Rain. It’s one of those things that is good for nature, though equally too much can be a bad thing. This was one of those days where relentless rain could cause issues with the road trip. The bad weather threatened to close the bridge off the island – if that happened the only option would be to either sleep in the car or go the long way round to the ferry; though from what we’d heard if the weather is bad enough to close the bridge it will usually stop the ferry also.
The first stop of the day was at The Storr; a rock formation overlooking Portree. When we got there it was still raining heavily and fog had descended on the mountains. Despite this we headed out into the rain and started to climb. It wasn’t long before we were not only wet but coated in mud, and the waterproofs weren’t much help. We never made it to the top, falling mere metres short of the top, but we realised we weren’t going to get any photographs. So reluctantly we headed back down to the car park.
After making it back down we got in the car and drove through even heavier rain and winding roads for an hour until we reached the fairy pools car park for the Cullen Hills. These roads are pretty crazy – narrow winding roads up and down steep hills with no traffic in sight.
The sign in the car park said it was a 9 mile walk, so as we decided we wouldn’t see anything in the rain anyway we didn’t get out the car and drove back to Skye bridge. On the way we passed one waterfall we remembered from the previous day and it had grown from a minor trickle of water to powerful flowing water blasting it’s way off the side of the hill. Not long after this we had to fill up with petrol for the first time on this trip – impressive considering the number of miles we’d covered by this point. It was an obvious sign of how efficient the Audi’s fuel consumption was.
Not long after crossing the bridge to leave the Isle of Skye behind us we did get to take a few photographs due to the rain have receded a little after getting back to the mainland.
This time we stopped at Castle Eilean Donan and had lunch. I had a cheese jacket potato and some reasonably good millionaire shortbread. It was £6 to go in the castle, but you can’t take photos inside. I think they should warn you of that beforehand as we may not have gone in otherwise as the best photos were from outside the area you pay to enter.
By this time the rain had reduced to a mere drizzle, so it wasn’t too bad keeping the cameras relatively dry. One thing that interested me about this castle and why I wanted to see it was I’d heard that it had been used in the filming of the movie, Highlander.
From Castle Eilean Donan, the drive to Inverness was over 3 hours, but we did make several stops for photographs of waterfalls and Loch Ness. We even made a stop to photograph Urquhart castle from a distance.
The guest house for the evening was quite out the way down dirt tracks, but at least the rain had stopped and the weather was brightening up. After dropping off bags we went to the nearby Dores Inn. The food was reasonably priced and tasted good.
Once we’d done we went back outside and stood around in the car park for some time taking some HDR shots of Loch Ness as the last light was draining from the sky.