Scotland Day #7: Skye to A Home In The Middle of Nowhere

September 17, 2014 § 2 Comments

Day Seven found us celebrating our one-week anniversary in the UK by driving all day through beautiful landscapes- kind of what has established itself as the norm by this point.

After a lazy morning with a full Scottish breakfast (sausages and eggs and more meats, oh my!) in our little bunkhouse, we (painfully) bid arrivederci to the Isle of Skye and continued driving north through the Upper Highlands.

Highlands6

The road was, as always, mesmerizing.  Except for the fact that we were in the red on the gas meter, and our rental car so kindly made it a point to point out that we were another five miles lower every few minutes.  And, like I mentioned before, there ain’t much between one shack and another in the Highlands.

Somehow, as travel luck would have it, we pulled into Ullapool with some ten miles left.  Celebration dance on the harbourside, next to the gas station!

HighlandsUllapool

And then we continued driving north.  A couple of kilometers before Lochinver, Mr. Italian and I pulled over for a spontaneous hike to Kirkaig Falls.

HighlandsKircaigFallsPath

The walk was simply breathtaking, starting lower in a bushy forest and then gently rising up to the mountaintops.

HighlandsKircaigFallsPurplePath2

Between the fields of violet, we also found splashes of orange, which made for an exotic contrast:

HighlandsMushroom
After an hour or so, we heard the roaring of the river grow louder.  Rounding a corner, we found ourselves standing above this gem of a rainbow/waterfall:

HighlandsKircaigFalls
After this little detour, we got back into the car and passed Lochinver.  Northwest of this little post town, the landscape changed yet again- into a series of islands (floating mountaintops?) in infinite lochs; compact, but by no means limited.

Highlands7
It’s hard to capture and explain the peculiarity of this area.  It is as if someone flooded a rough mountain range, and you are left with only the mountaintops to visit.  Every corner brings you to one of these little slices of isolated bliss:

Highlands9
After a few more minutes, we found ourselves at Clachtoll Beach, one of those hidden coves with that white sand and turquoise water that you find in travel magazines.  So, clearly, we took advantage of the world’s most perfectly situated picnic table (although haven’t I said that about every picnic table in Scotland?) and nibbled on our breakfast leftovers:

HighlandsPicnic
Since we were only a mile or two from where we would be staying at that night, we decided to bathe in the sunset light and make a quick hop out to Stoer Lighthouse.  Which, I must admit, was my favorite lighthouse of the trip.

HighlandsStoerLighthouse
There was no one there; just the cliffs and a field of trampoline-like grass upon which I jumped my little heart out.  Ahead of you, just sea and the setting sun.  Below you, waves and caves.  All around you, just blue and green and wind. (And a little bit of mud.)

HighlandsStoerLighthouseUomo
Ready to get our toes dry again, we hopped over the hill and checked into our favorite accommodation of the trip: a B&B in the middle of heaven.  Cozy and elegant and modern and warm.  One of those rooms with wood on all six surfaces, really poofy covers, a high-tech shower, and a self-designed layout that leaves you full of surprises.  Huge walls made out of glass, artsy accents everywhere, and the most delightful couple to talk the hours away with.

ClashnessieHouse

This place convinced me that I need to move to this region of the world…. and soon!  What a beautiful life, filled with art and love and comfort in a land of wind and water and grass.  Yup, count me in.

ScotlandGrasses

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