Taking the High Road (Highlands and Isle of Skye)
Trip Start Dec 07, 2008
7Trip End Jan 02, 2009
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From here we had to backtrack to Fort William to continue going North. It was be a big day of traveling with a lot of ground covered. The hours in the car weren't difficult to pass. We had plenty of decent music and we were traveling through areas that had the most amazing scenery. We drove the length of Loch Cluanie, alongside the waters edge
Heading East we made it to Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Duich. This is pretty much the most famous castle in Scotland. It was closed. We tried to walk across the causeway bridge but the workers told us to turn around. The visitors centre told us that we could walk across the mud flats to get to the castle instead. But this time we were told by the site manager that we couldn't go out there. He told us to come back the next day. That was no good to us. We just had to get back in the car and move on. It was a disappointment but we had seen so many castles already that it didn't really matter that much. Nice place though.
We continued on to Kyle of Lochalsh, over the Skye Bridge to the Isle of Skye. We landed in Portree in the last hour of sun and had a quick look around. It was a nice little town but the weather was just heinous. We visited a park on a hill that overlooks the town and the water. We got drenched, in better circumstances I would have liked the town. We spent the evening in the pub before driving just north of the town to spend the night.
The following morning we set out on our tour around the Isle of Skye. First up, we climbed up Mount Storr and walked around the old rock pinnacles. This included seeing the Old Man of Storr, a large weathered pinnacle precariously sitting by itself on the side of the hill and looking like its about to topple over. Further North we visited Kilt Rock, a towering cliff face dropping down to the ocean, and Mealt Falls, a waterfall running over the edge. From here we drove up the Quiraing hill range and stopped at the top to enjoy the view. The hills have quite a unique formation, looking like rock waves grown over with green and brown moss. Stunningly beautiful.
Turning West, we traveled though Dunvegan and on to Neist Point. The most Westerly place on the Isle of Skye, and the furthest West that I would be going on my whole Europe trip. Here, we walked out along a path until we had a view of the lighthouse. Next we followed the coast South, down to Glenbrittle in the South-West of the island. In Glenbrittle, and on the way there and back, we had a great view of the snow capped Cuillin Hills. The weather didn't allow us to see them all that well as they were shrouded in fog and cloud, making it difficult to see the peaks of the mountains.
Leaving the island we kept on driving North through Scotland until quite late
The following day we continued traveling through the north west highlands, through Ullapool and around Sulivan Mountain to Lochinver. On the way we had a brief stopover at the ruin of Ardvreck Castle. This castle hadn't fared so well over the years and there was very little of the original building still standing. I think by this point I was experiencing a little castle fatigue. We had planned to stay the night in Carbisdale Castle, an early 20th century castle converted into a hostel. But because of the season it was closed so we continued on to Inverness.
At this point, we had spent eight nights sleeping in the back of the stationwagon. I hadn't had a shower since I left London and I smelled homeless. That night in Inverness we spent in a hostel. I like roughing it and traveling around cheaply, but its nice every now and again to stay somewhere a little more comfortable.