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Category Archives: Skye Walker (Isle of Skye)
The last walk in this Skye Walker Series left me with a souvenir. A black and shiny souvenir… on my bottom! This was the best bruise I’ve achieved since a snowboarding trip in the three valleys too many moons ago. It came about for the usual reasons: overexcitement and lack of concentration. In case you’re feeling nervous about flicking through the consequential photos, don’t be. You’ll be relieved to hear that I failed to document this rather original memento!
The walk along Waterloo beach, near Broadford offers yet another unique landscape to take in. It’s hard to describe as there is such a variety of terrain: patches of grassland full of watery potholes, strange rock formations and more rock pools you can shake a stick at! Oh, and when the tide is out, a sandy beach is uncovered.
This doesn’t appear to be a particularly popular walk. Comparatively, it’s not a ‘classic’ walk either, but it is a fascinating one and offers more than enough to keep any walker intrigued!
My last post on our fantastic Skye Walker adventures should be up next week. Here’s some photos from the bits in between our walking adventures on the Isle of Skye…
Our last day on the Isle of Skye began with a disappointing voicemail. Well actually the day began with an epic struggle to remove ourselves from bed into the shower and out into the car for 7am. Five days of driving, walking, late night card games and excessive biscuit consumption was starting to take it’s toll!
We were driving to Elgol where we were booked on a boat for the Isle of Rum: star location in BBC’s Autumnwatch series, as well as many other wildlife programmes. Another contributing factor in the mornings’ fatigue was a night of hyperactive anticipation at seeing deer, White Tailed and Golden Eagles, otters, ponies, goats and much more! However the bubble of boyish excitement burst about 5 minutes into the drive when CB picked up a voicemail from the skipper warning that the seas were likely to be too rough to sail (or whatever correct term for a boat without sails is?!) out to Rum.
After a particularly stunning drive, we arrived at Elgol with low expectations. Just as well as all charters to the Isle of Rum were cancelled for the day. Not wanting to waste our efforts, we decided to jump on a boat headed for Loch Coruisk.
The boat trip on the Bella Jane was great, we saw a couple of Shags (for those with a similar maturity level to myself, I mean Phalacrocorax aristotelis), a Great Northern Diver (this is a bird) which was a real thrill and plenty of Harbour seals which are always a welcome sight to me!
Once we arrived at Loch Coruisk we had one and half hours to scramble/ ramble. With an estimate time of 3 hours to walk the circumference of the Loch, your options for exploration are a wee bit limited. With hindsight we would’ve done the longer trip. For anyone considering the walk back to Elgol from Loch Coruisk, consider well, because I saw the ‘bad step’ section of that walk and I would say ‘danger of death step’ might be a bit more appropriate! But then, I’m not really known for my love of heights, quite the contrary in fact and apparently in the good ole days herdsmen would walk their sheep and cattle this route.
The area is simply stunning, and it’s easy enough to reach some mountaineering-esque viewpoints! After taking it all in and getting over the awesomeness of such rare views (for us anyway) we decided to walk away from the Loch and our rambling shipmates. We happened to stumble upon a beautiful sandy cove (with no footprints!!) it was the most peaceful experience of the holiday by far; until we noticed the time and had to peg it back to the mooring!
Our serendipitous visit to Loch Coruisk was possibly the highlight of the Skye trip and is a real ‘must see’ for any Skye Walking Jedi!
It’s not hard to find Legend in Skye and everything about the Old Man of Storr feels legendary! Storr is the remnants of an ancient landslip that stands on the Trotternish Peninsula and I don’t think there is anywhere else in the world quite like it. I wasn’t surprised (but was incredibly excited!) to see the Old Man of Storr hit global cinema screens not only at the beginning of Ridley Scott’s epic film Prometheus but also in the equally epic (but not quite as good – but still pretty cool) Snow White and the Huntsman.
Like many of the famous spots on the extraordinary Isle of Skye, The Old Man of Storr is popular and you have to join the conveyor belt of tourists and sight seekers to see it. But don’t let this put you off because it really is awesome to stand in the presence of and if you persevere, the higher you ascend the quieter it becomes!
Whenever anyone goes away, advice is often given and received rather like Christmas presents. And thus your holiday begins with the pressure of
1. Trying to remember who gave what advice and brewing up interesting anecdotes that illustrate just how useful their advice was.
2. Finding good enough reasons to explain why you were unable to make it to that place they recommended.
While our Daily Mail and Telegraph reading friends warned us of the deep trenches at the side of the roads and obstinate road-dwelling sheep… many of our Guardian reader friends encouraged us:
"You must visit the Fairy Pools when you go to Skye, it’s in the Wild Swim book by Kate Rew, have you read it? "
… So here we were, putting on our boots in the car park for the Fairy Pools with the rain pouring down more consistently than the micro climate weather we’d experienced so far; and as yet we hadn’t knocked over a sheep or gotten stuck down a trench (phew)!
Our trip to the Fairy Pools occurred on a day of firsts. The morning was marked with my first ever sighting of a cuckoo and in the evening I saw, for the first time, a baked potato explode. If you ever come to use an ‘all in one’ microwave, oven and grill, be warned!
There are clearly more Guardian readers than Daily Mail readers speculate, as The Fairy Pools are popular! And while popularity is something that can often turn myself (and many other Guardian readers) off a place, the Fairy pools are so awesome it’s hard to be put off by anything!
As the rain eased we even managed to find a quiet spot for our packed lunch, out of the way of walking traffic. Although that didn’t stop the odd venturer poking their head over the rocks and looking down green eyed at our pretty good picnic spot! Maybe we shouldn’t have lunched by the actual pool Kate Rew was photographed in for her book!
Sometimes there are walks where you get so engrossed in the scenery and experience of the place you are walking in, that you end up ditching the planned walk and just dreamily wander around and then wander back. Well Fairy Pools is such a place. This place IS magical!