Isle of Skye: Glorious Weather for Hiking Amongst the Quirang!

9 01 2023

Today the sun rose unveiling a day our local guides would call a true gem! Just a few days ago we started in a maelstrom with no break in the forecast. But lucky for us the weather forecast turned out to be 100% wrong. We had a series of sunny and very calm days. Perfect for a lifetime memory – a hike out on the Trotternish Peninsula amongst the Quirang.

We parked close to the sea and headed inland, up past sheep and small lakes up to the famous rock formations. Opening the images in this gallery will reveal an unlimited sea view – all calm!

This trail was a moderate challenge with some sections where careful footing was required. And a couple of over-the-fence scrambles. Our guides Tania and Susie kept saying typically there is brooding mist coming and going amongst the crags, and the view never ever this clear. Cathy Ann said last time she was here it was typically Scottish Coast moist and windy.

If this area seems recognizable, it might be you’ve seen it in films! This scene was used for Stardust, Snow White and the Huntsman, 47 Ronin, MacBeth, The BFG, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Transformers: Last Night, The Land that Time Forgot, Year of the Comet, and more!

It certainly was, on a day like ours, a memorable spot for a lunch break!

Once done with the hike, we were taken to a spot on the beach, where we all took a little dip into the North Atlantic. Some more than others! Most simply went in up to their ankles. This area is also known for a few dinosaur fossils. One very big footprint comes into view as you walk a stony surface near the shore. I was definitely taken aback by its size and shape! It really sticks out once you realize what it is! Those creatures were HUGE!





Hiking Isle of Skye: Hiking the Black Cuillens

29 12 2022

Another great weather day dawns! Looking out my cathedral window at the Uig Hotel, the sea is flat and calm. The sun is peeking through the clouds. I dress knowing we’re undertaking a mostly up-up-uphill hike to a lunch spot overlooking the sea. Which means shorts and a long-sleeved UV protecting shirt. After another sumptuous breakfast, highlighted by smoked salmon and cream cheese, I pick up my lunch and join the group for our drive to the trailhead.

We’re parked at Culnamean right on the beach, at the head of Loch Brittle. There are many other cars here parked for a hike, plus lots of caravans camping overnight at its Glen Brittle campsite. This seems to be a destination campground. I can see license plates from many EU countries. Our goal this day is a ledge just underneath 3,234ft Sgurr Dearg. Just behind us is a lagan, pretty well known, called Coire Lagan. From up there, on a day like this, the views are unlimited!

We were so lucky with the weather! Many others said to us that it’s truly rare to have this calm, sunny day! I was feeling pretty taxed after a while and decided I’d take my lunch below the final spot. I was perfectly happy there, with the view. The others scrambled up some rocks to the top where they had their lunch. I was joined by a German couple equally happy to lunch where I was.

Not too long after, my group came scrambling back down.

The rugged landscapes of mountains, dramatic rock formations, and of course the views of the Hebrides made for a truly memorable and satisfying experience. We were due for another hike on Northern Skye the following day.





Isle of Sky Basecamp: The Uig Hotel!

10 12 2022

The hotel has a magical view of the Outer Hebrides – and the ferry swings in from there.

We took a half day’s drive from Glencoe, over the Isle of Skye Bridge, and then up to Uig. It’s a spectacularly picturesque village clustered on a postcard perfect harbor. Our fabulous weather just kept on coming! To die for views. And the hotel? It is superbly over the top cute, cozy, everything one could hope for on a stay on Isle of Skye! There is even a Fairy Glen not far away. And then we arrived at the Uig Hotel.

My room is on the upper right! Perfect!

If anything can match, or even enhance the scene, it would have to be the Uig Hotel! Inside and out, the view, the location, the proximity to real movie scene hikes, its delectable restaurant, and its cozy single-malt whiskey stocked bar, it all just oozes authentic Scottish experience! The original building was a coaching inn built in 1831. There are newer rooms in a building out back. I totally lucked out that I got a seaside view room with a cathedral window!

Settled in, I chose to grab a pint of stout from the bar and wander the grounds. The lighting, the view of the harbor and bay beyond, are pretty much over the top intoxicating beyond the brew I had in my grasp.

On this evening, it was the wedding anniversary of two of my fellow trekkers, Cassie and Taylor Graham! FYI Cassie is the niece of Don Martin, of my Annapurna Sanctuary Trek in Nepal trip! Halfway through happy hour, we met up outside their room for a toast! I brought along my Scotland flag from home, which I proudly fly from my home. I have a LOT of Scottish heritage!

And then? It’s time for supper! Over there, a “dinner” would be mid-day. Supper is the evening meal. Once again, we were at liberty to order anything on the menu. No restrictions! I LOVE seafood, and on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, that is plentiful. So, I ordered baked salmon for the main course. But WHOA wait a minute. The starters! One cannot allow oneself to neglect an opportunity indulge! I noticed one of my absolute rarely indulged favorites, steamed mussels in white wine sauce with lemon! And I was not disappointed. What came to my place set was huge! So delish it was, that I ordered it again the next night.

Cathy Ann and our local guides Tonia and Susie announced our hiking plans for tomorrow. We’d head south, to the Black Cuillens, to a place named Culnamean, which is at sea level. We’d hike straight up to a spectacular lunch spot Coire Lagan, under Sgurr Dearg, the highest point on Isle of Skye. If we were lucky, we’d have completely unlimited views from there!

With that, in my typical fashion, I bid everyone good night! Each night I needed ‘me time’ to write up the experiences of the day!