" Skye 4. ~ Glendale & Neist Point "
Date & Time: Friday / Sat, 28/29th June 2013
Locations : Scotland ~ Isle of Skye ~ the North Duirinish Peninsular.
Places visited : Around Glendale and a visit to Neist Point.
Accommodation : Six Willows Bed and Breakfast in Glendale.
With : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Variable !
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
In Glendale now on the Duirinish Peninsular, the most north-western of Skye's peninsulars.
The photos today are a combination of our three nights stay there and are not strictly chronological.
However I hope they manage to convey our thoughts about this lovely part of the island.
Rather than end the report with a photo of supper, we thought we'd begin the day with a good breakfast !
This was starters for an excellent vegetarian breakfast at Six Willows
courtesy of our hosts, Ocean and Scottie.
They were delightful hosts and we were welcomed into their home.
One of the many mementos of their travels before they settled here was this interesting plaque on the wall.
Their garden included a fine summer house with turf roof
which doubles as a therapy room for Ocean's natural health treatments.
" Our vegetarian food and therapeutic massage with a choice of health treatments
will make your stay at Six Willows a relaxing one" . . . says their website !
I vouch for the quality of the food and Ann also enjoyed natural healing and a massage during our stay which she said was brilliant !
- - - o o o - - -
We start with a short walk at the head of the loch.
Looking up Glendale from the river bridge.
Six Willows is up on the left, above the bend in the river by the look of it.
Turning round and there's a perfect little river gorge . . . disgorging the river into the sea.
Colour courtesy of the yellow flag Iris.
Opposite the rive exit is a small water mill that deserves investigation.
It is fed by a small stream off the hill and was apparently renovated some years back.
It is looking a little unkempt at present however,
Sneaking a look inside, the remaining workings of the old mill are restricted to a few wheels and drive shaft . . .
. . . and a few pieces of winnowing and similar machines.
The outside mill stones are not indicative of a working set within the building.
What had been restored more recently was this old black house, now a workshop for the chap who lives next door.
An advocate of re-cycling, the window is an old washing machine glazed door and the main roof spar, a log he salvaged from the sea.
We had a very pleasant chat for a few minutes.
Over the hill . . . and not so far away . . . we headed for Neist Point, passing Waterstein and Loch Mor along the way.
The weather was a little inclement at this point.
By the time we reached the coast it had cleared somewhat
and we managed some good local and long distance views out to sea.
Neist Point is famous for its lighthouse
so firstly we walked out along the headland to appreciate it from afar.
[ We last saw it in 2003 when we passed by and stopped for lunch in the bay, on board M.V. Chalice on a St Kilda Cruise with Northern Light.]
From there we could get an uninterrupted view of The Minch . . . and many of the Hebridean Islands if you used a bit of imagination.
Cutting the corner on the way back to the car park we came across this peat bed
where locals were cutting peat, the subsoil of the headland, to use as fuel in their homes.
The climate of the area over the millennia has been so cold and damp that the surface vegetation has not fully composed down into soil
so when cut, dried and transported home, the organic based subsoil can be burnt slowly to provide heat.
We will take the path from the car park down the cliff and out to the lighthouse.
The classic view of Neist Point . . . it would be a great place to view a fine sunset as we are looking due west.
Those Hebridean islands are looking a little clearer now.
The top winch position was bereft of its wooden shed.
It was lying in pieces on the ground, either been dismantled some time back by hand or by a recent gale !
We passed the bottom of the ropeway and the carrier.
The winch system was used to transport items to the lighthouse and avoided carrying them up or down the steep cliff.
Either some cloud or a little dampness on the lens clouds this view of the middle headland, An t-Aigeach.
There's a wild, almost Atlantic beach at the base of the high cliff.
Ann takes a break on the summit to appreciate the full view.
Close-up of the lighthouse from up high.
The lighthouse is owned and maintained by Trinity House
but the rest of the buildings, the keeper's cottages and this ex-shop are available to purchase.
Fancy setting up a bed and breakfast business of your own ?
There is a small coral beach on the south side of the headland.
Now is that Harry looking handsome . . . or trying hard not to go to sleep ?
A slightly different wildlife encounter . . . a great northern crane !
This jetty and crane were no doubt used to off-load the supply boats
brought in to build the Neist Point light and then in subsequent years to maintain and re-supply it.
Vertical bedding planes made the rock look a little like the basalt columns that grace the island of Staffa not far away.
Continuing our tour of the headland our attention is caught by the noisy Oyster Catchers (click here for a sound file).
The big, bad boy of the northern skies . . . the Great Skua or Bonxie.
A large bird, he preys on the lesser seabirds and mammals of the coastal fringe, often stealing the food caught by them.
He'll defend his territory against humans too by dive bombing you . . . remember to wear a hat in his presence.
Hands in the air or a handy trekking pole held aloft often sorts the problem however.
You just feel that those eyes are watching you all the time !
All good lighthouses deserve some local shipping . . . so a passing yacht appears and fits the bill.
On the end of the headland itself there is a whole area of stone sculptures.
In the sky above, a passing gannet and in the distance the outline of the hills of (probably) Maireabhal on North Uist some 22 miles away.
The curvature of the earth (sea) and the lack of the true coastline of the Hebrides makes identification slightly more difficult.
On the rocks next to the sea were quite a few fishermen.
[ Can I say that none appeared to have a life jacket . . . or is that too "health & safety" ? ]
Time to be heading back up the long path to the car.
- - - o o o - - -
If you're passing, make sure you call in on the craft shop at Waterstein near Loch Mor.
Linda at Kelpie Crafts will make you most welcome.
Later on we were looking over at Neist Point again, this time from the road to Ramasaig.
This is Loch Eishort whose river cascades into the sea via a fine waterfall . . . only seen properly from the sea.
A brief walk started at Ramasiag Farm.
This is wild moorland and the track would have taken us over to the abandoned village of Lorgill
if we had time, inclination and better weather (it rained heavily soon after this picture).
The old village was one of many that crofters were forced to abandon in the C19th Clearances.
We return to Glendale . . . and to Meanish Pier out on the seaward end of the loch.
Local sheep take advantage of the seaweed for a little extra sustenance,
a strange habit, but one developed by many island sheep where the grass fails to provide sufficient goodness.
A closer look at the northern headland and one of the fine waterfalls.
- - - o o o - - -
One evening there was a local live music event so we made our way across the valley.
The small local Post Office and general store.
You can buy all sorts there, from food to fishing gear and they have a cash machine service !
We made our way over to the Red Roof Tearooms . . . so called because . . . they serve tea !
Inside is a small gallery of local work for sale.
Tonight the tables have been cleared back to seat 30 for a small, intimate concert by a visiting artist.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . . a leading light on the northern circuit.