11 October 2010--This morning after breakfast we run into an old friend, Harry the black lab. Win's actual given names are Harry
Winton; a photo of the two Harrys seems appropriate. Then we take a look at Fortrose Cathedral before departing. I seem destined never
to get good light for photographs here, but I take a few anyway.
I don't ever seem to get good light at Urquhart Castle, either. It is in fact a pretty dull morning...good monster-spotting weather, I suppose. We see nothing of the kind, unless you count boats full of tourists. This is a very popular site, even in October-- I can only guess what it's like in July and August. Fortunately, it's also a rather large and rambling site. It's not easy to imagine what the castle looked like in its prime, so much of it being gone. No matter; it's one of Scotland's iconic ruins, a unique and evocative edifice. The Visitors' Centre does a pretty good lunch, too.
Down along the loch, we turn westward up the A887 into Glen Moriston, joining the A87 farther up. We pass over into Glen Shiel and descend toward Shiel Bridge as the sky clears from the west. At the head of Loch Duich, we turn off the main road and ascend the old military road over Mam Ratagan. We drop into Glen More and loop around through Glenelg village into Glen Beag, where the boys get to examine the spectacular Glenelg brochs, Dun Telve and Dun Troddan. I've been here a number of times, of course, but I enjoy the time spent here as much as they do, I think.
Back down just beyond the village, we catch the tiny ferry over the swirling waters of Kyle Rhea to Skye. On the other side, the narrow road winds up over the rise and then down toward Broadford. It's late afternoon now, and a magical golden light illuminates the pinkish-orange landscape, and the powder-blue sea and sky beyond. The shuffling iPod sees fit to give us Yes' South Side of the Sky, and three old Yesheads are too much mesmerized to think of getting out of the car to take photos. We are arguably, after all, on the south side of Skye.
We are over the Skye Bridge, through Kyle of Lochalsh, and soon enough in Plockton, where Teresa greets us warmly. Feels like home to me. Dinner is at the Plockton Hotel, followed by pints at the Inn, and then drams back at the B&B while Scott and Win jam in the lounge. There is no one else in the house to disturb, and we are up perhaps a bit too late. Well, more than a bit, I guess.