It was a terrible night at the campsite. People kept arriving way after 10pm, it wasn’t rowdy, just very very busy. With children, dogs, constant arrivals and people talking till after 12 I knew I would not get a good nights sleep. In the night the weather took a turn for the worse with heavy showers, thunder & lightening and very high winds. At 05:00 in the morning I put my head out of the tent, it did not look good. I decided to wait until 08:00, it had been raining constantly and the winds had not abated. I decided that I would not spend a second night at the campsite, even though I had paid for two nights. I tuned into the radio for a weather forecast, unfortunately, it was a bit vague for Skye.
My initial plan for this day had involved a modest hill ,but along exposed sea cliffs, which I then decided against. So I drove down to Sligachan and made the decision that if the weather was going to be bad, then I might as well get a boring road section out-of-the-way. I opted for the Sligachan to Broadford section, a walk predominantly along the A87 (with a minor diversion along the way). It was a section that I was not particularly looking forward to because of the traffic; however, as this was a Sunday there would be considerably less HGV’s..
Within 30 minutes of setting off, the weather miraculously brightened up, the rain stopped, the wind subsided and the sun came out. Suddenly, it was very hot! Although today’s walk was ‘road walking’, very little walking was done on the road. Because of the incessant and constant volume of holiday traffic I spent the majority of the time walking on the verge. When I reached the Raasay ferry terminal at Sconser I checked the bus timetables on the side of a bus stop for my return journey from Broadford. Worryingly, there was a difference between the timetable on the side of the bus stop and the printed Stagecoach one I was carrying. Hmmm…. I continued onwards and soon came to my diversion away from the main A87 down a minor road passing around a large headland and through the hamlet of Moll. I met very few vehicles along this road which mainly served a quarry and a fish farm.
The road followed the coastline around into Loch Ainort. The sun was very hot now and I had to ration my water consumption as I had only started out with one litre. I was also now becoming conscious of the discrepancy in bus times, which could potentially see me stuck in Broadford for a couple of hours. I continued along the A87 passing through the hamlets of Luib, Ard Dorch, Dunan and Strollamus. I should say that I had not brought a map today, knowing the road reasonably well; but I could not be sure exactly how far I had to go to Broadford. As I neared Broadford I picked up a forestry trail than ran alongside the A87. I was quite alarmed to see the #52 bus heading back up the road to Portree, which meant my timetable had a misprint or was out of date. Fortunately I saw there was an Inter-city #917 bound for Uig at 15:50.
When I reached Broadford I immediately headed for the co-op to get stocked up with water and other drinks. I managed to get on the #917 and the air-conditioning on the coach was lovely! At Sligachan I called my daughter and asked her to check the weather forecast for the following day, which turned out to be ok. This meant the following days walk was back to Glendale. I drove towards Glendale and found a quiet pull-in area that had a great view and a gentle breeze – I decided to stay there the night and sleep in the back of the car.
Because I had been putting in additional miles, I had filled the gap from Broadford back to Kyle of Lochalsh. This meant my last section on Skye would now end at Sligachan.
NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:
Distance today = 22 miles
Total distance = 4,071 miles