Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Tuesday 17 April 2012 - The Quiraing

After an excellent spicy Bangladeshi meal at Kyleakin, we slept well but woke to drizzle and low cloud.

My plan to nip up Glamaig was discounted - fortuitously as it turned out, as Robert suffers from vertigo to a debilitating extent.

So after Bill and Penny's sumptuous breakfast at Seaview Guest House, we headed up past snow capped Glamaig, past The Storr and through Staffin to Bealach Ollasgairte.

The rain had by now stopped and we encountered just a bit of drizzle on the early stages of our walk past violets and daisies on the walk in to The Quiraing. By late afternoon in Broadford we have a very sunny 'Sea View'.

Visitors to Skye will probably be familiar with our itinerary - a 6 km jaunt along the good path to The Quiraing, which means 'fold' or 'pen'. To our right, an outcrop that I had always thought was The Prison. We climbed nearly to the summit, leaving vertigo stricken Robert cowering behind a rock near the bottom.

Back on the main path leading to Flodigarry, a small cairn at the high point marks the start of the steep path up to what I now know really is The Prison, which is enclosed by a jumble of needles, towers, pinnacles, gullies and cliffs.

Robert looked up and felt sick. So the three of us left him and headed off into this 'wonderland' to The Table, a horizontal platform of grass that is the centrepiece of The Prison. In days past, livestock was apparently hidden up here to conceal it from Viking raiders.

Lunch was taken on the lawn, under the watchful eye of some people on the main ridge - not far above us but pretty inaccessible from where we were. Beyond the lawn - lovely views, albeit slightly obscured by the showery weather.

It didn't take long to slither back down a gully under the watchful caw of a raven, back to Robert and back along the well repaired path to the bealach, where we were greeted by a coach load of mainly Japanese tourists mainly in wellington boots.

With time on our hands, we then enjoyed a further 4 km ramble up to the summit of Bioda Buidhe (466 metres), from near where the header image of the Dornbirn Crew was taken, with The Quiraing in the background. (Too easy for a quiz, Gibson!) We returned to be greeted by a kilted bus driver with a coach load of 'Wild and Sexy' passengers. The mind boggled!

A visit to The Quiraing is always a pleasure, and today's was no exception.

5 comments:

Alan R said...

I loved that walk. I have only done it once and the day was one to remember because the weather was stunning with temperatures in the 20's. Views were wonderful.
Trotternish has to go down as one of my favorite places in UK.
Thanks for bringing back the memories.

Phil said...

That's a brilliant walk. We took in the Quiraing a couple of years ago en route to Harris, having crossed over on the delightful ferry from Glenelg surrounded by seals. Skye? You could stay there for weeks. Love it :-)

It does rain a bit though:-(

Louise said...

We went to Skye once. We were there for about 20 minutes before two tent poles were snapped by a rather strong gust, then we abandoned. I do want to go back though, perhaps we'll leave the tent at home...

afootinthehills said...

A great area Martin.

I've lost count of the number of times we've 'started' holiday on Skye and never left. As they say "Skye is not an island but an intoxication".

Phreerunner said...

Thanks for those comments. I too have had tent poles break on Skye, Louise, but last week the weather was very benign (ie 'not at all windy') despite some low pressure.