Staffin strolling

We’ve driven here from Uig, over the bealach – past the car park for the horribly busy path to the Quiraing. There must be 70-80 cars crammed into every available space (apart from that taken by the burger van). I believe, along with several other destinations on Skye, that’s it’s become firmly lodged on the “World Top 50 Selfies” list… (what a shame!)

We squeeze past people struggling to park, and find ourselves in Staffin, for the very gentle walk over the hill and down to the shore south of the slip. Coming back up the well-engineered ancient path is slightly less gentle, but we can manage. Other than a few excessively loud voices at the slip, it’s really quiet – the only other person we’ve seen close by is a fisherman. On a fine, sunny, warm (for April) afternoon, Staffin’s shore is a great place to be.

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A quiet glen

Monday 15 April: We’re in need of a good leg stretch – somewhere out of this cold south-easterly wind. The forest road up Glen Hinnisdal could be just the thing… It may be a forest road, but much of the woodland has been cleared – there are fine views up the glen, and, on retracing our steps, down to the coast and Loch Snizort.

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Soggy Skye

We were at our “northern office” last week. Throughout the summer, we’ve been wishing for rain. On the long drive up, it rained, inevitably. The forecast for Skye wasn’t at all good – plenty of rain, and, when it wasn’t raining, there were heavy showers around, with a good chance of a soaking if we strayed far from shelter (so we didn’t…). Windy too – no, we didn’t suffer from the midges on this trip.

We’d arrived on the Monday – on Tuesday evening, it was dry enough for a short walk down the road. Wednesday started dry, but the clouds soon carried out their threat. Then, almost on the dot of 7pm, the sky cleared and the sun was out.

Rubha nam Bràithrean

“Brothers’ Point”, in other words. Who were they? – the sign offers more questions than answers. It’s Friday 13 October – we’re at our northern office, during a particularly stormy spell. Next week we’ll have Ophelia to contend with; today, just a strong and blustery wind. We thought it might be reasonably sheltered down here. It wasn’t too bad on the shore, but it was very difficult to hold the camera steady at times (a common theme for this trip).

Rubha nam Bràithrean is becoming popular with the minibus tours during the season, but today we’ve got the place to ourselves and one or two small birds (and a couple of seals who peer out of the water from time to time). We won’t stay long – can’t get past the stream, which usually flows under the boulders, and showers are threatening.

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Evening light

Weds 3 May: it’s a fine bright evening, clear but cold. We’re spending a few minutes down at Camas Mor, where there’s a little sailing boat with red sails (I know, we should have stayed until sunset) and the light’s catching the scattered houses of Bornesketaig. Later that evening, the sunset is spectacular, and after the sun’s gone down, there’s a sun pillar over the Harris hills.

Rubha na h-Aiseig again

Tues. 2 May: we’ve walked this way several times before, but it’s always an enjoyable outing. From the tiny Port Gobhlaig, a faint path follows the top of low cliffs, with stacks and inlets and an excellent view to the coast and hills to the south. After a little while, what seems to be an ancient path descends steeply to the grassy foreshore, fringed by rocks, pools and camels (just their humps). Eventually, one can go no further. There’s evidence of settlement here, the remains of perhaps three “black” houses by the shore – is this where a ferry (to Trodday, just a mile off shore) once departed? It’s a pleasant, and exceptionally quiet spot – there’s no-one else here – a good place to find a comfortable rock seat and gaze across the water. Eventually, we return the way we’ve come, more-or-less, which is no hardship given the views of the cliffs and Trotternish ridge ahead.

 

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