11th July 2021. Another early start, and rallying the troops gets harder the further into the trip we get. They may have slowed down but I had a coast to coast drive to engage in. East to West, we were literally chopping across the waist of Scotland. It was also the drive I was most looking forward to, and as it turned out, correctly so. We were off to the Isle Of Skye. Even as I type this up, I am sipping a glass of Talisker whisky (that is not a joke, I actually am).
Fueled up in Inverness just to be safe, then started the epic drive down the entire length of Loch Ness. The landscape on the way down was incredible. Huge trees seemed to grow vertically out of an almost vertical slope, as the road had been carved out along the shore of this famous loch. We stopped multiple times, which made this 20 mile section of the trip go on seemingly forever. There was a visitor centre along the route but thanks to Covid it was shut. Luckily there was a village nearby who were more than happy to risk the plague and relive people of their tourist dollars. We stopped off once more near a small forest where everyone stretched their legs, before hitting Fort Augustus.
We had to double back slightly in order to head to the Isle of Skye but it was worth it to say we have driven the length of Loch Ness. The road to Skye was little short of magnificent. Seeing the bridge to Skye come into view was stunning. In fact, I am not sure why they didn’t film Lord Of The Rings here, as the entire journey had an almost mythical feel to it. Sweeping valleys, mountains, lush green foliage and clear, free flowing rivers and lochs. What’s not to like? The run from Fort Augustus to Broadford in Skye took about an hour and a half, and despite it looking a long way, and stopping relentlessly to enjoy the vista, we were at the hotel by 2 pm.
Once on the island, we didn’t stop. We dumped our stuff at the hotel and then headed over to the western side of the Island to see the Fairy Pools. Had a good mooch around and then came back to Broadford, with the realisation dawning on us that maybe one night here would not be enough. Ash had a kip, we went to the local shop for beer and sweets. Both essential for happy travels! We once again ate at the hotel (as we had done every night so far, for sake of ease). Despite being exhausted, sleep did not arrive until midnight. We all slept like logs.
As a footnote to this, it was also the Wimbledon Men’s Single’s final (Djokovic won) and the final of Euro 2020 – England v Italy. Italy won, however it went to penalties and I got told off for yelling out in the restaurant whilst having dinner, despite the fact the place was deserted.