Eilean Donan around sunset…

I’ve dreaded talking about this day. It is one if the biggest mistakes I have made in our many travels.

Worse than leaving the paddles at home on a canoe trip. Worse because paddles were easily rented at the neighboring state park. This one wasn’t solved so easily and although it didn’t end terribly, I feel like we missed out on a lot. It was especially hard for me because I planned so meticulously, for months, to avoid such mistakes as this. Skye was a 50/50 until the final stages of our planning. We decided it was too beautiful to miss. That made my mistake even harder to swallow!  If you have been reading my other posts, you probably can tell by now that I get enjoyment out of planning. To give you a full scope of my mistake, I will tell you the original plan.

  • After breakfast at the hotel, drive from Glencoe to Isle of Skye (2.5 hours)
  • Drive up the east coast of Skye
  • Quiraing (NE)
  • Mealt Falls & Kilt Rock (NE)
  • Old Man of Stor (ENE)
  • Brothers Point (NE)
  • Check into Hotel
  • Dinner
  • Neist Point and Lighthouse for sunset

     As you can guess by my introduction, things did not go according to plan. I made an amendment to our plans that morning at breakfast. I threw it out there that we should go try to see dinosaur footprints. The easiest ones to get to were on the western side of the Trotternish peninsula. That was mistake #1. It was a good theory, making the circuit counterclockwise might save time if we could avoid the terrible traffic we had heard about on Skye.

The resulting adventure

On the way up the western side of the Trotternish Peninsula we decided to stop at the Fairy Glen. It would be a quick little stop with a fairly decent geocache. It was a neat stop and the geocache taught us about lava flows. Other than that, it was kind of an overrated and overcrowded place.

As we continued to the Duntulum castle ruins with fossilized dinosaur footprints on the beach below, we passed majestic cliffs and beaches, beautiful sheep grazing and ruins all around. Some of them dating back to the bronze age. We braved the cold ocean wind to walk up to the castle ruins and look down the coast below.

     During the long drive up from Glencoe to Skye, I had the thought that this hotel was the hotel that required check in between 2 and 6 pm, so we rushed back down the way we came, thinking we would be cutting it close on the deadline. Mistake #2. I didn’t double check the binder I made containing those details like that. Mistake #3. I misjudged how long it took to simply get anywhere on Skye. Mistake #4. I assumed we wouldn’t be as tired as we were. Mistake #5 I actually fell asleep in the car when we were back tracking. I missed some beautiful things too; everything changes when the clouds go away! I also didn’t plan on how much walking we would end up doing on Skye. Mistake #6. We did get to see a Coo posing on the side of the road on our way up. It stood on a little piece of high ground by a layby. It swapped with another coo when we came back the other direction.

One odf the Coos on Skye

     We made it back our hotel around 5:30. We get checked in and I realized my mistake. This hotel had a 10pm check in deadline. UGH! I wanted to cry. Ben and I both were exhausted from the hiking and driving, plus we were hangry.

Ben saves the day

     We saw a restaurant during our back and forth called The Claymore. It looked a little cheesy being named that, plus it was small and not super impressive looking. The menu wasn’t very large either, but everywhere else was booked or had 2 hours waiting so The Claymore it was!

     We arrive and the place is packed, but the spoon that told us who was next that we grabbed was numbered 4. We were going to wait for the window, but then we decided to go ahead and sit by their little bar and still try to make Neist Point for sunset.

     The Claymore was amazing! Everything was done well and not prepared until you ordered it. It took a little longer than most restaurants, but it was certainly worth it. Ben had a local brew; I had a cup of Earl Grey while we people watched and awaited the meal that would turn out to be one of the best of our trip. The bacon wrapped scallops appetizer was delicious enough, I could have ordered 5 of them and eaten just that!

     Ben had eaten haggis in one form or another everyday so far, but this night was the first time he would have it in the traditional way- haggis, neeps and tatties with whiskey sauce. I indulged in the Seafood Platter consisting of mussels, crab claws, shrimp, langoustines and scallops. I also decided to have it with a half of a lobster on top. I wish I had gone with the whole lobster! It was the best lobster I have eaten in my entire life. My mouth waters thinking about how it was cut in half and grilled in garlic butter and seasonings. I trudged my way through the platter, giving up many mussels and the crab claws (since I am allergic to only that one particular shellfish). Surprisingly we had room for dessert. The made in house sticky toffee pudding was of course our choice. It was warm and gooey and so delicious!

We had already made up our minds sometime around the cup of Earl Grey that we would probably miss the sunset by the time we made over to Neist Point, so we decided to take in Eilean Donan Castle instead. We had seen it earlier in the day when found a geocache on a hill overlooking the Loch that this beautiful castle rests in on its own little island. We arrived after hours, but many places were still accessible. Only one serious photographer and one other couple were exploring the grounds with us. It afforded us a gorgeous view of the lights coming on and the majestic scenery turning to grey long after the sun was out of view!

Once we had enough of the midges, we returned to our hotel to crash in our two twin beds to dream of what might have been and wishing we had more time to explore Skye.

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