Scotland Adventure: Day Four / Part 1


After a fun filled day three, day four was more relaxed.  This would be our last full day on the Isle of Skye and we had two remaining places we had to visit before we leave this jewel of the Scottish isles.

Last year on my visit to Scotland we visited a lot of historical sites such as Eilean Donan Castle, the Culloden battlefield, Mary Kings Close and many other sites.  However on this visit we are visiting Scotland herself; the landscapes, waterfalls and sheer natural beauty that Scotland has to offer. On day three we began that journey with the northern part of Skye and on day four we continued with our adventure to the Fairy Pools. I say adventure because as it turned out it would be an experience to remember.  

We began our day a little later then yesterday but it was not that far of a trip from Portree to the Fairy Pools.  We stopped however at Sligachan to take in a wonderful view of The Cuillin mountain range.  Made up of two ranges, the Black Cuillin and the Red Cuillin, separated by Glen Sligachan.  The Black Cuillin, considered the most challenging mountain range in the UK, is over 11 kilometres long with peaks above 900 metres with the highest point at Sgurr Alasdair at 992 metres. The Red Cuilin is a more gentler “hill walkers” range with the highest point at Glamaig at 775 metres.   We had an amazing view of the northern most peaks of the range.  The highest peak we saw was Sgurr nan Gillean.  This iconic mountain with an enormous pointed peak formed by three ridges is south of Sligachan and is Skye’s most famous peak. Standing some 964 metres we took in this giant.  With our experience from climbing Storr still fresh in our mind, we were not tempted to climb this goliath.  Not just because of the size or distance but mostly because of the worsening weather conditions.  The images show that it was a cloudy day but what they cannot tell you is how powerful the wind was blowing that day.  We knew it would be getting windier as the day progressed and thought better than to climb a mountain in these conditions.  

Yet the mountains were not the goal for the day but the Fairy Pools further down the road.  The trip was as scenic as the rest of Skye yet we were also looking at the weather knowing we only had a small window to visit the pools before the bad weather hit.  

Once at the car park we eagerly got out and began our hike.  Not that difficult a hike but the worsening weather conditions and the spring run off made crossing streams difficult.  The landscape was breath taking and we were able to view the Cuillin’s from this different vantage point.  The pools and waterfall made you feel that there was some magic in the air.  At the time you could almost feel that the place had little fair folk hiding under rocks or in a cave near by.  

However about a kilometre into the hike the winds picked up and we were being besieged by 90 km wind gusts.  We kept going until the wind was too much and then the rain began to fall. Actually the rain did not fall as it was blown horizontally at us.  All of a sudden rain mixed with ice pellets began bombarding us on the trail.  We said that was it and we began walking back. Occasionally we would look up and see the rain coming down and it looked similar to barcodes you get on products. Amazing, we could see sheets of rain and ice formed into barcodes in the sky. Barcode rain we called it.  Safe to say that on the way to the Fairy Pools we were dry but on the way back we were drenched.  On the way to the pools crossing the steams were difficult but with the winds and rain we had to take our time on the way back not to fall in and be washed away by the fast moving water.  

Soaking wet, we arrived safe and sound at our car and we know that any other outdoor activity for the day was out of the question.  Yet thankfully we had finished the outdoor portion of the day. The part I was looking forward to was just ahead of us.  A trip to the only whisky distillery on the Isle of Skye; Talisker.  What better way is there too warm up than to have a whee dram of scotch or as I like to say “A whee nip of courage.” 

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