behind the harbour. We must go back for a better look on another day.
The original plan was to have a barbecue but by the time we got back to the campsite we felt tired, especially Peter who had done quite a bit of driving. Perhaps tomorrow?
Stunning scenery and glorious light. The combination of gorse and bluebells is so striking in contrast that it almost looks as if you’ve photoshopped (if such a word exists) them together. Nice to see more colour in the landscapes than on the previous islands.
What a gorgeous position for a castle. I love the colours of the scenery, especially the gorse against the blue sky.