Cumulative: 890km 10726m ascent Ferries 9 Islands 14 Bridge 1
|The Skye Bridge|
The Original Skye Boat Song
Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing
Onward! the sailors cry
Carry the lad that's born to be King
Over the sea to Skye
Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar
Thunderclaps rend the air
Baffled, our foes stand by the shore
Follow they will not dare
We last visited Skye, in the Inner Hebrides, in May 1989. I remember the date as we were expecting our first daughter in the November and we finally climbed Inaccessible Pinnacle, or more fondly In Pinn, in the Black Cuillins, on a Bank Holiday weekend when 4 months pregnant. We had had several failed attempts the week we were in Glenbrittle on honeymoon in 1988, when the Cuillin ridge had been shrouded the entire week. We abseiled off the top in a blizzard. Our friends had a dog and I think they thought I'd stay with the dog and wimp out of the climb! We definitely had to wait for the ferry from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin then.
We're not planning much on Skye this trip as it seems the roads are pretty busy and it's more of a mountaineering island than a cycling island. Well really there just wasn't time to do everything.
|Cuillin Ridge, Skye.|
We weave along the coast towards Kyle in very dull and drizzly weather.
|Plockton and Kyle Free Church|
|Lochalsh Hotel and Skye Bridge|
The Skye bridge was infamous for being the most expensive toll mile in the whole of Europe. Opened in 1994, the toll was £11.40. After serious local revolt, and prison for some, the toll was abolished in 2004. Since 2008 tolls on all bridges in Scotland have been abolihed. We flog over the bridge in the traffic towards Broadfoot and take a hanger left towards Sleat, Skye's southern peninsular. It's quite bleak moorland, and it didn't feel flat like the map contours said. it was nice and quiet though.
|Heading from Broadfoot towards Sleat|
We roused ourselves and pushed on to Armadale, our destination. Past the Clan McDonald Centre where after seeing very few cars there were suddenly coach loads of tourists. We're not tourists of course, ha ha! We flew down into Armadale and turned towards the pier. I really thought we would either do a loop of Sleat peninsular or push on to Aird of Sleat and back at least to extend our day. We didn't want to. So we didn't.
|Cal Mac steaming into Armadale from Mallaig|
|Coffee and ice cream at Armadale pier|
|View from Flora Macdonald Hostel near Armadale|
|A totally gratuitous shot of Doris (my bike) enjoying the flowers|
Don't scroll further....
|My stupid burnt legs|
So a belly ache and burnt legs day. Again we were incredibly lucky that illness stuck on a day when it could be coped with. Tomorrow is another big day to the mythical Ardnamurchan peninsular. Not sure at the moment if I can do it.
Touring Tips in Scotland
1 Listen to your body, and always wear Factor 50.
2 The most awful of climbs nearly always results in a view to drink in. What a reward.
3 Tomorrow is another day/
Day 1 Isle of Arran and a little Mull of Kintyre
Day 2 Inner Hebrides: Isles of Islay and Jura
Day 3 Inner Hebrides: Isle of Jura-Tayvallich to Oban
Day 4 Oban to Outer Hebrides: Barra and Vatersay
Day 5 Outer Hebrides: Isles of Barra Eriskay South Uist Benbecula Grimsay North Uist Beneray and Harris
Day 6 Outer Hebrides: Isles of Harris and Lewis to Callanish Stones
Day 7 Outer Hebrides: Butt of Ness to Stornoway and Ullapool
Day 8 Ullapool to Gairloch
Day 9 Gairloch to Shieldaig - Applecross Peninsula
Day 10 Bealach na Bà from Applecross to Plockton
Day 11 Plockton to Inner Hebrides: Isle of Skye Armadale
Day 12 Inner Hebrides: Isle of Skye Armadale to Ardnamurchan
Day 13 Ardnamurchan to Inner Hebrides: Isle of Mull to Oban to Loch Melfort
Day 14 Loch Melfort to Tarbert, Loch Fyne
Day 15 Tarbert Loch Fyne to Ardrossan THE END!