SKYE TO LOCH MELFORT JUNE 29

Full and happy after breakfast, we headed out to check out the parts of Skye we had yet to explore.

It was wet and damp and soppy with more of the same forecasted. So basically what everyone imagines when they hear about Scottish weather. Only it’s not as bad as all that. Our first stop was Skeabost – St. Columba’s Isle – but darn if the guidebook could be any more specific than putting a dot near the road and telling you what it was.

Well thanks, quite helpful. Fortunately there is a geocache at the site and the description included specific and easy to follow directions.

There were several ruined buildings, a wonderful effigy of a knight, quite similar to the one at the cemetery at the top of the northern point

And a mortuary chapel where 28 Chiefs of the Clan Nicholson have been buried, among others. There was a knight effigy there as well.

Skeabost was an amazing little piece of history tucked away. It was quiet and lovely, green as far as you could see and surrounded by rushing water. A perfect spot to start the day.

Next up: Fairy Bridge, where the wife of the chief of the Clan MacLeod left him to return to her own people. Instructions were as follows: Greet the fairies, lest the flummox our search for the geocache. So we did. Didn’t help much, we still had a witch of a time, but Chad finally came up with the cache.

Out of nowhere appeared a field of rock cairns. Although maybe more appropriate to call them rock stacks since they weren’t marking trails or anything. We went past and when I started making weird noises and motioning behind us, Chad made a U turn so we could investigate. I have no idea how this field of awesome came to be. But here it is. And yes, I made one too.

We stopped at Dornie for lunch. As luck would have it, there was a cache nearby. Ok, so yes, there’s quite often a cache nearby. It led up through a sheep pasture to a stunning view of Eilean Donan Castle. We’d already stopped to see the castle on our way out to Skye, but were too cheap to actually take a tour. So after this lovely lunch, we headed UP through the pasture. It was boggy. Let me repeat, IT WAS BOGGY. Squish. Squish. Squish. I ended up rolling my pants up to keep them dry. It was rough going, particularly since we were stuffed full of food.

At one point a pair of pink ears popped up from the reeds. It was a little lamb. Chad and I stood still, trying to both get a good photo and let the lamb decide if it was going to flee. Finally it decided we were scary two-legged wolves and ran up the hill crying “maaaa….maaaaaa…..” Up until then I thought that perhaps the sheep in these parts were mute.

We continued our climb to the cache site and were indeed greeted with a spectacular view of Eilean Donan Castle. I probably typed this earlier, but you may recognize the castle from the movie The Highlander.

One more cache stop at The Jubilee Bridge – a footbridge joining two little communities so they didn’t have to take a ridiculous long path WAY around the water. From the bridge we had a great view of a nearby castle on a tiny island. We saw folks being rowed back to the mainland from it.

Stopped at Fort William to stretch our legs and check the town out.

It was an adorable, bustling little place. The West Highland Way – a rather long trail – ends here, and it’s a starting off point for folks hiking Ben Nevis (as we’d planned to do). We settled on having a pint at the Ben Nevis Pub. I wish we had a pub that looked like this at home.

Also, apparently there is mountain biking to be had nearby. So basically the town was full of folks in varying outdoor gear looking bedraggled, relieved, triumphant, and expectant, depending on which part of their journey they were.

Loch Melfort Inn was pretty much at the ends of the earth, which made the view from our balcony lovely.

Check out the rest of the photos below. Clicking on the tiny photo will bring up full sized images. Once again, we took a lot of photos. Enjoy!

chris on June 29th 2015 in Geocaching, Travel

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