Monday 22 May 2006
Glen Brittle Cottage
Jim gets up early hoping for good weather and sees that the mountains are all white with snow. We go to Portree on the bus through the wintery landscape and lunch down on the harbour in the seafood restaurant. As it is Jims birthday I set off to shop for treats and we meet again a couple of hours later. We have had no mountain exercise today and feel quite restless by the evening.
Tuesday 23 May 2006
It is Jims birthday today so he gets to do what he likes. It is raining, snowing and windy, but he decides to go on a ‘Big Day Out’ First we go to the campsite shop to buy gaiters and a rucksack cover, putting them on in the campsite toilets. As another heavy shower sweeps in. ‘Like fucking February’ a stranger remarks as he exits the toilets. We take the path past the bottom of Coires Lagan and Ghrunnda and continue onwards towards the tip of land where I have never been and go to coruisk that wild uninhabited corner of Skye. The path is extremely boggy all the way and after a short spell of sun we have rain, hail and a strong wind. Route finding as we get out towards Coruisk if quite tricky. We come down to the shore only to have to scramble in the low tide amongst black greasy rocks and then to be turned back because we couldn’t get. Streams are shooting walls of black rock everywhere you look, and are difficult to cross. Where we have to turn back, Jim is ahead looking for a way, when he calls to me, and there out in the sea, silently watching us are 20 seals, gently bobbing closer and closer till we can see their big black eyes and their shiny noses. As we leave to find our route, some of them are gambolling in the water, leaping out and playing together. To find our way, we climb high up a streambed, next to Mad Burn and go far too far inland, up to the Dubh Slabs in fact. We find a rare sheltered spot at the end of the lock after tripping across the famous stepping stones and there we eat lunch (at 4pm) We have been going for six and a half hours by now. Next we go up over the pass of Drumnanramh to look down into the Sligachan valley – we have a challenge to overtake the only person we have seen all day who is now in front of us. Then a great hail cloud is racing with us and we hurry the last half mile to get to shelter before it comes, even though we have been soaking wet all day. All day the hills have been white with snow. When we get to Sligachan, we have a quick drink in the bar, call a taxi and whisk back to the cottage for birthday business. We cook steaks and Champagne, and it is ready by 11pm.
Monday 22 May 2006