Our honeymoon on Skye was incredible. Here are a few highlights:
We went for a 10-mile circular walk along the coast from Kilbride, taking in Suisnish and Boreraig, ruined villages that were forcibly evicted in the 1850s during the Highland Clearances. Sometimes the crofts were burnt to the ground to stop the householders returning. This sort of thing is all that’s left:
The reason the crofters were evicted was to make way for the landowners to raise lots of these:
It was a very poignant walk, both considering the hard, isolated life the crofters must have led and the terrible circumstances in which they were thrown out of their homes.
We set off early in the morning for a much-anticipated ascent of Bla Bheinn, supposedly the most beautiful mountain in Britain.
Considering we are reasonably seasoned hillwalkers, this hill completely kicked out asses, and it was entirely our own fault. Despite being well equipped with compass, GPS, OS map, etc, we misread the directions in the walking guidebook and spent nearly two hours guddling about on a terrifying scree slope before turning back, tired and frustrated, just as other walkers started arriving and merrily going up the correct route. Still, our unfinished business with Bla Bheinn will be a good excuse to go back to Skye!
We visited the Quiraing, a famous and decidedly weird series of rock formations to the north of Portree. While we were there, two white-tailed eagles treated us with a fabulous display right overhead:
We took a walk from Glen Brittle up into the Coire Lagan, a popular starting point for the ascent of some of the famous Black Cuillin mountains. The cloud was low and it was very windy, so we settled for a trip via the Eas Mor waterfall up into the Coire, and then back down again.
This was the day we made up for our failure on Bla Bheinn. We left the car at Sligachan Glen, and headed up the path towards Glen Brittle. To our left rose the beginning of the Cuillin Ridge.
From left to right: Sgurr Nan Gillian, Am Basteir (with the Basteir Tooth sticking out) and Sgurr A Bhasteir. Our target was the Fionn Choire, to the right of Sgurr A Bhasteir. We had the vague idea that we might attempt Bruach Na Frithe, the “easiest” Cuillin (although “easy” is a relative term when you’re talking about the Black Cuillin), located on the right of Am Basteir but out of sight behind the peaks in the photo. When we got up the the Choire and looked up at the pass via which one can access Bruach Na Frithe and Am Basteir, the Bealach Nan Lice, we decided it didn’t look too hard:
The Bealach is to the left of the crag at the top, while the summit of Bruach Na Frithe is hidden behind the ridge on the right.
We stormed our way up the Bealach and were soon at the summit, which was absolutely incredible. I just love the buzz of reaching a summit, and this was one of the best. The main ridge was under cloud, but we could see the entire island laid out below us, all the way from Portree to the Old Man of Storr to Carbost to Elgol. And, of course, across to Am Basteir and the exposed peak of Sgurr Nan Gillean. Two to tackle in future, I think…
We went on an amazing boat trip out of Elgol to the Small Isles of Rhum and Canna. We saw porpoises, a minke whale, Manx shearwaters, distant white-tailed eagles and, best of all, a basking shark.
We left our adorable rented cottage the following morning for a leisurely drive home, stopping off in Fort William to meet friends for lunch and staying overnight at the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe, where we were treated to excellent whisky and live music by a funky blues band called Wolftrain.
Back home now and back to reality with school starting next week! But I do have some knitting to show you and exciting new yarn.