Wednesday, June 15, 2016

15 June Getting to Isle of Skye

15 June :

The plan -

Takes ferry across to Armadale, car and all. 9.30am. Remember to buy tickets ( 1 car, 4 pax ). 

Reach Armadale ferry terminal at 10.15 am.


Drive from Armadale to Sligachan Hotel on A87. Estimate arrival 11.30 am.

Lunch @ Sligachan hotel ( 1.30 hr ). 

Explore the Cullins mountains near Sligachan ( 2.30 hr ). Leave by 4pm.


Drive from Sligachan to Portree on A87 ( 15 min )

Top up petrol at Portree filling station along A87, right side, after Viewfield House ( left ). 

Continue A87 towards Uig. Stock up on snacks at Co-op at Woodpark Rd ( left )


Get back A87 towards Uig northwards.

Checkin Lochview Chalet at 6 EyreCroft, Kensaleyre. ( Co-op to chalet 13 min ). Lochview Chalet is shortly after red zone speed limit area.

Dine in. Sunset 10.25 pm.

What actually happened :

150616 Wed Off to Isle of Skye!

We had a so-so cooked breakfast prepared by Heather at Moorings Guest House, loaded our bags to the car and headed to Mallaig ferry terminal. I had earlier bought the calmac ferry tickets online a couple of weeks ago to avoid missing a place on the 9.30am slot. ( £20 car and 4 passengers )

The weather was not pleasant – windy and cold but the view from the top deck was offered a good view. Rain threatened the grey skies and the choppy water was like a matt photograph of the sky, making sharp edges on waves after waves. The top of  Eigg on our left and headlands on our right were partially engulfed by the low, dark clouds.

We got off at Armadale Terminal and enjoyed some selfies and Kodak moments. At about 11am, we set off for Sligachan, an hour’s drive up north. We hugged the verdant coastal road north east of Armadale, passed Kilmore, Broadford, Sconser and finally made it to Sligachan in  time for a leisurely lunch at Seumas Bar. The bar is part of the Sligachan Hotel, a base for hikers in summer and perfect landmark for the weary driver after coursing through miles of empty land. 

Food came in gigantic portions but we finished  it nonetheless. I am not sure if I should be impressed or alarmed at our huge appetite. 

The drizzle stopped and sun made its debut at 11am, sometimes forming beam pillars between clouds and sometimes retreating like playing peek a boo. Thankful, we walked to the old bridge and ventured further among the boggy walk and along river bed. Most walkers chose a gravel path further up. It was not easy walking on waterlogged grassy spots and yielded to my weight. I had to take care not to get stuck in bog or twist my ankle  walking on the rocks.

The bridge area and beyond were undulated and vast and the Black Cuillin loomed large in the not too distant background. In fact, the Black Cuillin seems to be everywhere! Barren, groovy and darkish, it exude the mood of a grumpy old man who wishes not to be disturbed.

LH and Pat were very much ahead of us and we could not tag along fast enough. The unfortunate thing happened and H stepped on a boggy spot but managed to pluck herself free, only to lose her left shoe. The shoe was swallowed up by the bog and my mind went completely blank knowing it was a close shave. All of these happened in less than a couple of seconds.

We regrouped because I went crazy with fear and made all of us turn back because H was shoeless , her socks was totally wet. We headed out to Portree to buy a pair of walking shoe.

Portree was bustling with  tourists and thank God we got a pair of walking boots ( Merrell ) in no time at Mathesons Shoes, before it closedfor the day. The Merrell hiking boots were a good fit for H though I thought the color was a bit loud.

We explored Portree on foot, from the town square to the harbor. Then full of groceries, we set off for Lochview Chalet. There was a little adventure looking for the chalet ( We ended up in Kensaleyre house that was put up for sale ) but nothing that a phone call to the host couldn’t fix.

Lochview was indeed after Corran Bed and Breakfast in the direction of Uig. We had a beautiful house which we oohed and aahed. To our dismay, we discovered that the house has only a bathroom. H and LH would have to use the sofa bed in the living area.

In our frenzy in Food Co-op, we wiped off lots of food enough to feed us for 4 days. So, dinner became an elaborate affair with salad, pasta, tiny langoustines , mains , not counting wine and dessert. It looked like we would have to work harder tomorrow to expand the calories taken.

11pm and the sunset finally happened. OK, sort of. The sun continued to glow below the horizon throughout the night.

LH and H had the entire living area to themselves, with the lake in full view. If this sounded big, wait till you see our bedroom downstairs, which comprised of the living area above plus kitchen.

Sleep came easily because of our early start. The weather forecasted better weather and all we can do, is to keep the finger crossed.

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