Skye 2010 Holiday Report
All photographs on this page (and more) can be seen on our main Skye 2010 gallery page.
Saturday 15th May 2010
Our first pick-up was in Glasgow at 14:00. Last year we picked up in Glasgow at noon but this year we had to make it a bit later as 2 people couldn't make it before 2pm. We had 8 guests this year and decided to take 3 of us to host the week. How good is that. How many other walking holiday companies give you 3 qualified Mountain Leaders to 8 clients for a £600 week long holiday. In truth there was only really 2.5 staff as Dave was going to do his own thing most days and do a bit of the cooking.
Marshy, who was traveling further than Dave and I had set off the night before and was close to Fort William as we were picking up in Glasgow. We weren't sure of the amount of luggage space so he met up with the Fort William people and took their luggage off them while we picked them up in the people carrier.
Marshy then hung around in the Kyle of Lochalsh for an hour or so for our last guest while we continued through to Skye to get dinner on.
Dave got to work immediately on the dinner and about an hour later everyone was around the table in the chalet eating our first vegan feast.
Day 1 - Sunday 16th May 2010 - Glen Creitheach and Glen Sligachan
We decided that everyone would go out together on the first day and do a fairly long, but not too demanding (as in not many hills) walk. It is a wonderful walk embracing the remoteness of the Cullin range. We drove round to close to our base last year in Torrin and started off by walking over the hill to the Camasunary bothy before stopping for lunch. I then collected any rubbish I could find in the bothy and returned to the van and drove back to base. The group continued along the 9 mile walk back to Sligachan. We got our first Golden Eagle sighting of the week, which was nice, but not that surprising. I got back to Sligachan and had barely finished making a cake and flapjack when the first of the walkers came striding in. Some of our customers were fast, that was apparent, it would take careful planning and of course our large number of mountain leaders to give everyone a full and enjoyable holiday. That evening we had veggie sausage, mushroom and ale pie (savory pie of the year 2009 at Dr Chatterton's annual pie and ale party).
Day 2 - Monday 16th May 2010 - The Quiraing
Because the previous day had been a bit of a yomp and the pace had been a bit fast we decided to slow it down a bit and do a walk around the Quiraing. The entire length of the walk is only 5km but there is a fair bit of climbing to do and lots of exploration possibilities on the way. We were planning to go up to the Old man of Storr on the way back but some how we spent the entire day at the Quiraing and there was no time for a second walk. Most of us went up onto the top of 'The Prison' and 3 of us made the trek up onto 'The Table'. The Table is a flattish piece of ground completely surrounded by rock pinnacles and cliffs. It is kind of cool.
Whereas last year we just walked down the track to the road this year we decided to walk back to where we started over the top. This is something I hadn't done before but it was a wonderful walk. The sky was clear giving beautiful sea views. On the way home we stopped off in Portree for an hour or so before going back to Sligachan for the dinner that Dave was preparing.
Day 3 - Sea Eagles and Cullin peaks
On day 3 the group split. Marshy took a group of three up Bruach Na Frithe (958m). Not everyone (understandably) wanted to do the grueling 958m of climbing, some of which was scrambling so while Marshy took 3 of the party up the Munro I took the other 5 back to Portree to go on a boat trip to try and see some sea eagles. After the boat trip where they got to see their nesting sites and a few eagles in flight I dropped the group of 5 off for a 6 km coastal walk back along Loch Sligachan back to Sligachan. Before heading back to base to cook the evening meal.
I cooked my favourite party piece of a mushroom wellington. I got a bit confused with the quantities and made a bit much of the filling but we managed to use it in pasties and as a kind of mushroom and nut pate for lunches over the next couple of days.
Day 4 - Waternish point
The weather had seemed to finally turn against us in Sligachan so we decided to head to do a coastal walk at the north of the island. We parked up at Trumpan, the site of a particularly brutal massacre in 1578 as a part of a feud between the MacLeods and MacDonalds. We set off and had walked the 6 km to the lighthouse in no time. Once there we sat about for an hour or so watching Seals, Minke Whales, Oyster Catchers and loads of diving Gannets before heading back to the van and driving home. Against all predictions when we got back Marshy wasn't standing outside the smouldering wreck of a chalet with a guilty look on his face but had made a rather good mushroom and spinach lasagna for dinner.
While we were out there Dave had a great idea for next year, we'll bring some camping equipment up and if some of our guests want to we can hang out there all evening, have a fire on the beach and head back the next day. I'm so up for that.
While on the boat trip the previous day when asked about otters the people running the trip mentioned that some of the fishermen leave fish out for them on their boats at the end of the day and if we wanted to see any then we should go down to the quay at dusk. Last year we didn't get to see any otters so I for one was quite keen on this. We headed out to Portree that evening and rather than the odd glimpse were treated to half an hour of watching otters running over the fishing boats, playing in the nets and munching fish.
Day 5 - Glen Brittle and Fairy Pools
The day started with a potter along Glen Brittle Beach then after a trip over a rickety bridge (it is a lot more rickety than it looked) everyone took a walk through the woods up towards the fairy pools car park. We were treated to another Golden Eagle sighting. Fairy pools is meant to be one of the best wild swimming spots in the UK.
Unfortunately we didn’t have the best of weather and so declined from taking a dip. We kept stopping, thinking we were pretty much at the end of the series of mini water falls and plunge pools but every time we took a few more steps up the hill we were confronted with more beautiful little spots. When we were sure we were at the top we turned back to the van and returned home.
Day 6 - Corrie Lagan and the Glen Brittle Peninsula
Our last day. All week Rich had been wanting to go to see the Eas Mor waterfall that he had seen in our photos from last year. We all took the short walk upto the waterfall (it is only about 800 meters from the road). After posing for the obligatory group photo we split into two groups. One group went up to Corie Lagan and the other went down to walk out along the coastline of the peninsular.
The group who went up took their lunch at the top by the Lochan in the Bowl of Corie Lagan watching an intrepid snorkeler.