Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Over the sea to Skye

Highlands Holiday - Day two

Day two and at least the rain had stopped. I could actually see the top of Ben Nevis and I even kept catching fleeting glimpses of the sun trying to break through the clouds. Things were looking up!

I'd had a long drive up the previous day so I opted to get across to Skye via the Mallaig-Armadale ferry. Not only was it quicker and would get me on to Skye sooner but it gave me the chance to visit Glenfinnan, Arisaig and the Sands of Morar in the process. The weather still wasn't fit for photography but it's still a beautiful drive in any conditions.

Nearing Mallaig I put a post on Facebook saying that I could see the Isle of Skye and that this was a positive thing but within minutes the island was devoured under a carpet of dark stormy skies and the rain reared it's ugly head again.

Mallaig Harbour



Ferry crossing.



Armadale

The showers remained for most of the day but I still managed to take some photographs on my travels. A few miles after getting off the ferry there is a fabulous "loop" you can drive round which takes in a lot of the Sleat peninsula. Even in dull weather it was beautiful but once the clouds lift you apparently get great views of the Cuillins. I shall return in fine bright weather!

Tarskavaig


Tarskavaig
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Tarskavaig


Tarskavaig (Tarsgabhaig in Scottish Gaelic) is a crofting village on the West coast of Sleat on the Isle of Skye. It sits in a glen which meets Tarskavaig Bay and lies opposite the Isles of Eigg, Rum and Canna.
It is often said that Tarskavaig has the best view of the Cuillin in Skye. The name of the village reflects the long and mixed history of the village, being an old Norse name, Torsk Vig, which translates as "Cod Bay" in English

On the way up to Portree I stopped at Sligachan to take a couple of photos and just for a micro-second, the sun burst through the clouds but it soon disappeared and was replaced with an almighty shower.

Sligachan Bridge


Sgurr Alistair in the clouds.


Sligachan Bridge

Thinking that the highlights of my day were now over I headed off to Portree, booked in to my hotel and had a walk around the town. A pipers band provided the Friday night entertainment by playing down in the harbour which created a very nice atmosphere and was most enjoyable.


Pipers on Portree Harbour


Portree



Funky Yacht


Out of the blue, the clouds started to break and the sun came out to play. As I had waited two days for this to happen I decided to make the most of it and had a drive up the Staffin to the Old Man of Storr and then carried on to a fabulous viewpoint which overlooks the Sound of Raasay and gives great views across to Wester Ross and down to the Cuillin Hills.


Portree Harbour

Storr and Loch Leathan

Old Man of Storr

Loch Fada

Sound of Raasay and distant Cuillins

Sound of Raasay

It's amazing but moments like this made me forget all about the many dreary miserable wet hours of the previous two days and I stayed out until the sun had gone down. It was then back to Portree for a couple of beers in the Isles pub and then back to the hotel for a wifi chinwag with Sal.




A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...