As part of this adventure, I had the pleasure of meeting up with A on the Isle of Skye. It was an unexpected trip and while I was nervous about my commitment at first due to the money and the cost of getting all the way back up to Scotland, I’m SO glad it worked out and that I didn’t second guess my decision to go. What a truly stunning landscape. Not to mention the fact that due to it being an island, everything was booked and so I got “stuck” in a tiny little town, just barely into Skye itself and had one of the BEST hostel experiences of my life. Seriously. No, seriously. I met some awesome people and even went for a true Scottish swim in the Kyle!
The town I was in is called Kyleakin and, from where the train drops you off at Kyle of Lochalsh on mainland Scotland, you can literally walk to town in about 30-45 minutes depending on the amount of stuff you’re carrying and the weather. I walked into “town” and had no trouble finding the hostel–there’s only two streets and two pubs so it makes finding things pretty straightforward.
I was going to have a few days to myself to do some exploring and I didn’t really waste any time. The after arriving I met a girl at the hostel and teamed up to do some hiking at The Fairy Pools and hopefully get to the The Tallisker Distillery. Here’s the catch–you physically can’t get to The Fairy Pools by bus or any other means of public transport. So, we did what all good visitors to Skye doe…we hitch hiked. I know. It sounds crazy but it’s not. I’ll talk more about this later on in the post but for now, just trust me.
It was a misty, foggy day in Scotland as we made our way along main path that leads to the different pools. While it wasn’t raining exactly, I was glad I had my long jacket to keep the midgies at bay. The scenery with the fog was breathtaking.
Here’s another glimpse at the Fairy Pools in the crazy weather. At times and especially as we were hiking back out it felt like we were the only people in the whole world to be out there.
We actually ended up hiking past the actual trail itself and wandered a little further into the Cuillan Mountain Range. It was awesome and we met a really nice guy who let us look at his map. We stopped for lunch on the way back before continuing our muddy hike out. The whole trail has a “bog index” rating and we discovered exactly what that meant as we trekked through the soggy soil.
We saw this guy peeking through the fog as we made our way along the scree/boulder field before we turned around.
After we made it back to the parking lot where our ride had dropped us–a really great couple from France who happened to be heading to the same place as us. They even asked us, before they turned around, if we’d like a ride back!–we bundled up against the midgies and started walking back towards the main road. We stuck out our thumbs and in a few minutes a really nice gentleman picked us up and asked us where we were headed. We requested the Tallisker Distillery and instead of dropping us at the intersection to the main road, he ended up taking us straight to the front door. Really nice guy. The kindness I encountered on Skye really blew me away and reminded me that people will be as kind and open as you let them.
We did the tour of the distillery, snagged an extra dram of whiskey and then started the walk back towards town. We found one more hitch hike ride to the small town of Sligachen and from there we were able to catch the bus back to Kyleakin. All in all, a really killer day. We finished it off with dinner and beers and showers.
The next day in Skye dawned like this:
I believe that nearly sums itself up. The weather was amazing and I spent the next four hours galavanting around the Trotternish Mountain Region, climbing up small things, scrambling up big things and generally just enjoying the heck out of the sun and the weather.
I finally hiked down and caught the bus but I opted to go the other way around the island. So yes, it took a long time to get home but I got to see the other areas of the island that I knew I was going to miss due to scheduling and other adventures calling.
All in all, a really wonderful place to go visit. I can’t recommend it highly enough.