Saturday, 19 October 2013

Skye's the limit

or part 2 of our Scottish wanderings.
The trip to Skye from Mull took us most of the day and required two ferries as well as a nice scenic drive. The weather was continuing to be incredibly warm. On the way we stopped off provisions at a great little shack on Oban pier, known as the green seafood shack. It really is that, a green hut, near the ferry terminal but it sells really great seafood - lobster, crab, prawns, all ready to go, really fresh and cheap. They also do cold bags, as a lot of people stock up for their self-catering!!
Anyway, we arrived safely to our new abode, in the south of Skye at Ord. If you don't know the island, it is much more mountainous than Mull, and also about twice the size, at least in drive time from top to bottom. As with Mull it has a good population of both eagles as well as otters. It is also a bit more "touristy" with coach parties arriving from the mainland over the new Skye bridge.
Our week wasn't as focused on one target - the otter - as it was on Mull. Most days we managed to get out and tramp the hillsides. Particular highlights were:
Coral beach & Dunvegan Castle. The two are close together in the north of the island. Dunvegan is good, and in the summer has seal trips but they were finished for the season. The coral beach is actually covered in maerl, a type of crystalline algae. You can find a few bits here and there but the big lumps are already gone. We also had a stunning view of a white-tailed sea-eagle that flew right over our heads - and we ONLY HAD ONE CAMERA WITH A WIDE ANGLE LENS ON IT!!!! Never mind eh....

For those of you who know your history, Skye is famed for being one of the places Johnson (he of the dictionary and Blackadder fame) & Boswell visited in the 1780's. We've been before, but there is a lovely beach as Talisker Bay where they climbed a small hill!! It's a broad, wide, sandy bay with great opportunities for arty water/ tide/ sand photos.

Another great trip is to the small island of Raasay, about a 20 minute ferry ride. There is a permanent settlement there of I would guess about 50 people but its basically a mountain in the middle of the sea. WE had two superb walks - one to a village deserted during the highland clearances, another to a deserted beach near Brae. Weather was superb and we had excellent views of a juvenile sea-eagle.