Applecross to SkyeMay 7, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌙 11 °C
From Applecross to Skye via the Bealach Na Ba Road (Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle) and then down the side of Lochcarron and over the Skye Bridge where we then drove on to Carbost.
A little bit of rain in the morning and then another shower on route but nothing major or long lasting. Mostly low cloud in the morning which made for atmospheric skies and then a brighter afternoon with some blue sky and sunshine to boot!
Breakfast at the junction was a good way to start the day in Applecross - no peanut butter and jam, yay!
The drive over Bealach Na Ba was pretty awesome. It is single strack, was built in 1822, has quite a few hairpins and is the steepest ascent of any road climb in the UK apparently. There was a lot of hype online about how prearious this road is but to be honest, although a fantastic road, with stunning views and undoubtedly steep turns, it wasn't as bad as many of the roads we drove in New Zealand. I think we had the benefit of coming down hill where most of the hairpins were though - so perhaps we are biased. It was a great drive though, the clouds hugged the tops of the mountains and the top of the drive was in pure cloud. No view from there, which was a shame, but it was very atmospheric and imposing, so never mind.
On the way down, low lying green hills started to come into view on our right behind the sheer and tall rock face of one of the Peaks by the road. This rockface was grey and cast in shadow, with the hills in the distance glowing in the sunligt that had broken thruogh clouds onto them. It reminded me of a fairytale story where you have the gloomy and dark home of the villain and then in the distance the beautiful magical kingdom that looks cheerful and bright.
Tallisker Distillery tour. This was really interesting and we were lucky to get a couple of tickets last minute as they were busy. Really interesting to learn how they make whiskey, despite not liking it to much myself. They stick to all the old methods and rely on the water from the hill behind the distillery that has served them for years - they use 64000 litres at a time!! The name comes from an old farming family that used to own the land, rather than the name of the place that it is made. We had a nosey through the window into one of their basements that stores the casks - pretty cool! They have about 6000 barrels and the room has never been cleaned since they started distilling there, to keep the authenticity of course! A really good tour and very interesting. I still odn't like whiskey though.
The fairy pools. These have become quite famous apparently for their lovely blue colour and clear water, perfect for wild swimming if you are brave enough in summer apparently. We may have spotted a golden eagle on the walk there but we aren't sure. If it was it would have been a juvenile judging by the markings but they're hard to tell from buzzards and so we will never know for sure. Probably just a buzzard. We also got very up close to te sheep and lambs that don't seem to care much for people, much to my happiness as I think they're about the cutest things ever!
The pools were very pretty and reminded us a little bit of the blue sprngs in New Zealand, they were just as clear and shared a very similar turquoise colour when still in the pools, but there were a lot more waterfalls here with plunge pools below. There were lots people in the way for photos though - to the disappointment of many a photographer doing their best. With the backdrop of the dark and imposing mountains in the background - especially on particularly volcano like on in the middle - I can see why they wanted to make the effort.
Other things to mention - Rob managed to cockle over again, and discovered his boots are no longer waterproof, finally had enough after 10 years. I had the great fun task of trying to park the van on the side of a single track road with little drop on one side and in a place were it specifically said no parking. The thing is this rule doesn't seem to apply anymore and as an ever increasing tourist spot Rob convinced me to just join the others all doing the same. He didn't convince me to try parking on the verge that was so muddly it looked like we might get stuck tere, fortunately we were able to find a sturdier looking piece of verge to leave it on.
Food at the 'Old Inn' down the road from the brewery. We eventually decided to head back to the Inn after a drink after seeing vegetarian haggis on the menu and being recommended to try this by Alex. It was a veg haggis strudel and it was absolutely delicious!!!!! I really want to learn to make this myself because I have eaten it all night long. We shared a table with another couple who visit often to continue doing some classroom work since retiring from it. They were very nice to speak to and we had a good chat about travelling, Skye and the things to do. Sound like they have had quite the adventure themselves over the years and it was nice to share a converstaion with some new people.
The Talisker car park - right by Loch Harport and with conveniently placed toilets and showers right opposite.Read more