A week in the Isle of Skye

It is two years since our last visit to the Isle of Skye. Time flies!

The summary blog of those previous two weeks emphasised how blessed we had been with the weather previously! Arriving at the same cottage we stayed at before, and reviewing the weather apps for the coming week, predicted a lot of rain was in store and not much sun for the time away.

Plenty of rain we had! It became a familiar sight looking across the Sound of Raasay with views like this:

The Old Man of Storr was regularly cloaked in mist and rain cloud when we drove past, making the early morning visits from a few years ago a distant memory:

However, conditions brought some great atmosphere to the road trips that we did:

Despite the rain, we also had times of sun - and the combination lead to many rainbows over the week!

On one particular day the weather improved and returning past the Quiraing, we decided to head up to the ridge to capture the great lighting as the sun kept dipping in and out of the clouds at the back end of the afternoon:

If you look carefully you'll see the Wheatear, that alighted on the rock just before taking the above photo!

One particular morning the weather forecast looked suitable for an early morning photography trip, the details of which can be found in my blog 'An early morning revisit to the Old Man of Storr'. One of the photos is shown below.

With the weather improving after visiting the Old Man of Storr, I travelled a short way down the road to capture a photo I had in mind from a small waterfall that is passed on the way down to Portree. Climbing up the south side of the waterfall enabled views back to the Old Man as shown below:

The following day we planned a road trip to Elgol. However due to a sad event of a fatal accident on the Portree road, we ended up on a large detour and stopped at Sligachan instead. The changing weather between sun, rain, cloud gave some nice opportunities to capture views of the area:

The changing light over Sgurr Nan Gillean created some great atmosphere around the mountain.

With the road north still closed, we headed back via the long detour, but decided to make an unscheduled stop at Fairy Pools. I tend to avoid the location during the day as it is so busy, but with the afternoon spent, and getting there later, we hoped it would be less busy and also meant improved light for any photos. From the car park I made a very brisk walk up to the pools, stopping to get the rain cover out for the camera rucksac due to a downpour - but it turned out to be perfect timing, along with a rainbow appearing just as I reached the main spot that I wanted to get photos from!

The week was turning out really nicely for photos - such a contrast to initial expectations.

Our final full day included a visit to Elgol, that we hadn't managed earlier in the week. It was a long drive down there from our accommodation, but with some great views on the way - including the first sighting that week of a white tailed eagle! 

Elgol itself is a great location with views across to the Isle of Rum, as well as over to the Cuillins:

The amazing honeycombed cliff face on the path to the location of the above photos seemed an ideal location for the local wren to raise its family!

As we finished our time at Elgol, I noticed that the weather was such that there would be a good chance of a decent sunset, so we headed off for the long trip through the island to Neist Point lighthouse. Other than wearing shorts, and forgetting the midge jacket to combat the heavy midge infestation (first really one we encountered during the week fortunately) it was well worthwhile heading over there.

The midges made the photography a real challenge, with the camera at times being covered in clouds of the little monsters, but with some aid from a can of Smidge that I went back to the car to retrieve, it turned out successfully. As we packed to leave, the lighthouse light came on after the sun set and most of the colour had dissipated (last photo below if you look carefully!).

It was a fitting end to the week having such a sunset. A week that turned out completely differently to the original expectations - but just shows the potential that is always there when visiting Scotland!