Thursday, 19 August 2010

Skye!

Well today started in grand fashion, despite the wake up call by half the cast of Finding Nemo "Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!" Still wind and a golden sunrise. Porridge and coffee out the way and I managed to pack the tent away dry for the fist time and was on the road for 8am. Following the old coast road along the rocky coastline for about 10 miles brought me into Malaig for the Skye ferry setting sail at just gone 9:30. As is becoming the norm now I headed straight into the cafe bar for the second of the mornin's caffeine hits. The bar was filling up quickly at a coach load of Italian tourists boarded and slowly a crowd began yo gather around the TV in the corner on which this mornings horror stories were already in full swing courtesy of the "Jeremy Kyle Show" now for the state side readers of my humble blog who may not be familiar with said show, its kinda like 'extreme jerry springer' where some adolescent chav explains to the world how she slept with her boyfriend's dad, uncle and best friend too and now she's not sure which one of the 4 is father to her triplets. The topic of todays show escaped me but the reactions of the huddled Italians was great to watch, lots of gasping, Arm folding and head shaking followed by heated discussion amongst themselves in loud Italian. I guess these poor folks now think this a fair representation of the British as a whole? Oh dear..
Anyway an hour or so of bouncy sea and I was on the Isle of Skye \o/
Intermittent showers and sunshine again as I followed the stunning coastline round to the familiar town of Broadford where the local Co-op sorted me out with some supplies and snacks, knowing the island I know there's no snack stops between here and Portree.
More pretty coastline with fierce winds that couldn't seem to make its mind up which way to blow, and by early afternoon I was at the Sligachan hotel, where I was gutted to find the main bar closed, I was telling a friend from LA who also enjoys a drop of whisky, about this place, the main bar has hundreds upon hundreds of whiskys from all over Scotland and the world, and seeing all the bottles behind the bar is gobsmacking, and I really wanted to grab a quick photo of it.. oh well, I guess that means I gotta come back..!
It was here I had to make a tough decision on my route... do I...
A. Go to the Taliskser distillery, or
B. Take the longer route to Uig via the coast road past the Old Man of Stor, Kilt Rocks & waterfalls and the mountains of Trotternish.
And having been to the Taliskser distillery before, I broken heartedly, but happily chose the latter.
Choosing the first would have meant a 18 mile detour, and I did not have time to do both.
Once underway I was happy id made the right decision, missing out on a free taliskser meant I had a bit more time to spend in Portree, happy that I did too.. if you have a look at the pic of portree from earlier you'll see somewhere in the middle of the row of buildings on the harbourside you'll notice a large pink building, its called the Pink Guest House, has 11 rooms, all En Suite, and is on the market at a noggin over the half a million pound mark, so.. thanks for all the kind offers to help me buy Billy's place in Inveraray, but I think we should club together and buy this instead, thanks. xx
Back to reality and along the Trotternish coast road, past the Sharp mountains and the large free standing rock known as The Old Man Of Stor, and stopping again to snap a few photos around the cliffs at Kilt Rock.
Now it had been my intention to ride right around the coast to Uig but spotted on the map a short cut going from east coast to west coast (where I wanted to be) going straight over the mountains in-between. Maybe is was the mountainbiker in me, but a little voice said, "go over the mountains" which I promptly did! A good 3 mile of 1:5 (20%) gradient climbs straight up and over the Trotternish range with spectacular views down both sides from the top, and on a fully laden 100lb+ bike, was a dam good work out too!
Of course what goes up, must come down.. and the downhill into Uig was well worth the effort. Arriving in Uig the last ferry for the outer Hebrides was in port and just about to leave, and the temptation to hop straight on was strong, but I opted instead to hit a campsite for a shower and to catch up on a bit of laundry.
So all that now done, and time for bed, and with any luck I'll be on the first ferry the Hebrides in the morning!
Woot!
Till then... xx

T.





1 comment:

  1. Really enjoying reading this Tim, keep the posts coming :D

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