Misty, grey, and wet weather greeted me on Monday. Very authentically Scottish and Skye I told myself. I woke bright and early to catch the 52 bus down to Broadford at 7:10am. I was in Broadford around 7:50 and asked to be dropped off by Waterloo in order to do part of the Rubdha Ariba walk while waiting for my bus. I found the walk on walkhighlands.co.uk website. The walk is supposed to be excellent for birding.
And it definitely proved to be. I saw a bunch of new bird species and the walk was very peaceful. The scenery was beautiful. It was raining, but only lightly and I was warm with my layers. It’s nice to be alone walking for a while. Just me and the birds. I also saw 4 seals! I think if I had more time to actually complete it, it would have been even better. Maybe someday I can return.
Tip: Ask the bus driver to drop you off at a specific point on the road (including just citing a trail or sight you want to see). Then for your return journey you can wait on the road on the opposite side and just flag the bus down. This saves a LOT of time walking from a main bus stop to the trailhead and back again. (I didn’t know about the second half of this so I asked quite a bit of time walking back into town for the bus after my hike).
Once back in town I caught the 52 Stagecoach bus down to Elgol. Going on single track roads on a bus the was a little scary. At one point the bus had to stop and back up partway down the road to let a car pass. Most of the ride it was incredibly misty and the Windows were fogged up so I couldn’t actually see the scenery. While waiting for the bus, two locals actually cautioned me to call and check the tours were still running the weather was bad enough. Though I appreciated the advice, I felt committed to the tour and the weather didn’t seem that bad.
When I got to Elgol it was raining fairly hard. But the tours were still going. Though I was told I would definitely not be able to climb Sgurr na Stri because the river was over its banks and impassable. I later found out that I was one of 3 people all day to attempt a tour. The tour guides were impressed that I had walked in the mornings and said I must be quite “keen”.
The boat ride was excellent. Great local guides that provided a nice description of the islands we couldn’t quite see. They commented that they hadn’t been out in the water and not been able to see land before. So it was truly a miserable day. We all huddled up front with them. They served delicious hot chocolate and a variety of biscuits and candy.
We did see seals which I always like. We also say the “bad step” which is this huge horrid slab of rock you have to cross if you decide to do a hike across the coast. In order to cross it successfully you have to use this crack that goes through it.
On account of all the rain, the waterfalls were awesome and everyone. We docked at the steps and went up. I could not hike Sgurr na Stri (a nearby mountain) because the river was over-flowing it’s banks and also because the weather was so bad. So we all just hiked up to Loch Corisek which was indeed beautiful. I want to come back sometime when it isn’t pouring and I can hike around more.
After not too long and taking some photos we got back on the boat. More hot chocolate and biscuits. By this point despite my rain jacket and poncho I was getting a little wet as the water ran in through my collar, sleeves and a little through the seams. Then it was back to shore, Broadford and Portree.
I got dried off and went to a cafe for the afternoon. At night the weather cleared up so I took a bunch of pictures around town and then went out for a drink with 2 girls from my dorm, Tania and Laura. They were awesome and we had a really good time chatting.