The Skye Trail

Team Seatle wake up to a beautiful morning on Day 3.

Last week I walked the Skye Trail over seven days with a couple of friends from uni. Skye is a beautiful island, even though 90% of its surface seems to be bog. We were mega lucky with the weather; apart from a couple of occasions when it rained at night and we were kept dry by the tent, we were only rained on for about an hour for the whole week! Day 2 (Bank Holiday Monday) was an absolutely perfect hot summer’s day.

There aren’t many trees on Skye though: a few large patches of commercial coniferous forestry, a few small yet lush woods in the sheltered parts of the island, and a smattering of tortured-looking trees alone or in small groups, usually keeping some old ruins company.

Day 2 (30th May) – Peering over the edge of the mighty Trotternish Ridge at the trees and rocks a couple of hundred metres below.

Day 3 (31st May) – Looking out over the Sound of Raasay to the Isles of Rona and / or Raasay, separated from the mainland by Inner Sound. The mountains of Torridon on the mainland are far away in the distance.

Looking in the same direction as the previous photo, but from further south along the coast (near Holm).

From the same spot, looking north over Bearreraig Bay with its hydro-electric power station to the wooded cliffs at Rubha Sùghar.

Here’s the view looking west towards the rocky face of the Storr (719 m), which towers over a chunk of forestry and Loch Leathan, the outlet of which is damned for the hydro station.

Loch Portree, or the natural harbour of Portree (Port Righ) - the capital settlement of Skye – seen from the bridge spanning the River Chracaig.

Day 4 (1st June) – Standing on Allt Dubh’s waterfall facing south-west towards the brooding Cuillin Hills. In the middle distance, the River Sligachan flows lazily towards Loch Sligachan, just out of shot on the left. If you take a microscope to this photo you may discern the Sligachan Hotel (the Slig), whose bar kept us hydrated on our fourth night.

Day 5 (2nd June) – A luscious rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) radiates greenness in the late afternoon, posing in front of Loch Slapin off the eastern coast of the Elgol peninsula.

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Above the 60th parallel in Canada you feel that nobody but God has been there before you, but in a deserted Highland glen you feel that everyone who ever mattered is dead and gone.

- Hugh MacLennan

Posted in Holidays and field trips

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