" 1. Over the sea to Skye ~ The Journey Up "
Date & Time: Saturday/Sunday 22nd/23rd June 2013
Location : Scotland ~ The Isle of Skye.
Places visited : Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe, Skye Bridge, Carbost in Central Skye.
Accommodation : Blà Bhein (pronounced blah vane) B&B, Crossal, Carbost, Skye.
With : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Not encouraging . . . sunshine but often overcast with occasional light rain.
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Loweswatercam is on location again as we head north to Scotland . . . the Isle of Skye to be precise.
With so much walking available here in Cumbria, our holiday will be mainly seeing the sights not climbing the hills
but hopefully two weeks on Skye will provide enough variety to entertain, especially as we haven't spent any time on the island for many a year.
However to get to Skye we must first travel up through central Scotland . . .
The famous viewpoint on the road just north of Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy . . . looking down on Loch Tulla.
There's a large layby which is popular with visitors. Looking round, there was a square stone structure which caught the eye.
( not the one in this picture . . . it was bigger than that !)
The cairn contained 795 stones, one from each of the 3000ft summits of Scotland . . . the "Munro Tops".
Obviously a labour of love achieved by a Mr W.G.Park who remembered to collect a small stone from each one he visited.
If you were setting out to climb all the Munros yourself then this would be a great place to start.
Rannoch Moor . . . the highest upland wetland bog in the UK.
To the east . . .the Tay River valley and eventually the town of Pitlochry.
To the west . . . the high Munros including Stob Ghabhar at 3565 feet high.
The classic triangular peak of Buachaille Etive Mor
seen from the flags at the turning to the Glencoe Mountain Ski and Bike Centre.
The fine weather over Rannoch gave way to low cloud and even light rain in Glen Coe.
The Three Sisters mountains in Glen Coe.
To progress further north we have to cross the Loch Leven Bridge at Ballachulish using the road bridge.
On the northern shore, adjacent to old ferry crossing, is the Loch Leven Hotel where we were to spend our first night.
Digging back through the archives I found my old pictures, now 48 years old, of a Scottish holiday with my parents.
We used the ferry to cross here at Ballachulish but sadly no equivalent "then and now" pictures of this crossing.
However these two may give you some idea of what it was like to travel the west coast of Scotland in the days before the bridges were built.
The view from the hotel over the fast moving water of the sea loch.
The evening closed with sunshine once again as we relaxed after our evening meal.
Time passes . . . and it is the morning of the next day.
The promise of nice weather has not materialised and the cloud is down on the hills again . . . but the dogs still need a short walk
before we set off on the final stretch of our journey to the Isle of Skye.
This young lad and his dad are using technology to achieve the same aim.
Back to the hotel and ready to head north and west for Skye.
On the distant shore the hills of Glen Tarbet , the road through the gap leads out onto the Ardnamurchan Peninsular.
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A brief stop just north of Fort William at the Commando Memorial
which now has a garden of Remembrance alongside.
Another brief stop at a viewpoint above Loch Loyne.
Answers on a postcard please as to why this spot in particular has been chosen by the public
to build literally hundreds of little stone cairns alongside the road.
The classic view of Eilean Donan Castle strategically built on the island at the confluence of Loch Alsh, Loch Duich and Loch Long.
All that's missing from the chocolate box view is the blue sky and a high tide . . . failed on both today !
Skye View was the label on the layby . . . and they weren't wrong.
Below are the fishery piers and the jetties for the old ferry, both here and on the other side.
The Skye Bridge has made them redundant especially as the bridge is now toll-free.
The Lochalsh Hotel . . .
looking good but no longer can it rely on overnight trade for people waiting to cross to the island.
We travelled across the bridge, on through Broadford and up to the Sligachan turning
where we headed west to Carbost and our first stop at Blà Bhein B&B
Looking across at the Red Cuillin with slightly better weather than we had on our drive up.
Not a bad view from your front garden.
Two pictures of our delightful accommodation . . . this will do very nicely for the next four nights.
A fully featured en-suite bed sit with an excellent breakfast provided downstairs each day
in the family dining room, by our hosts, Tanya and Stuart.
While we were there we had some lovely views of the Red Cuillins
so the weather wasn't as bad as perhaps I make out !
The house was named after Blà Bhein, the highest peak of the Red Cuillin range, seen here in the background on the right.
Of all the hills in this group, it is the only 'Munro', all the others being less than the magical 3000 ft.
The other hills that featured in our view were those of the Black Cuillin, twelve of which exceed the magic figure.
"The Cuillin Munros are acknowledged as the hardest to climb of all the Scottish peaks and linking them is even tougher,
with many narrow ridges to scramble and where concentration is required on every step."
Good plan to be on a sightseeing holiday not a climbing one !
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We have arrived . . . from now on we can go out and explore.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . . a good breakfast to start your day.