Our Travel blog
Tuesday 17 May
We rolled up in Malliag in plenty of time for our ferry so ambled around the small harbour town for a while. It's built around a pleasing horseshoe bay with a pier for the ferries and the bustle of small harbours everywhere. Workshops buzzed and clanked, small delivery vans parked at acute angles wherever space allowed and determined looking people in heavy oilskins went to and fro on whatever nautical errand demanded their attention. Gulls watched intently for any spilt morsels and above everything was the scent of diesel and fresh fish. The rain, which had been threatening all morning, began to come down, giving the harbour a glossy sheen and sending the visitors scurrying into the plentiful tea shops while the townsfolk carried on their business.
Having eaten our lunch on the 25 minute ferry crossing we disembarked up the echoing ramp and onto Skye in a convoy of cars, vans and plenty of other motorhomes. We swept around the coast to the strong smell of wild garlic, the white flowers like a blanket spread on the ground among the trees, and across open moorland with mountains looming out of the clouds. The rain brought out a new depth to the landscape. Where the sun had bleached the detail we now got deep russets and auburn heathers, hills of greens and gold and deep orange and red cliffs of exposed rock. We went through one gorge of deep red rock on a clear road and half expected Road Runner to whiz past with a cheery 'Beep Beep' and wait for Wile E. Coyote to swing by and splat onto the rocks opposite in another ill judged attempt to snag him. Alison christened it The Acme Pass.
The road wound on through the island, moorland gave way to passes cut between cone like mountains with scree covered pointed peaks. They looked like someone had poured the scree over the top and let it trickle down in rivulets, merging with the hardy dark heather and grass lower down in long ragged fingers.
We cruised along the East coast through the busy capital Portree and out onto the West coast alongside the expansive and delightfully named Snizort Bay. The coastline was still rugged, but less wild; lush green fields dotted with sheep and hamlets with small, neat little houses and refurbished crofts scattered on hillsides. Nearly every property we passed on the West coast looked new with bright white paint, shiny roofs and tidy gardens. Maybe it has seen an explosion of building lately or maybe everyone around here is fastidious in their property maintenance. Or perhaps they get constantly washed by the rain which was unrelenting throughout our drive.
Our stopping point for a couple of nights is the port town of Uig. It sits along a large bay around which the road gently curves down to the harbour. Apart from a hotel and shop the harbour area is the centre of Uig as far as attractions go, with a restaurant, pottery shop, guest houses and, we were very very pleased to find, the Skye Brewery.
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