Scotland autumn 2016, across Skye for the absent ferry
The Sky ferry to Tarbert crosses from Idrigle on the north west tip of the island. There was one going in the late afternoon and so we left Glenbrittle passing a rather irresistible waterfall, much swollen by the recent rain.
As we approached Loch Harport we noticed a little graveyard and some ruined boats by the top of the loch. While I was photographing the boats Alan strolled to edge of the shore and saw two great sea eagles, not 30m from him. He watched for a while and then beckoned to me. They noticed and immediately flew to the other side of the loch. I took some pictures of them sitting in a tree but they were too far for a decent shot. The I saw some movement in the water and a whole family of otters were swimming. Miraculous! But again too far to photograph. But never mind, we watched for about half an hour till they went away.
Driving across the Red Cuillin to get to Portree the weather worsened and the rain sheeted down. We took shelter and had some lunch in Portree where we learnt that the ferry had collided with the dock the night before and may not be running. In a space between the showers we ventured out of the café and lots of poor tourists were wandering around in their waterproofs or eating chips out of the paper.
Finally we drove north, through stinging rain and wind. We tried to take Hettie for a walk but she was not enjoying it at all. The van was parked in a pull off and when we got back to it and were ready to set off again we were joined by a white Mercedes. The passenger window came down and the, Chinese I think, lady said "which way to Skye Island". I informed her that they were on it and must have been for a while. Then she said "Where are the attractions?" Given that we had passed the Old man of Storr without being to detect him in the gloom I suggested that they went back to Portree, being probably the hotbed of attractions, in this weather.
We however pressed on and up the narrow road to the Quirang. A coach full of tourists came into the car park. They were all expelled to get the best of the Scottish rain, no matter that some of them were in heels. One lady, obviously Gaelic in nature, was enjoying being blown about a bit.
We wound across to Udrigle and booked into the local campsite. We were naturally the only occupants. The ferry was irreparable which meant we would have to retrace our steps and spend a day travelling up to Ullapool to catch the ferry to Stornoway. Judging by the state of the sea a ferry crossing might have been a little vomit worthy anyway, so we sought solace in the local hostelry.