Uamh Oir – the gold cave

Skye: Thursday 6 April (continued): Our last day – and it’s a beautiful Skye day – bright, breezy, blue sea and sky. I’m going for gold – walking from Kilmuir village hall to the Gold Cave, via the Bornesketaig cliff tops. The gold’s all gone, of course. There’s a full moon – the tide is as low as it gets, and at such times the cave can be entered – but I’m on my own (and there’s no-one else about), so the risk of a fall on those slippery rocks is worth avoiding (I’ve been in it before, some years ago). I’ll return along the shore to the Camus More campsite, then back up the reed-lined road. There will be times on the long drive home that I’ll think of this afternoon.

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An hour in Portree

Skye: Wednesday 5 April: I’m wearing my chauffeur’s cap today. “Can you run us into Portree this afternoon, then amuse yourself for an hour or two?”

Not for the first time, I’m wandering with the camera. On a similar outing, last October, I was blessed with a beautiful still morning of blue sky and sunshine. This afternoon, it’s showery – can I dodge the rain? Yes, for a while. Down Bayfield Road, up onto the path around ‘the Lump’, down to the quay, then up to Bosville Terrace. I could perhaps get as far as the Black Rock? No chance – a view from the terrace reveals another shower bowling down from the Cuillins… Back to the car!

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Rubha nam Bràithrean

Skye: Tuesday 4 April: Brothers’ Point: it’s not a long walk – not much more than two miles to the tip – neither is it a quick walk. The shore is full of interest – a good place to lose an hour or two on a fine day (even if the minibus tours have discovered it). The sign at the top of the path says “We do not recommend that you walk to the point”. Quite – to pass the gendarme and get over the rock tower beyond requires the use of hands as well as feet, but beyond it’s an easy walk to the end, where comfortable rocks provide a good seat from which to enjoy the seascapes. (I should add that it’s also a good place, being low down on Skye’s east coast, to escape from a strong south-westerly wind. The showers are less easy to dodge, but we’ve been lucky this afternoon)

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The Ordnance Survey calls it Rubha nam Brathairean. We’ll stick with the name on the display board – it’s shorter…

An Uig exploration

Skye: Sunday 2 April: after a day of rain, today is grey and still. I’m exploring Uig, beginning with a walk up to the headland on the north side of the bay. It’s a fine viewpoint for the north-west shore of Trotternish, with a great view of the departing ferry, setting out on a crossing to Tarbert, Harris. Later, I walk through the woods lining the shore between the Rha and Conon rivers. This is temperate rain forest (albeit a very small one!), where the trees are lined with moss and a remarkable assortment of lichen. The tree lungwort resembles miniature cabbage leaves – amazing stuff!

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Skye in the spring

We’ve not been back long from a trip to our northern office, a week of rather variable weather (rain, wind and a little sunshine…). Nevertheless, we squeezed in a few outings, ending on a high note with a wonderful clifftop walk, well away from the bucket-list tickers and selfie-snappers (they’re already here in force)… More to follow; in the meantime, here’s a taster selection

Dunvegan: a quieter day

Saturday 22 October: Last day on Skye, and it’s an “old folks’ outing”… “Let’s drive round to Dunvegan – we can watch the seals. There are usually plenty of them on the rocks beside the Claigan road, just beyond the castle. Not today! Perhaps they put them all away for the winter? Instead, a solitary heron and a couple of diving birds (cormorants? Not sure – too far away) – and, in the still air, the loch is mirror-like. Just the thing for a reflective last look at the island – tomorrow we’re on the long road south.

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Kilmaluag coastline

Friday 21 October: A short but interesting walk beside, and above, the sea. There’s a path, though it’s not always very distinct, from the road corner near Kilmaluag old churchyard to the ruins of the WW2 radar station. It’s not on the tourist trail, so it’s quiet – I didn’t meet anyone else. The views are extensive – from the eastern shores of Lewis to the north-west Highlands. The path continues some way towards Flodigarry, but I’ll save that for another day, and head back along the road.

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Fairies and Elves

Thursday 20 October: We’re still on Skye, and the weather on Skye is still… Barely a breath of wind. We’ve taken the car down to Uig, and we’re walking through the woodlands beside the shore, then up what was once a quiet road to what is now one of the most-visited places on the island – the Fairy Glen. We won’t battle it out on Castle Ewen with the selfie-snappers – but we’ll enjoy the reflections in the pool. The little patch of woodland nearby is wonderful – dank, green and mossy-bouldery with some amazing lichen growing on the trunks and low branches. Not sure about the fairies, but there could be elves amongst these trees…

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