" Skye 6. ~ Stein and Waternish Peninsular "
Date & Time: Mon / Tuesday 1st / 2nd July 2013.
Locations : Scotland ~ Isle of Skye ~ The Waternish Peninsular.
Places visited : Stein, Gillen Forest, Trumpan Church.
Accommodation : With Johnny at Loch Bay B&B
With : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Better !
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
The middle of the top three peninsulars of Skye is called the Waternish Peninsular.
Friends from a while back have moved to the village of Stein and so our next few days were partially spent in their company.
Stein is renowned for its sunsets . . . so lets hope the weather will behave itself this time.
The morning view from our new bed and breakfast accommodation in the village of Stein.
Lochbay B&B does just what it says on the label . . . it overlooks the lovely Loch Bay.
Johnny's home where we are staying in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
He serves a magical breakfast in the morning . . . everything you could possibly want to set you up for the day.
Upstairs . . . our bedroom and comfortable bed . . . the dogs slept on the floor on the big blue rug we took with us on holiday.
Looking down on the Stein Inn and the slipway . . . the central focus of this linear village.
There's a rather nice two masted sailing boat anchored in the lee of Isay Island, the one we saw close up from Coral Beach.
Our friends, Steve and Irene's house . . . we had the address but very few folk put numbers on their driveways or houses
consequently we drove right past and had to return to find it once we had contacted them by phone . . . technology is useful sometimes.
They have two enthusiastic spaniels that rushed around, please to have made new friends this morning.
In the evening we dined with them (and very nice it was too)
but the second night we adjourned to the pub . . . the Stein Inn . . . the oldest Inn on the island of Skye.
A drop of local ale . . . the Skye Breweries Black Cuillin
was actually being pulled on hand pump from the other bar by the head barman Donald.
Afterwards we took a stroll down to the jetty to enjoy the evening light.
Bear in mind this far north the sunsets are later and it was hardly dark even at midnight.
Looking back at the Stein Inn from the end of the same jetty.
It will be quite some time till sunset so you'll have to use your imagination.
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Our little walks book suggested a walk in the Gillen Forest . . .
. . . so we drive the short distance across to the less visited east side of the Waternish Peninsular
and parked our car at the end of the road about half a mile further on from here.
Cheerful birdsong of the Whinchat . . . click on the link and play the sound file.
(backspace from the RSPB site to return here)
The forest track wound round in a circle leaving the trees in favour of an old clear felled area.
The views down over Loch Bay and the Durinish Peninsular were reasonably clear.
The track headed up across the moorland now, heading for a further plantation over the brow of the hill.
Just short of the summit we found the signpost and branched off for the top.
The route was described as forest tracks and boggy moorland . . . exactly right
as we head down from the summit with rather damp footwear.
The Hebrides Ferry appears around the corner.
It has travelled over from Lochmaddy, heading for Uig on the next peninsular over from here, a trip it does each day of the week.
I was intrigued by the deep colours and texture of the forest edge,
the new lighter growth contrasting with the darker green of the established branches.
A different variety of pine tree exhibits a subtle difference of shape and colour.
A large seagull flies by, contrasting nicely with the deep greens.
The cliffs of Score Horan
where the cliffs of Beinn Sguirr plunge down to the sea.
Plants maintaining a foothold even in the most difficult of places.
Aros Bay and below us, Loch Losait Bay.
A delightful north facing beach and even here on the flat ground at the head of the bay
there is evidence of old houses and areas of ancient cultivation.
I stop for yet another photo, this time out to sea with the big lens on !
The ferry has had a quick turn around at Uig and is heading back . . . carrying new folk to the outer isles.
The round nature of our walk meant we had just a short distance back over the fields to the car
parked up adjacent to the last-but-one house on the hillside.
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On the way back to Stein we stopped off to visit the ancient Dun Hallin
Perched high on a commanding viewpoint, it had excellent views all round.
The weather was really good now and in the clear air we could see out to most of the Outer Hebridean Islands.
No wonder they chose this as a defensive position to build.
It has a circular diameter of about 36 feet with thick walls that would have enclosed stairs giving access to upper levels and perhaps the roof,
all traces of which have been lost over the long passage of time. Click here for a more technical description of the structure.
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At the northern extent of the road on Waternish Peninsular is the ruined Trumpan Church.
Its sad ruins are testament to its destruction during clan-infighting in 1758. The MacDonalds, who had been massacred in a cave in Eigg the previous year
at the hands of the MacLeods, landed at Ardmore Point and barricaded the doors of the packed church and set fire to the thatch, killing all but one
of the local worshipers. Only one person survived the attack, a young girl escaped through a tiny window and raised the alarm.
The MacLeods responded and in turn massacred the MacDonalds, dumping their bodies in the local dyke
in an incident now known as "The Spoiling of the Dyke".
Looking north through the window to the local headland
beyond which the land extends another three miles to Waternish Point and a small lighthouse.
Looking across to the hills of South Harris some twenty miles away.
We dug deep in the picnic box and found a last chocolate biscuit to go with a cup of tea from the thermos.
We were thirsty but not blood thirsty like the Clans of old !
This bold little sparrow was hanging about for a crumb of food . . . he's obviously found success with other visitors.
He was very beguiling so we shared some of our biscuit !
Another small peninsular to walk . . . time permitting . . . but we passed in favour of returning to Stein
as Roger was meeting Steve and other local men to fly model helicopters in the Church Hall that afternoon.
Ann settled for afternoon tea with Irene !
The beach is at the head of Ardmore Bay . . . safe anchorage and easy landing it would seem.
We met up with Steve and Irene again later that evening
but instead of a meal at the pub we just popped in for an aperitif . . .
. . . prior to walking next door to the Lochbay Seafood Restaurant.
Lobster, langoustine, shrimps, crab, scallops, oysters (cooked and uncooked) . . . need I say more ?
Just occasionally you have to push the boat out . . . to use a fishing analogy . . . it turned out to be a brilliant meal.
Another late return to base but that sun resolutely refuses to set until much later.
I don't like the look of those clouds though.
- - - o o o - - -
Next day the clouds have invaded and decided to stay for a while.
We tossed a coin for walking the dogs in the rain and I lost . . . tell me something new.
I took the chance to get down to the head of Loch Bay and to wonder around the river and beach.
[ If I remember rightly, the plaque on the cairn was a memorial to two ladies who enjoyed staying in this area.]
Damp would be a good word . . . wet would be better.
At the head of the bay . . . Stein is just visible in the distance.
" Non-stick "
That boat we saw earlier had moved into the loch to escape the heavy weather . . . the water in here was much calmer.
The mist almost hides it from view.
By the time we left for our next destination the weather had cleared.
This was a fine thatched house, more modern than the black houses we had seen because it was large and had two chimneys.
It was just up the road from our B&B and that looks like the proud owner to the right, head down studying the garden plants.
Time to be heading over to Portree.
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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 . . . . previous experience of unusual shaped cutlery.