Posted by: natsevs | July 27, 2010

Dunvegan to Uig

The wind was up during the night and my rib gave me a fair bit of grief. Thankfully, there was a break in the rain whilst I packed the tent away.

I set off into Dunvegan village and came across a bakery where I got myself a sausage roll and warm scone. The scone was really good and I had just finished when I arrived at Jan’s cakes. Jan is over charging seriously for her cakes but was friendly. I treated myself to one slice of chocolate orange brownie for £4.25.

After that I went to the actual proper shop and got real supplies. I ate the brownie as I set off and it was good. It was road up to Claigan where I was subjected to idiot drivers who think I’m six-foot wide. From Claigan was a path to the coral beaches at the head and there were plenty of people out to walk to them.

It was kind of sunny walking out there and the beaches were quite impressive actually. The path stops there but I carried on through fields over a fence to get round the head. Once round the corner I could go up onto the cliffs or risk going down along the bottom. It looked ok down there so I went for it and thankfully didn’t hit any blockages. It did get quite tight at times.

The last mile to the loch head was all up and down in bracken. which was a pain. Then I had a river to cross with no stepping stones yet again. So I ran through past a dead sheep. On the other side I went uphill through a field to Bay and joined the road up the Waternish peninsula. The weather had picked up a bit although the wind was ever-present. At the top of the road, I got out onto a dirt track that took me right along the coast to the point. It goes through some ruins and stops in a field. Once through the fields, I hit bog and and was hoping to be sheltered from the wind. It wasn’t so now I had even worse camping conditions. It was hard walking with bog, heather and tussocks and my legs were getting heavy. There were no decent campspots to be found so I ended up in a semi-dry, semi-sheltered sloped spot.

The wind died down a bit at least but the uneven ground was a problem, especially with a dodgy rib. In the morning the wind had stopped and there was a bit of rain. The midges were really bad when I packed the tent up as a result. The rain was a nice addition to the hard walking. I was almost at Geary and had another bloody river to get past. I ended up walking above the village and had to come down through someone’s garden to get onto the road. I was searching ahead for a bus stop or something to check my map in as it was almost destroyed already. I ended up squeezing into a phone box where the map showed no alternative but to head into forestry land.

Further on was a house with a Jan’s Cakes honesty box outside so I helped myself to a gingerbread man for £2 or something. A guy from Inverness drove up and offered me a lift, it was one of those very tempting times but I managed to decline. We had a chat though and he was a nice fella. I took the turning through another village and out along a dirt road to the forest.

Thankfully there was a cliff path to start with but that soon went inland over bog in a clearing before joining another forestry track. I followed the track back towards the coast and along a bit but it inevitably stopped in the middle of nowhere as they do but I’ve already had that rant.

I was already soaked through from head to toe and was now making my way along a very boggy fire break. There were loads of cleggs about which were constantly blindly flying right into my face. I was starting to lose the plot again slightly. A stream blocked my way bur I got over it ok. Unfortunately there was then a full on river with no decent crossing place. I figured I’d have to just walk through, after all I couldn’t get any wetter. Except if I slipped and ended up kneeling waist deep in it. I gathered myself, stood up, walked out and then lost it properly. I was roaring and shouting and pleading pathetically with the flies to leave me alone. I scrambled through the now dense trees falling over and waving my hands around like a mad man.

Then I came to open land. It was marginally better but I had a steep climb and kept having to go higher because of cliffs. Going back down there was loads of bracken but I made it to the beach and the sun came out. Much too late. I regained some sanity but was still very depressed. Not helped by a river blocking my way for what seemed like the hundredth time on Skye. I got through, poured the water out of my boots and rung out my socks.

The road was a major relief. I did have to take another path but it at least had a bridge over the river I came to. Soon I was in Edinbane which had another abandoned shop. I made the choice to stop at the campsite just out of there and was very glad I did. When I paid I was also able to get some food from the shop then as I set up the tent a guy from one of the caravans offered me a cup of tea. His son was obviously very intrigued by me and brought his toys over. It was really good cup of tea. A woman then came over and said as the guy had already got me a cup of tea did I want some food? She made me some bacon and egg sandwiches. When I took back the plate her husband invited me in and I ended up staying in there until 12. Their names were Linda and Paul and they were lovely. I had a cup of tea then a beer and chatted to them for the evening about them moving up here, the walk and more besides.

Linda and Paul had offered to take my bag on to Uig where there plot is and where I was stopping in a b&b as the hostel was booked out. The morning was a very sunny one at least but my phone had finally had enough of the rain and died on me. I had another cuppa before setting off a lot lighter and also with some snacks they had kindly given me. I was on the road most of the time but there were a few tracks I could take instead. At Skeabost there was a path which headed right into the river. There was however a bridge further down.

The track on the other side went to some houses and then there was meant to be a path which had obviously been purposefully covered up and blocked off. I went through fields and across someone’s garden to get to the next road up to try another path. Walking out there, mum rang so I stopped on the bank to talk to her. A car drove up ad stopped in front of me so I moved my stuff in. It still sat there so I stood up and moved back. It still sat there. Then it drove up and the English woman driving informed me that it was private land.

Her very embarrassed husband told her I knew that and was probably walking to the footpath and directed me to it. Poor man is all I can say.

As it happens the path was nonexistent again but there was a track for the last bit. There was a footpath sign off the road but when I reached the bottom of the turn off there was no sign of it. The farmer there was nice though and said there was no path yet but told me how I could get across to the next settlement.

From Earlish I took a path back to the road round to Uig. The post office shop closed as I walked up to it at 5.32. There was a shop in the town proper but apparently the closed post office was the only place with a cash machine. Linda and Paul had left me £10 for tea at least. I had no money for the b&b though and they didn’t take card. The pub would give cashback apparently so I went there for tea but there card machine wasn’t working. I went back, put on my boots and walked the mile back up the road to another pub. It wouldn’t give cashback and the food was minimum £12. I went back and ate the steak slice I had bought for tomorrow’s lunch. The b&b owners said I could send a cheque as well so they were nice about it at least. The following day was Sunday by the way so the post office wasn’t opening. Needless to say I thought it was ridiculous.

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