We headed north from Kenmore this morning towards Tummel Bridge. I spotted some colorful fungi off the road and had to capture a quick picture. Just west of Tummel Bridge there was a one-lane, shortcut road up to the highway. It was another one of those “roads” and so much fun! We met little to no traffic as we climbed higher and higher, up and over the hills to Glen Garry. We hooked up with the A9 with the goal of eventually reaching Eilean Donan Castle around lunchtime. The weather on the way provided a gentle teasing with light rain showers interspersed with rays of sunlight. From A9 we cut off to A86 and drove along the beautiful Loch Laggan. I stopped multiple times to enjoy the view a moment or two before continuing on.
We reached Eilean Donan around 1:00 p.m. in heavy clouds. By the time we paid to park the car and started to approach the castle, once again the sun’s rays teased out. When I look at the series of pictures I shot here this morning, it’s difficult to believe they were over a short period of time – the light changed so frequently. We did not pay the fee for entry into Eilean Donan being satisfied to take in the view from the visitor center…well, except for sister Sally. She lost us for a moment and headed out on the castle bridge in search. As the gatekeeper was fetching her back, I could hear her say, “I lost my sister.” Lost, but quickly found. I was standing right there trying to call her back!
After crossing the bridge to the Isle of Skye, we stopped for a wee bite at Kyleakin at Castle Moil Restaurant. I enjoyed an amazing plate of smoked salmon, with cream cheese and oat bars; Bill had soup and Sally had a less-than-amazing vegetable cheese wrap.
A quick stop to see the ruins of Castle Moil and we proceeded toward Portree. Somewhere outside of Sconser we finally met up with some Highland Cows! We had fun taking pictures of a small herd with a frolicking calf before Sally had a phone call from the Kenmore Club.
It seems that the lost luggage delivery service had deposited her luggage at our last lodgings knowing full well that we were to have left there that morning The word was that it was now up to her to retrieve it or pay someone to deliver it to her! I truly don’t have good enough language skills to describe the incredibly shoddy treatment she has received from Delta airlines. The most frustrating part is that there is no one to hold accountable. Delta will say they contract with this courier service, and the courier service claimed that we had been staying in a “remote” area. Sure. Right. An hour and a half from the airport and they have had her luggage since Saturday.
We discussed ways we would have to modify our trip to retrieve the luggage. It was doable – but not for at least three more days. The resort agree to hold the luggage until Sally could pick it up. There was nothing more to do for it this day.
In Portree we drove around a bit searching for a perfect picture of the small seaport but the place was crawling with people! There was no parking to be had anywhere and after 15 minutes of shuffling about, we decided to proceed up A855 to The Old Man of Storr rock formation. Because of the (now) rain and low clouds, there was N-O-T-H-I-N-G to see at the Storr stop. It was such a bummer to be on the beautiful Isle of Skye and see nothing but clouds.
Since we couldn’t see Storr, I insisted we stop at Lealt Falls which, quite frankly, I knew nothing about. After some pointless roaming around, we finally made it to the falls observation deck. Initially, it appeared that there was one large waterfall, but from the deck you could see a sister falls a short distance to the east. They were both impressive in their own right but together – simply marvelous.
A short distance from the falls was the pull off for Kilt Rock, so named because it looks like the folds of a kilt. The rock formation was difficult to bring into focus with pictures, but the waterfall directly in the foreground was another beauty. The scenery was truly stunning and the wind added a bit of drama. It was a great stop but the day was slipping away.
Sally had spoken to a man at The Uig Hotel earlier in the day who had recommended a “short cut” across the Trotternish Ridge to see the Quiraing. He told her it would save us a half hour of driving time and was a beautiful drive. The Quiraing is landslip that is said to still be moving. The one-lane, two-directional road climbed nearly 1,780 feet from the base to the top with the last stage of uphill driving at an angle of approximately 30 -35 degrees. Thrilling!
We arrived in Uig at dusk and settled into our shared room (3 twin beds) at the Uig Hotel. We had made dinner reservations in the morning, thankfully. Finding a place to eat has proven to be a challenge. Lots of places have gone under or out of business due to the COVID pandemic. We each had a great meal. I had my first taste of haggis. And Sally finally got to enjoy her Sticky Toffee Pudding!