Posted by: natsevs | July 28, 2010

Uig to Loch Ainort

I was woken by some very loud people going to breakfast so I got up and had my first full English for quite a while. I packed up whilst watching the Hollyoaks omnibus.

It had been raining since the early hours and was really going for it as I left. I still had 20minutes until the shop opened though so I waited it out in the public toilets. They had no bread or fruit in there, the shop I mean, not the toilets. I was getting pretty desperate for some slightly healthier food now.

After that I headed out along the road climbing up the back of the bay. It was a main road to start with but after I had sat on a fold out chair in a bus stop I went down a lesser road out to a farm. Out of the end I walked along the coast through farmland and bog so my feet returned to their standard state of soakingness.

At the village of Bornesketaig a little road took me back to the main one. This took me past Flora McDonald’s grave then up to the ruins of a castle. There were a lot of people parked up to do the 5 minute walk to the castle now the rain had stopped.

I went out then down into the bay before heading out to the most northerly point of Skye. If I’m completely honest I didn’t go right out because I really didn’t want to.

I returned to the road via a cow field and followed that for the rest of the day. The sun turned up and everything looked a bit more scenic. I stopped for a bit where a couple of dogs came and made friends with me.

When I arrived in Staffin it was a little bit weird. I’ve never seen so many churches in such a small village. Out of there was a campsite but I only had £5 left on me and I didn’t need the facilities. There is a viewpoint just past Elishadder at kilt rock where there is a waterfall and stuff. A few cars were parked up with people milling about but there weren’t any no camping signs so I decided to stop there. The people left but I went over the river and outif the way still to avoid being disturbed. It was a good job as there was a steady flow of people coming and going for a while. Just when my noodles were done the stove fell over so I had to recover half out of the grass. I then had porridge for pudding to make sure I didn’t get too hungry overnight.

People started turning up at the viewpoint surprisingly early. It wasn’t raining then but that soon changed. I was fed up as I set off along the road and it was boring walking. It was clear enough to get a good view of the old man of storr for a few minutes.

Coming up to the car park heading for the walks up to there a whole flock of sheep ran out into the road in front of a nice sports car which gave me some amusement at least. At the Storr lochs, there was a footpath sign saying Portree was 8 miles so I headed onto the side road down which it was pointing. This took me to the other side of the lochs and right onto the cliffs.

Once at the end of the road there was a gate and one sign post pointing in the direction of Portree. If I had continued in that direction I would have walked off a cliff but there were no more signs and definitely no path. I attempted to follow the coast for a while but the map showed some serious cliffs in the way which soon came into view. I carried on midway between the lochs and the sea gradually getting nearer the lochs so that once they terminated I could head to the road and take a route where I knew I wouldn’t encounter any problems.

Coming down into Portree the weather was improving at least. I went to the co-op and bought real food then head to Harbour View seafood restaurant which my uncle;s friends Richard and Claire run. They had kindly said I could stay with them so Richard showed me in and got me a cup of tea and gave me the tour. It’s a lovely little restaurant. After I had showered we headed out for tea as they were closed today for their day off. I was treated to a meal and ordered a soup followed by a lamb casserole.

It was so good to gave real food even if it was only going to be for one night. On returning to the house Claire sorted me an apple pie with some of their elderberry ice cream as well so I was a very happy and grateful traveller.

My mum had sent a parcel with the next lot of maps in and more excitingly the new roll mat I had ordered. I would be sleeping well again and it was smaller than the last one! That is a very exciting thing for someone who wants to shove as much food as possible into their bag.

I had the best sleep I’d had in a long while which obviously made me feel really tired in the morning. A very good cooked breakfast soon sorted that out though. I went to the post office to send back all my broken kit then spent a bit of time chatting to Richard, Claire and their chef Catherine. If it hadn’t been for some of the people I had met on Skye I maybe wouldn’t have got round with my marbles still in tact.

When I set off the sun was actually shining. I had told myself I wasn’t going to buy any chocolate for a week and managed to resist the temptation of the waffle and ice cream parlour.

Unfortunately just out of Portree I went into the garage for a cold drink and came out with a kitkat chunky caramel as well. Only one though.

After turning off the main road to go along the coast to Braes I actually got ghe sun cream out. At the end of that road was a path along the edge of loch Sligachan to Sligachan itself.

It was actually  a path that existed and a little way along it even had people walking on it. The result of stocking up on food is that I end up constantly eating as I walk so generally I have one good day then I’ve run out again. I need better self control.

I passed the brewery and hotel at Sligachan which were both quite busy then took the main road up to Sconser. Out of Sconser is a headland with a single track going around it. This took me through a quarry at the beginning then it was really quite boring. There was however something that I have seen in England and Wales as well that I keep forgetting to mention.

On these roads in the middle of nowhere there are quite often holes in the metal road signs. I can only think that they could be made by bullets? It’s unnerving to see and I have consciously made sure I never camp near them in case someone is out for target practice and misses.

At a layby was a really arsey message about not camping there or there’ll be prosecution blah blah, don’t touch this sign or I’ll get you blah blah. My immediate reaction was that I really wanted to camp there to see what happened and maybe have a chat with the author, but it was a rubbish place to put a tent up.

In the end, I stopped at the head of the loch, loch Ainort, just off the single track road in a slightly boggy but flat spot. Before I stopped I saw a car driving really slowly along the road. When it came to where I was I saw that it was a couple ‘walking’ their dog and they had the cheek to look at me like I was odd for actually walking with my legs. The stupid thing is that it was the first half decent day for 3 weeks so anyone else would be desperate to get outside.


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