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Our walk on the Isle of Skye

Our walk on the Isle of Skye


Postby Roeboe » Thu May 22, 2014 11:29 pm

Route description: Skye Trail

Date walked: 01/05/2014

Time taken: 7

Distance: 115 km

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Our walk on the Isle of Skye...


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After completing the West Highland Way last year, which was my introduction to long distance hiking, I fell in love with Skye when we visited it on the last days of our trip.
Immediately I thought of hiking the misty Isle the year after and when I got home I started planning the trip! Only to be very unhappy when I broke my ankle a month later in a bike crash. After 2 surgeries I started my rehabilitation at new year, doing physiotherapy (self guided) 3 times a week and picking up hiking in the weekends.
The last did not go very well, my ankle hurted every walk, and the days after.

As the end of march approached, things started getting better and with some taping, my ankle would hold harder walks in the Ardennes (Belgium). I was still in doubt if I would be able to finish the Skye trail, but decided to try and if the ankle wouldn't hold, we would just make it a road trip.

So here the trail goes:

We left Belgium on Friday April 25th by car, hoping to catch the 17:10 bus to Rubha Hunish. After the ferry from Calais to Dover and a stopover at Scotch Corner (5h sleep) we arrived at Portree at 3pm (1500km) and were pretty tired. We left the car in the long stay car park and were just in time for the bus, as we had to load our backpacks with food and decide what we would and would not take with us.

The first night we stayed in the bothy at Rubha Hunish with a guy called Stuart. He would stay there for a few days, watching whales. We had wonderful weather, hardly any wind and a nice sunset.

ImageRubha Hunish by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageSundown Rubha Hunish by roeboe, on Flickr


After a long bothy morning we enjoyed the very nice sunrise before leaving for Flodigarry, I was the only one who was out of bed early enough to see a sea eagle!

ImageSea Eagle Rubha Hunish by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageSunrise Rubha Hunish 2 by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageRubha Hunish View Duntulm by roeboe, on Flickr

The first part of the trail felt very relaxed, we had a light breeze, blue skies and a good meal at the Flodigary Hotel.

ImageToward Flodigarry by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageFlodigarry Hotel by roeboe, on Flickr

We then decided to hike further, up quiraing and camp there, since it was only 1PM and we were not feeling fatigued at all.

ImageUp Quiraing by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageKristien Loch Hasco by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageQuiraing Towards Trotternish View by roeboe, on Flickr

Imagesilhouette Quiraing by roeboe, on Flickr

By the time we were up Quiraing, my girlfriend (Kristien) was overheating (not my fault this one time) and our water was running low.

ImageQuirang by roeboe, on Flickr

After a filter stop near the top (new sawyer mini filter) we put up our tent and went to sleep.
When we woke up the sunrise was fantastic, but soon cloud was rolling in and we decided to stay in the tent for a little while, we were ahead of schedule after all.

ImageTop Quiraing Tent by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageTop Quiraing Sunrise by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageKristien Sunset Quiraing by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageQuiraing Morning Dew by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageMist Coming In Quiraing by roeboe, on Flickr

We left at 11AM, as we planned to only walk half the ridge and to wild camp near Bealach na leacaich and(where there would be a nice wall if the wind picked up) were in no hurry.
The first kilometers were in fog, but afterwards it cleared and we were walking in our t-shirts again, we had the best weather imaginable and wondered if we were in the wrong country.

ImageRuben Quiraing Towards Beinn Edra by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageSheep Skull Trotternish by roeboe, on Flickr

I tried contouring to make the walk easier for Kristien, but that took us a long time to go around Beinn Edra, and because of the tough going terrain, my ankle started hurting caused by the slope angle.

We were soon running out of water which meant I had to do the mans job and go down the bogs to find a water source.

ImageWater seeker by roeboe, on Flickr


Finally by 6PM we reached the Bealach and were putting the tent up again, in dense fog!
Few hours later, I saw a couple walking by, with no map. They asked for directions and I advised them to camp nearby, since it was nearly whiteout conditions. I lend them my waterfilter, and boiled them a coffee, they were the first other walkers we met on the trail.

ImageBealach Leacaich by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageBealach Leacaich by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageDark Misty Night Trotternish by roeboe, on Flickr

The next morning, cloud was below the ridge, we were up early and heading for the Storr. We were both tired and suffered from the heat, the were not expecting that was possible in Scotland.

ImageTan lines & Quaker Oats by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageMisty Morning Towards Storr by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageUnknown Beetle by roeboe, on Flickr

Up Flasvein:
ImageTop Flasvein by roeboe, on Flickr

At the bealach before the last climb up the Storr, I started to feel the last 6 months where I was working 12 hours a day, had no time for endurance training and was a little dehydrated. I also think the long drive and overall fatigue got to me and I was struggling up the hill, my heart pounding in my chest. I was happy we got to the top and a little further down the Storr we had a very nice picknick, eventually the sun came trough the low clouds and we walked down and decided to take the bus to portree and complete the last part from the Storr to Portree later.

ImagePortree by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageOld Man Of Storr by roeboe, on Flickr

ImagePortree by roeboe, on Flickr

The next days we spent resting, eating and "rehydrating" at the Old Inn in Carbost, where we took refuge as the weather was turning. Remembering our great time up trotternish!

ImageLoch @ Old Inn Carbost by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageGuinness Old Inn by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageOld Inn by roeboe, on Flickr

Cappucino with sides in portree:

ImageCappucino by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageMillionaire Old Granary by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageYum Yum Old Granary Portree by roeboe, on Flickr

During our resting days we drove to Neist Point which has nothing to do with the Skye trail, bur for the photography lovers here goes:

ImageNeist Point Lighthouse Cabin by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageWool by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageLighthouse Close by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageNeist Point Lighthouse by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageEagles by roeboe, on Flickr

Soon it was time to restart the trail, the next part would take us to Sligaechan, there we would meet a friend who I met last year on the west highland way, he would join us for the remainder of the trail! The weather was very nice AGAIN but since I hate road walking we took the bus to Peinchorran and just continued from there. At the end of the Loch, we saw our first midges!

On the road again:
ImagePortree Rest by roeboe, on Flickr

ImagePortree Docks by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageSligachan by roeboe, on Flickr

ImagePortree - Sligachan by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageRob's Perfect Mountain by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageRuben Loch Sligachan by roeboe, on Flickr

As you see we had nothing but time and took a lot of pictures, blue blue blue....

ImageLoch Sligachan by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageLoch Sligachan 2 by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageTowards Sligaechan by roeboe, on Flickr

The campsite at Sligachan was nice but we did not like the food at the hotel. Nonetheless, we had a lovely evening meeting Rob and planning the days ahead. We were uncertain to take the path to loch coruisk, over the bad step or not.

ImageSligaechan Campsite by roeboe, on Flickr

The day after, we decided to let Kristien choose the route taken and again the weather was good but cloudy, the going was nice and she decided to tackle the bad step. (2 happy men)

ImageDownhill Rock Slabs Coruisk by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageLoch Coruisk by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageThe Bad Step ahead by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageBad step by roeboe, on Flickr

The path to Camasunary, past the bad step was horrible. The 3 of us were really happy when we arrived at the beach but not so happy to find the bothy occupied by a very large group of mountainbikers, so we camped on the beach.

ImageCamasunary Bothy by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageCamasunary by roeboe, on Flickr

The next morning, after a rainy night all rivers were in spate, we reckoned crossing the river would have been impossible today and a long detour would have been needed!

We left early, up the hill, and decided to go straight to Torrin (as there would be nothing in Elgol on Sunday) and find a camp spot there.

Rob led far ahead, but I found Kristien lagging behind, struggling to keep up and fatigued from the day before. And the pouring rain was not helping her bad mood. I tried unsuccesfully, with all my charm, to get her motivated.

We finally got to the road to Torrin and a camper van stopped and offered us a lift as we rounded the loch. As democracy goes, the vote was 2 to 1, I didn't want to stop and not finish the trail. We were back in Portree. Again, to return to the Old Inn in Carbost (as there were no vacancies nearby). After a nice meal, we dried our clothes, tents, sleeping bags and went to bed after to much Guinness. Not much photo's taken, fog, rain clouds,...

The day after we drove to Torvaig campsite and decided to finish the Storr to Portree section, a nice walk with the wind in our backs and nice dark clouds with little rain over the hills.

ImagePortree Storr by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageRob Trig Point by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageTowards Portree by roeboe, on Flickr

Wind was blowing fantastically hard in the back, which was nice and it took little effort going uphill!

ImagePortree Storr by roeboe, on Flickr

Waiting for the bus back to Portree:

ImageI Spy with my little eye... by roeboe, on Flickr

I still wanted to finish the Skye Trail, and the day after we stayed at Torvaig campsite, we drove to Kilbride where we left the car at Camus malag and finished the trail into Broadford.

I did not know what a nice stage this last one would be, including the cleared villages of Suisnish and Boreraig. When we arrived at Boreraig, the sight of the cleared village gave us an undescribeable feeling which would stay with us for a long time. We could sense what tragedy happened here. It would have been a nice camp spot and we were very sorry we did not have our camping gear with us.

ImageTowards Boreraig by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageBoreraig Cleared Village by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageRob & Ruben towards Broadford by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageToward Broadford by roeboe, on Flickr

We also drove to Elgol to enjoy the view over the Cuillins:

ImageElgol View Towards Black Cuillin by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageRum from Elgol Harbour by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageEmpty by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageLodge Elgol by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageElgol by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageCamas Malag by roeboe, on Flickr

We celebrated our last evening together with Rob at Camus Malag and the day after we dropped him at Morvich where he would start his TGO challenge.

ImageThe Firemaker by roeboe, on Flickr

ImageDover - Calais by roeboe, on Flickr

Now back home, I'm planning the next adventure!

ImageK&R Ferry Dover by roeboe, on Flickr
Last edited by Roeboe on Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Roeboe
 
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Re: Our walk on the Isle of Skye

Postby writerwalks » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:50 pm

This is terrific! We are Canadian, and are thinking of doing the Skye walk next summer or around the Isle of Arran. Did you find the trails on Skye disappearing at any point (a lot of what I've read say in some parts they aren't really marked)? What guidebook are you using in these pictures? Thanks!
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Re: Our walk on the Isle of Skye

Postby floma » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:42 pm

Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures.
We were on our way to Skye late October last year but changed plans due to bad weather, ended up walking the easier West Highland Way instead so Skye Trail is still waiting for us. Your pics are inspiring!
Dank U!
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Re: Our walk on the Isle of Skye

Postby LDPWalker » Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:49 pm

RoeBoe

Thanks for that - some splendid pictures for us to enjoy. Well done.

Roger
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Re: Our walk on the Isle of Skye

Postby Roeboe » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:48 am

writerwalks wrote:This is terrific! We are Canadian, and are thinking of doing the Skye walk next summer or around the Isle of Arran. Did you find the trails on Skye disappearing at any point (a lot of what I've read say in some parts they aren't really marked)? What guidebook are you using in these pictures? Thanks!


Sorry for the late answer, I used harvey's skye trail map, very useful. Also interesting is Cameron Mcneish's book and the cicerone Guide on the skye trail. A lot of the Trial is pathless and not signposted so a little experience in navigation is needed, especially in bad weather!
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